Be my guest: how to get ready for hosting season
During summer months, dining tables became makeshift desks, placemats were swapped for homework and laptops, and group gatherings were all outside in the sunshine. But as the year comes to an end and thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we can start preparing to invite our favourite people over again. First? It’s time to refresh your hosting skills – and your dining space. Here’s how.
1. Reclaim the dining table
Life can sometimes get the better of us, and the dining table becomes the homework desk, letters pile up, and where did we leave those keys? Take back the dining table by adding a centerpiece of flowers, fruit, or an ornamental sculpture. By packing away the paperwork into a convenient credenza, you can clear the dining decks and fully appreciate your table at mealtimes.
2. Consider your options
If you’re daydreaming about having guests over for dinner, think about how many people you need to comfortably seat. Does your current setup cut it? A round table’s the most sociable option, while oval tables hold as many guests as rectangular ones, but the rounded edges take up less space.
3. That high-low aesthetic
Mismatched dining chairs are having a moment. The key to getting it right? Go bold with your mashups: mix woven seats with a sleek table surface. Or go for the same style chair, in different shades. Need a more flexible option? Try stackable chairs that can be stored and brought out for those surprise guests.
4. Add eye-catching accessories
The easiest way to elevate your dining room? Accessories, always. A large rug underneath the table not only adds a pop of colour, it defines the area too (plus, a patterned style hides any spills). Add a stylish clock to the walls for a quick refresh, or hang a mirror to make a small room feel bigger.
5. A little mood lighting
Candlelight is like having a soft focus filter – but isn’t the best for getting those happy family pictures. You’ll ideally need lights overhead so people can see what they’re eating, plus a few lamps dotted around for that atmospheric glow. Opt for warm metallic shades for the best of both worlds.
6. Set the scene
The mood right now is to ditch the formal and have fun with your tablescape. Start with the dinnerware, then build from there. Think: metallic cutlery, tortoiseshell tumblers and bright serving dishes. Centrepieces don't need to be fancy – try sprigs of dried flowers in a statement vase, or even fruit artfully arranged in a beautiful bowl. Now, all you need? Guests.