Eating at home doesn’t have to become a routine activity. You can shake things up by adjusting various home elements and turning the evening into a romantic night to remember … or a vibrant party.
You just have to pay attention to the subtle effect that lighting, sound, table settings, and seating configurations can have on the overall mood of a room. Below are four factors to consider adjusting before you put together your next dinner party or romantic home meal.
1. Lighting solutions
Lighting can go a long way in creating the overall ambiance of your dining area. Brighter lights generally cater to an atmosphere of lively conversation, and make it an ideal setting for hosting a party for friends, family, and colleagues. A similar effect can be achieved during the day if your dining room has access to plenty of natural light.
Dim lights will increase the intimacy of the setting, so low lighting and candles are an excellent choice for a date. However, you don’t want the room to be too dark, since this can detract from the dining experience!
2. Place settings
Before you select flatware and set the table, think about the type of food being served and whom you plan to entertain. Will there be children at the table? Better grab extra napkins.
Disposable plates should only be used if you plan on picnicking outside: They can give the wrong impression if you’re hosting a meal indoors. When you want to get fancy, invest in fabric napkins and napkin rings, and polish your designer flatware.
3. Seating arrangement
There’s a reason couples fuss over the seating arrangement at weddings. Conversation should be able to unfold naturally, and enemies shouldn’t be placed next to each other.
If you’re hosting a dinner party for multiple people, you’ll want to seat people in a way that will encourage discussion and minimize tension. Mixing the seating arrangements can be an excellent way to help strangers network.
4. Stereo suggestions
Music can be a great accompaniment for a meal. Keep the volume low, so it doesn’t overwhelm the flow of conversation.
If you have a complex sound system, consider marking wires in advance, so your stereo is easy to set up and disassemble for the occasion.
Transform your dining area into party central or create an intimate atmosphere for a date. Dedicate some time to creating the ideal environment for your guests.
A little forethought before hosting a dinner party can make the evening a rousing success.