In today’s world, we are spoiled for choice regarding how we can spend our leisure time and socialise with our friends and families. Modern life offers limitless options for entertaining ourselves and others outside of the home. Conventional pastimes such as dining out, catching up on the latest Hollywood blockbuster or a quiet (possibly not so quiet) drink at a local pub or club were considered luxuries not so long ago, yet now they have slowly become the norm.
Despite this embarrassment of riches, it is not uncommon to see groups of people all staring blankly at their phones while sitting on the dining tables, rather than interacting with each other in a meaningful way. It really is one of the great paradoxes of modern life that the technology that is supposed to connect us, in so many cases merely allows us to retreat into our shells.
Entertaining at home is one antidote to this dilemma.
Inviting friends and acquaintances into your home is the perfect way to create the kind of intimacy and personal connection that will get people off their devices and talking to each other. For this reason, the dinner party is making a comeback. Before you’ve even started cooking, there are a number of ways that you can get your place ready for quality entertaining. You can create the perfect setting by ensuring that your dining area looks and feels beautiful.
- Start with the basics – Tables and Chairs:
It might sound a little bit obvious, but the right furniture can make all the difference. Look into the kinds of dining room tables that will work best for your space. Make sure you choose the right style and size to match your décor. Extendable tables will give you the flexibility that you need to mix and match for the size of the crowd. Beautiful chairs that are comfortable to sit on will complement the setting and help put guests at ease.
- Create the mood with background music
A quality sound system in your dining area is a wonderful way to generate ambience. You won’t want to blast anything too heavy out, but a careful selection of the right kind of music to fit the mood and great sound will certainly contribute to the atmosphere.
- Set it right
Again, this one sounds like a no-brainer, however, a stunning tablescape can hugely enhance the experience for you and your guests. Not everyone has the means to afford multiple sets of china, napkins and other paraphernalia, however, with some creativity, you can ensure that the table setting complements the menu.
- Lighting the way
Getting the lighting right is a sure-fire way to set the right tone for whatever mood you want. Too dim and your guests will be squinting at each other, too bright and the room will feel sterile. Choosing the right light fittings is critical to getting this part of the equation right. Candles can also be a wonderful way to add charm and texture to the environment.
- The call of nature
You can pretty much guarantee that most, if not all of your guests will need to excuse themselves from the table at least once during the meal. Having an immaculate, clean, pleasant smelling and tastefully decorated guest bathroom is a criminally underrated way to ensure that those private moments spent away from the table are also contributing to your diners’ experience in your home.
While there are many more details that can be focused on, get these things right and you are well on your way to successful entertaining before you have even cooked a thing!