Plan your Next Dinner Party Like a Good Designer Would

Architects interior designer working with a tablet

Many people might pick a party theme first. But first, when planning a fun dinner party, it’s important to look at how your guests will use and mingle within your home during the event. Then you can flourish the decor with any color or style. Here are the steps I’d take to plan a dinner party, which aren’t too different than how I help my clients with their remodels!

Gauge use and flow of your space.

Look at the space you have, and plan around how you and your guests use it. Are there any restraints that you need to factor in, either indoors or outdoors? Will people be seated, standing, or both? Will there will be any activities… and how could you arrange the furniture, food, etc. to create the best traffic flow? Consider how you might encourage movement from dinner to dessert, for example. Imagine the event from beginning to end, before you get started.

Select the right mix of people.

Of course, you want to invite friends who will get along and bring their individual strengths and personality to the conversation. More importantly, once you’ve determined the guest list, you can plan more of the party details around them! What activities would they enjoy, do they have any diet restrictions, etc. Consult with a mutual friend or think about things they’ve said or done in the past for clues.

Get some inspiration.

This is the fun part! Take an hour or two to google ideas that can enhance the dinner. Open that cookbook you’ve never read. Go to Pinterest or cut some pictures out of a magazine. Once you’ve determined who’s in the mix and how they’ll use the space, you can pick a theme or event to build the party around.

Settle on the menu.

Picking the food for a dinner party is like the appliances or cabinets in your kitchen. Once the big pieces are decided, the rest falls into place. And when you’re hosting, it’s best to go with what you know! Or if you’re trying something new, make sure you test it yourself first – or get suggestions and tips from friends who have cooked the dish before.

Expect the unexpected.

Now is the time to execute all the details. Make the list of menu ingredients. Order the decorations. Make sure to give yourself a little extra padding in your schedule for things that might go wrong. Something will always take a little longer than you expected. Or, you’ll forget something you had to do. The blessing of extra time already factored in will keep you smiling.

Make the process fun.

As the host or hostess of the party, your guests will follow your lead.  If you’re feeling stressed, either at the party or beforehand, your guests will feel it too. Relax, let yourself enjoy the process. If you don’t have the time or money to do everything you want, then pick the few things you enjoy doing most and put more of your resources into those.

Let go of your ego.

Nobody cares if it’s a ‘perfect’ party. If something goes wrong, laugh it off! Make your guests feel comfortable and at ease. They care more about food, drink, conversation, and having a good time.

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen or bath and need a designer who focuses on creating a space that’s both functional and fun, contact Linda at Interiors by Blackwood today!