I always dreamed of having my first apartment and getting to host dinner parties for my loved ones. Of course, when I did get my first place, I was in grad school and reality suck in where it became hard to have the kind of time I wanted to to do things like this. However, I still have this dream and when I can, I always try to invite my friends and family over and make them feel very welcome in my space.
One of the other reasons I love thinking about dinner parties is because I get the opportunity to design my space the way I want and make my home not only welcoming but aesthetically reflective of who I am. Of course, what matters is that your home is welcoming to your guests, but it’s easier to do so when you love the space your in. That’s the key — nothing has to be elaborate or expensive, so long as you love it. That will go a long way with your guests.
1. All The Dishware
To host any kind of dinner party you need some kind of cutlery and dishware. I love to have beautiful dishware from Anthropologie adorning my kitchen but the reality is that I’m on a budget and have to be mindful how I spend said budget.
So, my tip is to get a bunch of white IKEA (or comparable) dishes to streamline the space and then get a couple beautiful bowls and plates from your favourite store. For me, it would be a few patterned bowls and plates from Anthropologie, like the lilac plate below, to serve my dishes on so that they can be placed on the table, but then I would use plain white plates for my guests. That said, you could also have entirely mismatched plates and bowls or white dishware. It’s totally up to you to decide — just make sure you have something for people to eat on. 🙂
2. Oven Mitts
If you plan on cooking or baking anything, oven mitts are a must. Especially if you’re making dinner with your guests and/or they’re helping you in the kitchen, you want to make sure you have some oven mitts to keep their hands safe.
There are multiple kinds of oven mitts that you can get — some of which are rubber while others are cloth fabric. KhomoGear makes a good heat resistant oven mitt that would be quite handy (no pun intended!) in the kitchen — it’s made with 100% waterproof, food-grade, FDA-approved silocone so there is no slipping. Gracie Oaks’ Wolsingham Checkered Oven Mitts are also another great option!
3. Cutting Boards
Another really good kitchen essential. I never really thought I needed cutting boards, using the table pretty much as my cutting board, but, boy, are cutting boards kitchen essentials! There are some great wooden cutting boards at places like H&M, West Elm, and Williams Sonoma, but you can also get glass cutting boards, depending on what you are using them for.
While cutting boards can be expensive, they are a kitchen essential because they protect your tables and countertops when you need to seriously chop some veggies. The Williams Sonoma Cutting Board I linked below doubles as a rustic serving place for breads, cheeses, and appetizers. Not only then is it functional but aesthetic to the eye.
4. Wine glasses
There’s no dinner party without some alcohol and, you guessed it, some fancy wine glasses. I couldn’t make a kitchen essentials list without including wine glasses. I’m not much of a drinker but there’s something about having wine glasses that makes me feel like any dinner party could be made classier. You can opt for simple wine glasses from your local kitchen store or IKEA, or, if you’re looking to splurge on your wine glasses, perhaps go for Anthropologie’s set of four Lustered wineglasses, which come both with a stem (pictured below) and stemless.
I put this on the list as one of my kitchen essentials because I think it’s an added touch that takes your dinner party to the next level. Not only will you ensure that you keep your tables clean but you can get creative with your choice of table cloth.
If your dinner party is outside, you can go with a rustic theme and get an off-white linen tablecloth. This Williams Sonoma Citrus tablecloth can be a beautiful addition for your summer dinner party with glasses of lemonade and ice tea set around the table. This Crate & Barrel Floral print tablecloth is very Rifle Paper & Co.-esque with muted warm and cool colours that can pair with any dinner party aesthetic.
Flowers are one of my favourite things to have in my home; they make me happy and I imagine they would set a nice tone for any dinner party. But, of course, you need a vase or two for said flowers.
Wayfair has a beautiful 6-piece set of vases from Bungalow Rose that are pictured below. IKEA also has cylinder vases that come in sets and single, depending on what size you want to get. I typically get cylinder vases because they work with any space and accomodates a full bouquet of flowers.