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5 Things to Consider When Hosting a Small Dinner Party

By: Janine Sleem

When hosting a small dinner party, the design of your space matters. Set the scene for a successful party with these 5 considerations.

Southampton Estate - Pembrooke & Ives - Architectural detail in Southampton Estate. Interior design...
Southampton Estate, Photography by Read McKendree

1. Make an Inviting entrance

Keep your space looking chic even after guests arrive. Designate a discreet space to store coats and bags, keeping any clutter off the furniture and out of sight.

Ocean-front Compound - Living room with modern art in ocean-front home. Interior design by Pembrooke...
Ocean-front Compound, Photography by Kris Tamburello


Each guest should have a place to sit, and a place to set their glass. For smaller spaces, consider nesting tables as well as ottomans that can be easily stored or brought out depending on the number of guests.

Historic West Palm Beach - Luxury hallway with arched doorways and windows, featuring statement...
Historic West Palm Beach, Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

3. Set the Mood

Layer the lighting by using dimmed sconces and overhead lights, alongside candles and dimmable lamps. Use clear glass hurricanes of varying heights with wax or LED candles as center pieces for the dining table as well as around the perimeter of the room.

P&I-Holiday House 8
Holiday House 2021 Tablescape

4. Make a tablescape

Time to let that creativity shine. Use florals and foliage to bring your personality to your table (and don’t forget the candles for that warm glow). Pair fun place settings and tableware to spark conversation between your guests.

5. Stimulate the Senses

Layer interactive points of interest for the senses such as scented flowers, ambient music, groupings of furniture conducive to conversation, and an inviting station for hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs to feast the eyes and stomach.

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