Dining in is officially in!
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, STYLECASTER may receive an affiliate commission.
You’ve probably dined at the hottest spot in town dozens of times already and you weren’t even aware of it: your own kitchen table. This summer, dinner parties are in and eating out is considered officially overrated. I’ve found myself on the “aspirational dinner party” side of TikTok and I haven’t looked at a candle holder the same way since. My feed has been filled with whimsical summer tablescape inspiration, decadent flower arrangements and delicately garnished cocktails.
Suddenly, all I can think about is transforming my humble kitchen table into an eclectic masterpiece complete with peonies, orange wine and homemade pasta sauce—you see, I’m already getting ahead of myself. As someone who has bounced between small New York City apartments, I don’t have much experience hosting dinner parties (I finally just moved into a place that fits a four-person table). However, my goal is to host three lucky guests for the dinner party of their dreams—it’s time to get serious about designing the evening.
Besides ensuring that your guests are well-fed, creating a mood with your tablescape is one of the most important elements of hosting a party. If you’re hesitant to host or don’t know where to start the process of transforming your space, walking through some tablescape ground rules will help you feel prepared when the RSVPs start coming in.
You don’t have to take my inexperienced word for it because I’ve enlisted the multi-talented dinner party extraordinaire, Talia Hubble, to walk us through her process of designing and executing Pinterest board-worthy parties (while still getting to enjoy them).
Talia Hubble is a pro at transforming her Los Angeles backyard into themed evenings for her friends. Under the glow of string lights, she’s hosted a kitschy French-inspired sleepover party, a floral spring-fling and a fall festival dinner that would make even the residents of Halloweentown jealous. These are just a few of the many magical evenings Hubble has created and she’s convinced that you can do it too.
Keep It Simple
“If you’ve never hosted a dinner party before, I’d recommend keeping it simple,” Hubble says. “Stick to the basics, a nice tablecloth, some taper candles and some greenery or flowers to bring life to the table.”
This may seem counterintuitive when you’re going for an extravagant end result but by focusing on the quality of statement pieces (like a tablecloth or floral arrangement), you’ll be able to create a cohesive theme. As you get more comfortable building a tablescape, you’ll be able to add to your setup and impress recurring guests with your progress.
Cotton Buffalo Check Kitchen Tablecloth
A checkered tablecloth is a great base because the pattern goes with everything, especially fresh wildflower arrangements (or whatever flowers Trader Joe’s has in stock). This one comes in five colors.
Take Something Off Your Plate
The main goal of a dinner party is to bring people together—sometimes that means the evening is more about the vibe and less about whether or not you actually made the food. “If the thought of cooking is overwhelming, have everyone bring a dish or get kitschy takeout,” Hubble recommends. There’s no shame in ordering from the local pizza place as long as you’re serving it on cute plates.
August Wren Dinner Plate
Lean into the summer theme and serve up dinner on these seaside plates from Anthropologie.
Pick A Palette
“I usually design a table based on colors and typically the color palette is seasonal. For an autumnal dinner I hosted last fall, I wanted oranges and browns with some touches of green,” Hubble says. She recommends starting your decor process by choosing linens that fit your desired color palette because they take up the most space visually.
After you’ve found linens, you can focus on smaller details. Start with dishware like plates and glasses and work your way down to candlestick colors, flower arrangements and on-theme decor pieces (like pumpkins for a fall party).
Rilah Taper Candle Holder
This candle holder comes in shades of blue and green which are both great colors to incorporate into a breezy summer color palette.
Inconsistency Is Key
You may be surprised to hear that Hubble doesn’t follow any specific formula for determining which tablescape elements go together—the one rule she sticks to is finding consistency in the inconsistent. “Not everything has to have a purpose, it can just be there to be pretty. And bring joy,” Hubble says.
Patterned Glass Vase
Playing up table accessories is a great way to embrace a “more is more” attitude. Each vase can create an eclectically curated scene. Vases are easy to source from thrift stores or you can find modern options from stores like H&M home.
Bougie On A Budget
Throwing a party or creating a tablescape doesn’t need to be a huge financial undertaking as long as you’re willing to be a little resourceful. Thrift stores are filled with beautiful antique glassware, ornate cake stands and unique vases. Hubble buys most of her party supplies from local LA thrift stores with the intention of reusing them for multiple events. “I’d definitely recommend having a “vision” or outline of what you’re looking for before you go. It can help you navigate the shelves with intention so you don’t buy things you don’t need,” Hubble advises.
If going to a thrift store feels overwhelming, Etsy is also a great place to source vintage glassware and treasures! There’s an entire treasure trove of options on the site but I’m partial to this set of green tumblers.
Make A Memory
If you’re putting all the work into creating a tablescape and hosting a party, you’ll want your guests to remember it! Adding interactive elements like take-home polaroid pictures or a make-your-own signature cocktail bar will help guests feel more connected to the evening.
Hubble is already thinking of ways to make her next party more memorable. Hubble says, “I’d love to start incorporating scents into the parties in some way. Like a certain candle or smell that anchors people to that night or feeling and can bring them back.”
I officially give you permission to beat Hubble to her own idea at your next dinner party.
Polaroid Grand Canyon Centennial 600 Instant Film Camera
Not only does this refurbished Polaroid camera look cool, it will take great pictures for your friends to take home.
Source: StyleCaster https://stylecaster.com/summer-tablescape/