The weather has turned, and we couldn't be more excited by all that entails. For us, that fall feeling means making ourselves and our guests feel completely at home in our space. It also means transitioning from light drinks and weekend brunches outside in the garden or terrace to sit-down dinners inside at our table. With Thanksgiving, Friendsgivings, the high holidays, and Sunday family dinners on the horizon, we know you're already thinking of the best ways to welcome and host loved ones over the next couple of months. That is why we are here, to help you be the host with the most this season.
Wine and dine your guests this season by sticking to five key hosting principles. The first is that no matter the size of your dinner party, look for ways to make it feel as intimate and communal. The second principle is to find a balance when curating your table—you want an elevated and cohesive look without feeling too formal. For the meal itself, you can opt for big, dedicated portions, but we love the idea of cooking a meal full of large, shareable plates. Lighting is important in creating this more laid-back, intimate feel, so we suggest dimming the lights and using candlelight to create an ambiance. Last but certainly not least, keep the bar stocked with your favorite bottles and best barware. Read on for our complete guide, and watch our reels and TikTok videos to see more of our fall entertaining ideas.
Creating an intimate and communal look and feel for your guests is central to your sit-down dinner party. You do that by curating your dining room with styles that allow for more conversation, more movement, and overall more comfort. Start by anchoring your space with a low-pile, high-traffic rug that allows your guests to take off their shoes. Then, look to a round or oval-shaped table; their rounded corners bring a touch of softness to the space and let you move around seats more easily. The dining chairs you select also play an important role, so pick seats that feature rounded backs and plush seats, so you can sit comfortably for hours. Get inspired with additional styles that fit this look now.
Set the Table
We have previously spoken about setting your table for fall, and those same lessons still apply when hosting guests. You want to bring balance to your table with styles that lend a collected feel without being too stuffy. With your plates, we think the key is to stick with one dinnerware collection and then mix and match different sizes and tones. These Pacifica pieces feature clean, tailored lines, and in various finishes, you can pair white dinner plates with sage green bread plates, which are perfect for shared dishes. Layer on minimalist flatware to add a hint of polished yet traditional style. Regarding table linens, we love bringing in napkins in saturated colors or with unique details to offer a striking contrast to your more neutral palette.
A Shareable Feast
It is important to always keep in mind—yes, people are gathering for the food, but no one wants a stressed-out host when it comes to these gatherings. "Prep, prep, prep!! You should do as much work as possible before your guests arrive," notes Carissa Stanton, the Brocc Your Body founder and food blogger we featured recently. That is why we love the idea of creating a menu of large, shareable plates that cater to this sense of a communal table. Start with charcuterie and cheese boards and pair them with freshly baked bread, premium olive oil, and tasty dips. For the meal itself, choose simple recipes which use and highlight the freshest of ingredients. After dinner, have coffee and tea mugs at the ready while you serve up dessert.
Set the Mood
We've previously discussed how crucial lighting is to your dining room, most recently in our lighting guide. Overhead lighting, in the form of a large chandelier or two pendants, is your primary light source and creates an ambiance based on how you utilize it. For the intimate, laid-back feel you're looking to cultivate, we recommend you dim the lights and complement them with candlelight. Our selection of taper candleholders works as a great substitute for elaborate centerpieces. They take up less tabletop space, don't interfere with cross-table chatting, and if you mix and match styles, you can play with staggering heights.
Keep It Flowing
This season, no hosting and entertaining guide is complete without mentioning the importance of keeping spirits bright and your bar stocked. You would ideally have your bar close at hand during your dinner, whether moving your bar cart next to your table or styling out your sideboard as a libation station. What we love most about using a storage cabinet as a bar is that you can stash extra linens, drinking glasses, and stemware in the cupboard. Atop the bar and on any open shelving, look to separate and cluster groups of your favorite bottles, glassware, and cocktail accessories. It'll streamline the process for guests when they go up for a second, third, or fourth round. Finally, add a hint of life to your bar with botanicals or a fruit-filled bowl.