As the festive season fast approaches, we’re sure that you’re starting to think about entertaining guests over the holiday season. Hosting guests at home shouldn’t be a stressful affair; you should be able to create a feeling that has everyone feeling relaxed. After all, everyone is winding down after an eventful year. Nevertheless, if you want to relieve some of the pressure or improve your hosting skills, here are our 7 tips on creating the ultimate dinner party for entertaining.
1. Layer your tableware.
The perfect dinner table has depth and character and you can achieve this via layering your tableware. Set out your cutlery and begin to layer up each place setting with your dinner plate as the base. Place down your side plate and then layer up with a bowl on each dinner plate. We recommend the Kinto range which is a series of ceramics made of hard porcelain clay in calming colours. The bowls and plates have a distinct clean look with edges reminiscent of quarried stone, adding serenity to any dining scene.
2. Choose high quality glassware.
From wine glasses to water tumblers, you need to know exactly what you’re doing when it comes to laying the table with glassware. Each place should be set with all the glasses that will be used during dinner so knowing your menu beforehand is essential. The water glass belongs to the right of the plate, just above the main dining knife and wine glasses should be set to the right of the water glass in the order they will be used. For anything off-piste, why not try Black Tank Beer Glasses or Tank Champagne Glasses by one of our favourite designers, Tom Dixon.
3. Set the mood with lighting.
The perfect lighting for a dinner party should be intimate and moody. While an atmosphere is created by a full lighting scheme, here’s our one tip for making it that little bit extra – accent lighting. Accent lighting creates a glow and lights the edges of the room to create a cosy ambience. You can achieve it by simply placing a table lamp on a console or dining room buffet. Designed by Magnus Pettersen, the Leimu lamp is a modern classic and will look great in a dining setting. Mouth blown at the Iittala glass factory in Finland, Leimu lamps combine a sharp, modern shape with a delicately beautiful glass shade.
4. Create a centrepiece.
Dinner parties are a chance to show off a little so channel your own personal creativity into making a floral centrepiece for your tablescape. Use one of our Hammershøi vases as your starting point and build up from there to either a minimal or extrovert design depending on your desired theme. Available in a wide range of colours to suit any decor, the elegant furrows of these vases are inspired by renowned artist Svend Hammershøi’s original works from the beginning of the 20th century. Alternatively, the legendary Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto is something a little different for the table and is perfect for tall flowers.
5. Don’t forget about the details.
Some of the most rewarding moments of a dinner party come from having spent that little extra time on your table settings. A handwritten place card and a simple floral arrangement set on top of plates will show your guests the effort you’ve gone through to create something special for them. If you really wanted to impress, you could place a favour on the table too. The Melissa Hand Cream by Neal’s Yard Remedies would be ideal as something functional and beautiful.
6. Light candles.
To really make the most of ambient lighting, add candles to your dining room table and place around your dining room too, obviously being mindful of the fact that people will be eating at the table. The Rhombus Candle by Onno is the perfect dinner party candle, creating warmth and inspiring the imagination of your guests. The rich brown wax inside turns black when lit, becoming dark and sensuous – ideal for a late night soirée that turns into drinks.
7. Scent your dining room.
We’ve talked in a previous journal about the importance of scent in creating a calming interior and a dinner party is obviously no exception, especially when you have guests visiting frequently. Home perfume does the hard work for you, offering a subtle yet consistent scent in your home and eliminating the need to scent by hand. While you can do this with candles, we recommend the Once Upon & Time Home Perfume by modern day scent company Ashley & Co. Simply allow the perfume to soak and ascend the porous reeds and you're set for a dinner party to remember.
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