This time of year is the perfect opportunity to take a breather to gather and catch up with girlfriends over a dinner table. While enjoying a holiday dinner and dining out may be “easier,” the atmosphere in a restaurant most likely won’t match the coziness of your home, where wine keeps flowing and belly laughs won’t disturb other diners. Recently, we got together with a group of friends to celebrate the start of the holiday season and engage in some entertaining conversation. We all brought something to the holiday dinner party, following a seasonal theme.
For an event planner, hostess or Pinterest enthusiast, throwing a dinner party can be quite a feat, where planning can range from enjoyable to daunting. One way to make the process easier is to think about your favorite looks and pull elements together to create a theme. This theme will guide the details of what your party will ladder up to.
Create a theme
Your theme is where you can express your personal style through the decor, products and even the menu. We love it when decor components each have a story, but together make a grand impact to showcase your design skills.
We recommend starting your planning process with Pinterest. Create a board to pin inspirational imagery of table settings. Then, pin your favorite products that will support the overall vision for your gathering. As you pin, it’s easy to remove and add pins as you curate your selections.
Be open to mixing vintage and new items together to create something uniquely you. One of our favorite ways to make a dinner party personal to the guests and reflective of the season is to visit local thrift stores to find items to blend in with new or existing decor.
It’s no secret that for quality and affordable dishware, Crate and Barrel is an excellent resource. For our dinner party, we used Crate and Barrel’s pottery-like plates and bowls, which were a perfect fit for the fall theme (see photo). The speckled brown flecks paired with a sand-colored base extended a warm, yet stylish look to the table. This dishware is made in Portugal and has irregular rims that are unique to each piece. They are neutral enough to work for everyday and stylish enough to dress up for a dinner party or holiday table.
Another dishware at our party was an oven-to-table serving bowl. Oven-ready for casseroles or a side dish, this bowl can serve many purposes and hold a variety of dishes. The simple style of the bowl includes an acacia stand, which elevates it off the table, adding a little drama to the setting. And, it protects your countertops or table without the use of a trivet.
A handmade gift
Our friend, Erin, from Francois Et Moi, created stunning candles that are an easy DIY for any dinner host. In this video, Erin walks you through the step-by-step process on how to make the candles. Candles add a warmth and elegance to any table setting and can really set the mood of the space as afternoon turns into evening.
This type of handmade decor is inexpensive, but adds significant aesthetic value to your theme. Pair candles with holders that complement your theme. This antique, brass-finish candle holder matched our dinner party theme and added a smooth finished to pair with the textured candles. The rustic look of the holders looked great paired with the pottery-like dishware.
When considering a centerpiece or lovely side decor, you can never go wrong with a gorgeous floral arrangement. A fresh bouquet creates a relaxed atmosphere, while bringing a little nature to the space. If you’re hosting during the colder months, flowers can really brighten up a room, boost moods, and reduce stress. They are a great compliment for any dinner gathering.
The vase pictured was made with Mercury Mosaics tile and foliage from Studio C Floral. When your party is over, let your flowers dry out and repurpose them. If you have extra vases or glassware lying around, just stick a few dried stems inside and display it around your space.
There are many things to consider when planning a dinner party menu, including drinks, appetizers, main course, side dishes and of course, dessert. You can’t go wrong with a bountiful charcuterie spread using Cambria Quartz Serving Trays and cheese boards to display your selections. It’s easy to pull together a beautiful charcuterie board with items from your local Trader Joes, including cured meats, cheeses, grapes, nuts, dried fruit, crackers and olives.
You can’t have a dinner party without wine! We had a pinot noir in thrifted wine glasses that were set on Cambria Quartz coasters, made from the same high-quality quartz in their countertops. Cambria cheeseboards and coasters come in any color, but we recommend anything from the marble-like collection such as Brittanicca, Ella, or Ironsbridge.
When planning your menu, go with the flow of the seasons and your design theme. Pick one highlight for the night and plan your dinner around that dish. Think about balancing colors, temperatures, textures and flavors, and your dinner will be a sensation.
Our dinner party featured:
- Morgan’s of construction2style incredible charcuterie board
- Lea of creekwoodhill’s Harvest Carrot Soup
- Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad : From Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake from Brim Restaurant
- Spiced Cider Cocktail, by Kelly at Maven Events
Our dinner party at home was way more fun than at any restaurant. Here’s to success at your next gathering – cheers!
Jennifer at Sage Imagery: https://www.sageeimagery.com/
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