There is no doubt that entertaining at home has changed. While dreams of wining and dining with a large group of family and friends maybe be put on pause for the time being, a thoughtfully planned, small group dining experience is a great way to socialize. You’ll want to keep everything on an intimate scale, staying within your bubble, with lots of room for everyone to feel comfortably apart.
Here are some easy tips for creating a dining space that is entertaining ready!
Whether you choose round, square or rectangular, your dining table should comfortably fit in your space, match your home’s aesthetic and stay on budget. It’s important to measure the table-to-wall distance so that diners can get out of their seats easily. The general rule of thumb is to leave 42 to 48 in. between the table and the walls.
We don’t often think of a tabletop as loud or quiet, but metal and glass tend to amplify noise, whereas wood tends to absorb noise for a more comfortable dining experience. And, the best way to keep guests at the table is with comfortable chairs, so it’s a good idea to test out seating options before you buy.
Layering isn’t just for fashion
To design an entertaining dining experience, think about layers when you’re choosing textiles for the table, the dishware, decor and lighting. The tabletop is the base of your canvas. If it’s beautiful, show it off and consider using chargers rather than placemats. Chargers tend to add a sense of formality, and they’re easier to clean up after use. Use your best dishware and serving ware. I’m a big fan of using the “good” dishes year-round. If you enjoy them on special occasions, why not treat yourself and bring them out more often.
Add multiple lighting styles and brightness to your dining space to help set the mood. Lighting on dimmers is a great way to control lighting. If you have a centre chandelier over the table, keep the light low and add candles on the table. An easy decor trick is to put battery powered LED candles into a large glass vase or add in seasonal items or greenery for an extra special touch.
Tip: One of the most versatile and
stylish items in home decor is
the bar cart. A rolling bar cart
can be your busboy! It can
help you serve courses and
load up dishes when clearing
the table. Just roll the cart into
the kitchen for fast and easy
Especially during these unprecedented times, you want your guests to feel extra special and pampered. But, don’t get caught up in the formalities of being a host. Prepare as much as you can beforehand. Set your table the night before and pre-make any apps and desserts. That way, you ensure you truly enjoy what entertaining is all about – being together.
Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com