Impress Your In-Laws: Prep Your Dining Room for Entertaining

With fall in full swing and the holidays just around the corner, peak entertaining season is nearly upon us. Friends will likely start stopping in and you’ll be hosting at least a meal or two for family, relatives, and in-laws.

In short, it’s your time to shine as the hostess with the mostest with a dining space prepped for a revolving door of dinner parties.

Read on for a few ideas that will help ensure your dining room is well-dressed to impress this coming season.

Always Have Extra (and Comfy) Seating

Comfortable chairs are essential for long dinners, so consider matching sets that are fully upholstered or have nicely cushioned seats. More important, it’s always good to have extra chairs at the ready in case of unexpected last-minute guests.

Dining chairs are especially versatile and easy-to-carry, and they go in any space in the home. Place a few chairs that match your dining set in your entry or around the living room; they can be pulled in for use in a pinch.


Be Realistic About Headcount

Big family dinners are a holiday given, but be cognizant of how many people your dining room can actually accommodate comfortably.

If you have the space to entertain a big crowd, make sure everyone has a spacious spot at the table. A table with extendable leaves is a great solve for hosting large groups in smaller spaces.



Take Time to Outfit Your Table

Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving feast for 12 or an intimate dinner for four, a thoughtfully set table is always memorable.

Channel the colors of the season (orange, green, gold and beyond) and pick a combination of your favorite three to guide the palette for your tablescape, from the flowers for a centerpiece to your napkins and dishware.

If you’ve been thinking about new dishes, silverware or glassware, now is the time to go for it as you gear up to entertain.


Prepare a Serving Station

Half the challenge of entertaining is being present with your guests.

Setting up a sideboard or a buffet where you can create a bar and a serving station for food, appetizers and dessert means you won’t have to dash back and forth from the kitchen.

In a smaller dining room, try a simple bar cart topped with drinks and light nibbles.


Spread Some Sparkle

A little glimmer and shine can go a long way in a dining room when you’re entertaining.

Candlelight in silver hurricanes running down the table will cast a magical glow and a large mirror will help reflect light and conjure up a warm, welcoming atmosphere.


Add Good Mood Lighting

Beyond candlelight, make sure your dining room is well-lit all around – overhead, along the walls, or a table lamp or two placed strategically on a buffet or a small table.

The idea is to have enough lighting around your dining room so that you can easily switch off a few to create a moody ambience.

If you have a single pendant above the dining table, consider hanging a chandelier for a showstopping light source that adds more sparkle.



Warm Up Your Floors

A captivating rug is sure to set a cozy, festive note. Choose a low-pile option (one that’s not shaggy) in a color or pattern that draws focus to your dining table. Or opt for a natural-fiber rug with a large-scale design that’s easy on the eyes and stands up to foot traffic (and the occasional spill).


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