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Decorating for Your Dinner Party

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Having the right decor is vital for creating the right mood at your dinner party and ensuring that your guests are comfortable. This doesn’t mean that decorating has to be difficult or expensive. Often getting the decor right means keeping it simple and taking advantage of items you already have around the house. Whether you are planning a formal party or a casual get together with friends, here are some tips to remember.

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1. Embellish the basics

Every dinner party has certain basic essentials: a table cloth, napkins and china. Start the decor of a party with these bare essentials. Stick to white or a neutral tone when selecting china. This can then be embellished with a colored cloth or napkins, or if you would like to keep those neutral as well, add color with the napkin rings and centerpiece.

2. Create a Unique Centerpiece

A vase of flowers will serve it’s purpose, but there are so many other creative options that will make your dinner table stand out. Try making a centerpiece with seasonal fruit, a tureen or a piece based on your party’s theme. Whichever piece you decide to go with, make sure it sits low to the table, so your guests can easily see and converse with each other.

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3. Have the Right Amount of Lighting

No one wants to feel like they are in a hospital at a dinner party, but not enough light and guests will have a hard time seeing the food or each other’s faces. A good way to balance out lighting to create ambiance, is to either dim or not use the overhead light. Instead, place a lamp on the buffet or other serving areas and dress up the table with some white or ivory candles. Only use unscented candles and try freezing them the night before to avoid wax piling up on the tablecloth.

4. Dress Up an Outdoor Party

Summer is a great time to have an outdoor party. The sun is up longer, making lighting easier, and the yard is green and blooming for the guests enjoyment. While outdoor dinner parties are generally considered casual, there are some simple ways to dress up an outdoor table. Go ahead and use the good china outdoors, as it instantly creates a classy feel. Instead of hauling out your dining room chairs, use wicker patio chairs or french bar stools or a mixture of both. Finally, pull out those white Christmas lights to create some ambiance.

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5. Head to a Restaurant

Many upscale restaurants specialize in hosting dinner parties, and they make a viable option if you don’t have the space or time to host a dinner party at your house. When selecting a location be sure to ask about menu options, price and party size. Find out what the decor is like in the restaurant and whether you will need to provide your own centerpiece or place cards. Whichever place you decide on, be sure to make a reservation well in advance.

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