Sick of social distancing? Itchy from all that isolation. Looking for a way to reconnect with old friends in a safe and careful way? Throwing a dinner party could be just what the doctor ordered for the socially deprived extrovert in the dying embers of 2020. A dinner party is a well-organized and civil event. You know that your guests won’t be getting too raucous. And you can even make it a socially distanced affair if you’re concerned about keeping your guess safe.
But, like any party, a dinner party takes a lot of prep work and planning. You need to set up a Facebook group to nail down your guest list and keep them updated in terms of the menu and what they are expected / required to bring. If you’re thinking of throwing a themed party (a Halloween dinner soiree for instance) you can let them know so that they can plan their attire accordingly. You should also use this as an opportunity to ensure that there are no food intolerances or vegan / vegetarian requirements that get lost in the shuffle.
But as well as managing the food and your guests, you also need to carefully consider your dinner party decor and how you’ll make your living space iconic., capturing the atmosphere you want to create. Here, we’ll look at some ways to tweak your decor to bring a little extra wow factor to your dinner party…
Use a runner on your table
Your tablecloth is all well and good. But a plain tablecloth can fail to bring the visual pop that ties your aesthetic together. What’s more, unless you have something on your table that draws the eyes it can make the inevitable stains more obvious as they add up throughout the night. Use a table runner and not only will it draw the eye, it can also dictate the direction your guests’ eyelines travel in. Drawing their attention to what you want them to see. For instance…
Use a centrepiece that brings the wow factor
Your centrepiece is an awesome opportunity to flex your creative muscle, tie your aesthetic together and reinforce the theme of the occasion. From as cornucopia bursting with fresh produce to a leering jack-o-lantern or simply a dazzling explosion of color courtesy of some fresh flowers. Get your centerpiece right, and everything else just falls into place.
Use light to create ambience and draw the eye
Self-conscious about that stain where you spilled red wine on the dining room rug? Worried your guests might see the damage your cats did to that armchair? Using light is a wonderful way of not only establishing an ambience, but allow you to control where your guests look and what they can see. Candleholders, lanterns, luminaries and votives are all great way to create warm, soft glowing light that helps your guests relax while also preventing them from seeing any imperfections in your decor.
A tease of what’s to come
Finally, the way you set your table will define your guest’s expectations. It should let them know, for instance, how many courses they should expect, what they’ll be drinking etc. However, you can also use this to add a touch of the theatrical. For instance, your place settings could incorporate favors in little boxes. Or your starters could be covered with a shiny plate cloche.
You can use your settings to provide a tease of what’s to come and build a sense of happy anticipation!