Dinner parties are a fun and dinner party decor is a wonderful opportunity to show off one’s style. It’s the attention to detail that we love and a farmhouse is the perfect setting to execute a special evening. Like we said, it’s all in the detail.
Dinner Party Décor in a Farmhouse
When we think of a dinner party at a modern farmhouse, we envision a country summer dinner party. Not sure why…maybe it’s the inspiration of the green grass and the lights strung loosely on the backyard barn like you’d see in a New England vacation brochure. Long farm tables designed with simplicity, yet elegantly dressed-up enough to feel special. An occasion.
We also envision a warm and cozy Holiday set-up in the indoors of a modernized farmhouse strewn with wintery green arrangements and a fireplace warming the cheeks of Holiday-dressed guests spreading cheer. Doesn’t this make you actually want the colder temps? One thing we love about entertaining in a modernized farmhouse is that you can almost feel the ambiance from years past while your party takes shape. This comes from experience in entertaining and now that we have this under our belt, we try to remember these feelings when planning our next shin-dig.
Why not incorporate dinner party vibes from years ago? How fun to walk through so many different time periods while entertaining guests just as the farmhouse itself has done for so many years. This is just a thought. It may not be the vibe goal, but one to keep in the back pocket either way.
Okay, so now on to the dinner party plan. We always start with planning out the menu. (Knock out the grocery list while you’re at it as well.) Planning the menu in enough advance will allow a plan in play for what dishes and utensils will be needed as well as serving platters, bowls and drinking glasses. Once it is determined what needs to be placed on the actual table the rest will start to flow.
The Set Up – Rolling Out A Modern Farmhouse Style for A Dinner Party
It’s the rustic meets contemporary. How does this roll out for a dinner party? Lucky us…this old-meets-new currently seems to be in the forefront of home design. There are loads of places to look for inspiration (eh em, Pinterest) and loads of less-expensive shops to purchase some appropriate dinnerware. Try to purchase items you know you will use again.
Simple elegance. The desire for your guests to feel comfortable, yet special. Remember, to them a night out to enjoy sounds heavenly! It is a lot of work for the host/hostess, but when planned well it can be such an enjoyable experience.
Making It Happen
Have the table set ahead of time. We always like to come up with a theme. For example, we recently had a few couples over in March and chose a “spring has sprung” theme. The main reason we chose this theme is because here in New England we are all ready for any (even if tiny) bit of spring we can find! So, I focused on flowers and colors but didn’t go overboard.
I bought enough fresh cut flowers to “decorate” the space, but not too many that they would get in the way the following week during our everyday lives. After all, not every day is a dinner party! Look at your local grocer for fresh cut flowers or an off-the-beaten path “florist” that may have good pricing on floral arrangements. Trader Joes is our first stop always. If they don’t deliver to our vision, then we move down our “go-to” list.
Our advice is to work on the theme and décor a few weeks ahead of time, then get it ready a couple of days beforehand so there isn’t a struggle to find time to focus on the meal and the more functional set up. When getting everything situated based on the theme, subtlety share your theme so that it is known, but not so much that it needs to be stated out-right.
If cooking is your thing, always plan on making majority of the meal ahead of time. Ina Garten has a wonderful cookbook dedicated solely to “make ahead meals” that has become our bible when hosting a dinner party or holiday. If you plan to cater the dinner, be sure to contact the caterer in enough time to ensure the menu goes along with the theme and the time of year.
We are huge fans of “the more the merrier”. However, in order for the host/hostess to enjoy their own dinner party we have learned it is best to keep the numbers low. Maybe two, three (at the most) couples? Trust us, you will feel less like a butler and more like a host/hostess if you keep your numbers to a realistic total. Play around with the table décor. Just like a farmhouse, put thought into the entirety of the dinner party, not just the dinner party decor. Use family heirloom dishes or Grandma’s sugar spoon. Tell a story with your table to add more to the conversation when you and your guests finally sit down to enjoy each other and all you’ve done to make the night happen. And mostly, make sure dessert is done ahead of time. Because trust us, no one wants to leave the table to prep anything once settled in to the company! Cheers!