Hosting a dinner party is no easy feat, and impressing our guests is something that we have personally come to get quite stressed about. It can be something that is truly fulfilling, but it can also turn into a bit of a nightmare if a few key things aren’t perfectly in place. You have to make sure that everything is as perfect as possible, make an amazing meal, create a beautiful ambiance, all while maintaining a fresh and flawless appearance. While we give total props to Martha Stewart for her immaculate table settings and the ability to be the perfect hostess, you need not have penned several best-selling books or have published your own magazine to impress your guests this holiday season. Here we have put together a simple, yet stylish holiday tablescape along with some tips we have adopted from our time playing hostess.
Work with what you have
If you are lucky enough to own some beautiful china or vintage pieces, now is the time to pull it all out. There is no time to get fabulous like the present! If not, an everyday set of dishes works just fine as well. They can even be all mismatched, but just make sure there is a detail that ties the whole ensemble together. We like the idea of pulling from your own personal inventory because not only will your tablescape and overall decor reflect your sense of style and personality, it will also give an overall relaxed homey vibe that your guests will definitely appreciate. Look around your home for unconventional centrepieces. We had a great driftwood tray that we arranged some seasonal fruit and leaves on. Simple, yet effective.
Bring in some natural elements
Anything from outside will give your settings a seasonal yet rustic edge. Take a little nature walk around your neighborhood and collect branches, leaves, or pine cones. You can also visit your local florist and see if they have any trimmings you could take off their hands. Either way this is something we suggest you do a couple of days in advance, just to make sure everything is clean and dry for use. Seasonal fruit or nuts (like chestnuts or walnuts) will add an extra bit of colour, texture, as well as a festive flair.
Create a little ambiance
Chances are you have some candles around your house that you can incorporate into your table scape and decor. We love the idea of candlelight dinners because not only are they romantic, they save energy and make everyone look impossibly flawless. If you don’t have a ridiculous candle collection (like us), Ikea has a great sets of candles in all colours and sizes that are very affordable. We used some vintage silver platters for our bigger candles and some delicate tapered candles and candle holders to ensure the table scape had a good sense of balance. There is also nothing wrong with placing some votives throughout the room as well (keeping some lit in the bathroom is always a great idea) to create a cozy ambiance all through your home.
It is also very important to set the mood with a killer playlist. If you have the time, compile a list of easy listening for your guests a few days prior to the dinner party. You may also choose to just use Songza or Stereomood for any last-minute gatherings.
Set the table
Setting the table is something that can really pack a punch in terms of wowing your guests. Stick to the basics and try not to go overboard with unnecessary additions. The key is to set it up just enough to impress but not enough to overwhelm. Here we have highlighted our musts and their places on each setting.