One thing I love about the coming of the cooler months is the opportunity to head indoors and entertain. There is such warmth that fills the home with the darkness of the evenings. Growing up in North Dakota, I can certainly appreciate creating a cozy refuge to escape from the cold weather. I have so many fond memories of friends and family coming in from the cold and gathering around a big table, breaking bread, sharing stories, and lots and lots of laughter. As an adult, I have loved the opportunity to bring people into my own home to continue the tradition. Throwing a dinner party can be intimidating, but there are ways to create a beautiful environment without breaking the bank.
When creating the perfect table scape, the first thing I always like to start with is the tablecloth and/or runner. Mix different fabrics and textures to bring a touch interest and elegance to the room. For this table I mixed lace with burlap, which I felt paired nicely with the stain on my wooden table. Choose lush fabrics to add a sense of warmth despite the cold weather. I chose faux velvet napkins to make my guests feel extra cozy. Don’t be afraid to play around with different options; when making your final choice, choose items that you think will spark a conversation among your guests.
Dinnerware is a great place to add interest to a table. One of my favorite sets to use is from my Grandma; I love the floral design on all the pieces. Every special dinner we had growing up was eaten on this dinnerware. These plates represent years of memories created with selfless love. Using pieces that are meaningful to you adds to the sweet memories you are making. If you don’t have a fun set of plates, you can usually find unique pieces at an antique store or a thrift shop for a good price. Classic white is always a beautiful option and you can easily find some at most department stores. This is the perfect time to create your own collection to pass down to the ones you love.
For placements or chargers you can always repurpose items you have already around the house. Use scrapbooking paper squares or cut up a piece of fabric. The possibilities are really endless!
For the centerpiece, I typically like to use some sort of plant, whether it’s flowers or just greenery. Adding a living piece really brightens up the table. You can find filler greenery at most local flower shops. If you don’t live near a flower shop or you don’t have time to run out and get greenery, you can always check your backyard for options. Don’t be afraid to bring the outside indoors. By picking items from your own yard, you will find the perfect greenery to pull in the feeling of the season.
Try covering your greenery in glitter spray paint; this is fresh take on a classic winter trend.
Candles are a must have to add to any table; they are a great piece to add height and bring warmth to your environment. I love how the atmosphere immediately changes as you step inside and the cool air mingles with the heat of the candles. When shopping for candles for try looking at some type of dollar store. You can usually get quite a few candles for a low price as well as find different heights and styles.
Use the candles by themselves or put them in different candleholders. Get creative by using different jars or glasses you already have to hold your candles. This is another great way to add dimension and color to your table.
When hosting a dinner party drinks are always important. A fun take on that is to have a self-serve hot cocoa bar. For my bar, I used an old telephone cart and placed it near my table. Choose a space in your home that is easy for guest to get to, as I’m sure this will be a hot destination. Choose different containers of all shapes and sizes to add height, diversity, and visual interest. I have collected lots of fun options over the years by shopping at antique shops and flea markets regularly. When picking cocoa toppings think about both flavor and color. Using items with different colors adds a lot to the look of your bar. It’s also important to pull in pieces and colors that you used on your table. I used the gold and pine branches and pinecones to pull the whole look together.
Hosting can be scary, but it’s such a wonderful way to create memories and bring together the people that you love. Don’t be afraid to invite people into your home and share a meal together. It’s never a bad idea to take a chance and do something out of your comfort zone. If you aren’t completely comfortable in the kitchen, you can always supply the main course and ask your guests to bring side dishes. Then everyone can have a part in creating the perfect evening. Now you have all the pieces to create the perfect cozy get away from the cold weather!