Want to style a stunning dinner party, but feel like a designer-level aesthetic is outside of your talents? One thing we’ve realized after years as tablescape design experts is that an elevated look for a dinner party is within everyone’s reach, even if you have absolutely no design experience! Just like with our Centerpiece and Place Setting Tablescape Recipe, having a step-by-step guide is our go-to way to achieve any desired look. The best part is that these designer styling tips don’t require a design degree, yet the results might make you feel like you have one!
Let go of those narratives that you aren’t creative or don’t have a “designer’s eye.” Giving your dinner party a professionally-styled feel is completely possible even when you aren’t a designer. That’s why we’re sharing 5 Designer-Level Dinner Party Styling Tips that you can use any time you’re hosting a dinner party. You’ll be amazed at your true capabilities of styling like a pro.
5 Dinner Party Styling Tips When You Aren’t a Designer
#1: Use Place Card Holders
Place card holders mark each guest’s spot at your dinner table. Not only does this simple addition have a functional purpose, it also adds visual interest and a level of sophistication to your tablescape. We love using good quality cream-colored card stock for the name card itself, and then using a paper trimmer to achieve a straight and even cut. Simply place the name cards into the card holders, and you’re on your way styling like a designer.
Featured Item: Chiseled Brass Place Card Holder
#2: Add Edible Flowers or Fruit in Beverages
Designing stunning dinner parties is all in the unexpected details, such as adding edible flowers or fresh fruit to beverages. We love how this Blood Orange Moscow Mule came together, and to complete the look we added a slice of orange and a sprig of fresh mint!
#HostfulHack: Fancify the ice. Add edible flower petals or fresh fruit to ice cube trays (we like flexible, silicone trays so the ice is less likely to crack) for some added interest and flavor to your ice cubes.
#3: Use Cloth Dinner Napkins
Choosing cloth dinner napkins not only creates an added level of luxury to your dinner party, it’s also an opportunity to create more visual interest. We love going with a simple knot tie or a clean, rectangular fold. Then, you can get creative on the napkin placement – think traditional, asymmetrical, or centered!
Featured Item: Cream Fringe Dinner Napkins
#4: Add Natural Elements
Professional designers almost always add a natural element to add life to their creation. Bringing in fresh florals and greenery that bring in the hues of the season is always a great choice. However, it doesn’t always have to be fresh. Having quality dried or faux greenery on hand means that you’ll always have this designer element ready to go!
#5: Incorporate Taper Candles
Candles of any kind are welcome on your tablescape, but taper candles instantly add an unexpected elegance and a designer-level aesthetic. We love incorporating seasonal or festive hues into our designs, from honey, to French rose and ocean. Mix and match colors to create a one-of-a-kind design that’ll surely impress your guests.
Develop a Designer Styling Mindset
Achieving your goals is often about mindset, and less about the goal being unattainable. Having a positive, motivating way of thinking about whatever you’re wanting to achieve is the first step in your journey. And, while it’s often easier said than done, if you find yourself overthinking a decision, such as colors or materials to use, it’s often better to take a step back and return when your mind is calmer. Our favorite mindset shift is also remembering the why behind inviting people into your home. Why are you designing this tablescape? Why are you wanting to create ambiance and a certain atmosphere?
Connection. It always comes back to our innate desire to connect with others, and do life together.
So, while choosing colors and styling to create a desired aesthetic adds to the experience, remembering that we’re doing this to build relationships that last a lifetime will keep you aligned with your deeper purpose as a home hostess.