One thing I’ve been looking forward to about moving back into a house after years of apartment life is having the space to entertain again. Sure, I crammed people into our loft, but we never had a table that sat more than four. Having a formal dining space dedicated entirely to entertaining feels like the ultimate luxury! And I plan to make damn good use of it. While my dining room is still very much a work in progress, I believe you don’t have to have every detail pulled together perfectly to play hostess. Spoiler alert – this is a major sneak peek of the space!
The whole point of having friends over for dinner is to make everyone feel at ease – and that includes you. A few simple tips and tricks make hosting a fall gathering quick, easy and most importantly fun.
Setting a chic table makes an evening feel a little special, but creating it doesn’t have be complicated. I like to stick to two to three colors to keep things from getting overwhelming. A simple white tablecloth – this one is vintage that I snagged from my favorite Bay Area shop Elsie Green – offers a nice blank slate on your table. A few wrinkles are no big deal. It gives everything a more rustic vibe. This table features a palette of blue, creams, and greens with just a touch of gold. Everything on the table, from the flowers to the flatware play off each other.
Place settings don’t have to be complicated either. I added color to the table with some gorgeous gray-blue plates. I simply stacked my dinner and salad plates to create bit of layering. Mismatched white cloth napkins with an off-center fold adds an interesting geometric angle to the plate. And I do love me some gold flatware. It quickly makes any table feel a bit more festive. If you haven’t already added a set to your collection, get these. They’re cute and crazy affordable. A touch of greenery and a little leaf charm on each setting helps make guests feel extra special.
Adding flowers to your table also shouldn’t be stressful. You can let your creative juices flow, combining whatever fits your color palette. This arrangement mixes all kinds of greenery – everything from Lambs Ear and grasses, to cuts of fresh hops and leaves. A few white blooms give you that plucked straight from your garden look. But if creating your own center piece feels overwhelming, head to your local flower mart or corner florist. There’s no shame in putting a pretty arrangement into your own vase. You gotta do what you gotta do.
If you’re not an expert chef, no big deal. Save the fancy cooking for the big Turkey-day. There’s really no need for a multiple course meal. A generous spread with a good crusty bread, charcuterie, samplings of cheese and a bunch of little bites let your guests sit back and snack at will. This gives everyone the opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Because ultimately, the most important thing about throwing a dinner party is to give yourself permission to sit back, relax and enjoy the evening too. Let go of any expectation that things will be perfect – instead plan for the opposite and simply enjoy the process.
For more of my favorite entertaining ideas CLICK HERE.
For my favorite Halloween tabletop, CLICK HERE.
For the best fall recipes, CLICK HERE.
photography for apartment 34 by Alanna Hale, florals by the wild ones