How to Host an Unforgettable Dinner Party

Summer brings longer days and greater opportunities to entertain guests for dinner parties. But if your home isn’t “party-ready,” it can feel intimidating to host guests. The key to getting your home ready for entertaining is thinking through the details well ahead of time — and this includes the interior of your home.

We’ve pulled some tips from our top interior designers to help you create a space that you’ll feel confident about and your guests will love to linger in.

Living Room Accommodations

Have you ever been to an event where you have to stand and chat for hours? Standing for long periods of time can be exhausting and even send the best-intentioned guests home early. If your home lacks space for guests to spend time together comfortably, it can limit your ability to entertain people. However, you don’t necessarily need a bigger house to accommodate more people — you just need to maximize seating!

If you plan on serving drinks, it’s also a good idea to provide options for guests to set their drinks down. If wet rings will damage your cocktail table or side tables, put plenty of coasters around to ensure they’re protected.

No matter the size of your home, as long as there are plenty of options for guests to sit down and relax, you can create a space that’s ready for entertaining.

You may also want to consider the guests that will be coming over and what they may be comfortable with. Start with looking at your living area.  If you are hosting guests that don’t know one another, they may feel uncomfortable sitting closely with strangers. In that case, chairs are a better option than sofas because they give your guests more personal space.  If you typically host events for guests who know one another, sofas and settees are great as they allow people to get comfortable and encourage conversation.

Dining Room Accommodations

In the dining room — dining tables have a limit for how many people they can comfortably seat — but it’s never a bad idea to have a few extra chairs and stools available to pull up for last-minute dining guests.

How to Host an Unforgettable Dinner Party

Once seating is covered, ensure there is adequate low lighting around your home, such as lamps and sconces. This allows you to customize the lighting room by room so that you can adjust the ambiance throughout your house as desired.

If you plan to entertain outdoors, add outdoor lighting fixtures in your favorite finish and style. O.P. Jenkins has a variety of outdoor lighting fixtures that can be mounted to the exterior of your home and can work with either electricity or a gas flame.

Lastly, add the finishing touches. When it comes to entertaining, details make the difference.

A gorgeous place setting is just the beginning of a beautiful tablescape. A custom tablecloth, stand-out centerpiece, fresh flowers, and candles all elevate your table from homemade to magazine-ready.  To begin, place table settings with all the flatware your guests will need — this will show that you’ve prepared for them.  If your day-to-day dining pieces are too casual or dated, purchase a few sets of artist-made plates and serving pieces, like Julåiska, to have ready to pull out for special occasions. These pieces look polished without looking flashy. To make a strong first impression that shows you know style, add details like name cards and cloth napkins.