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Be my guest: how to get ready for hosting again

During lockdown, dining tables became makeshift desks, placemats were swapped for mouse pads, and the only group gatherings were of the virtual kind. But as restrictions ease a little, we can tentatively 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.

@melanie.licht

@julendqr

1. Reclaim the dining table

Work-life balance is everything – but when your office is also where you eat, boundaries get blurred. Take back the dining table by relocating your work setup. Consider placing a desk in an unutilised area – under the stairs, or in the hallway. Nowhere else to go? Then pack work gear away into a streamlined sideboard, and clear the dining decks.

 

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 an extendable style’s more versatile. 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 cane seats with a sleek table surface. Or go for the same style chair, in different shades. Need a more flexible option? Try a space-saving bench on one side. If you’re not ready to invest RN, update existing seats by topping with colourful cushions or seat pads.

 

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 artwork 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 IRL – but isn’t the best for getting ‘gram-worthy pics. 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 this arched bamboo design for the best of both worlds.

6. Set the scene

The mood right now is to swerve 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 needn’t be overly fancy – try sprigs of dried flowers in a statement vase, or even fruit artfully arranged in a beautiful bowl. Now, all you need? Guests. Inside soon, hopefully.

Article written by: Natalie Wall

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