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dinner party ideas

HWTM reader Linda Roos sent over a nice message recently that said, “I was inspired by your post the other day with the 5 tips for hosting. I made a post on my blog about my own biggest tip for any host/hostess… I just wanted to share with you.” Well, both Linda’s tips – and the table she designed for this intimate dinner party – are fantastic… and definitely worth passing along! (Wouldn’t this look be great for an elegant bridal shower or rehearsal dinner?!) Here are all the details, in Linda’s own words:


“My #1 tip for any host or hostess is to “hoard”… and to stock up on decorative and functional party items when they are on sale. So to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to make a beautiful set up with inexpensive items I decided to go with a bargain style theme.

dinner party ideas

The base is a white linen table cloth, which I bought on sale a year ago. The napkins are from IKEA. (Not on sale but still inexpensive.) Black and silver runners were purchased on sale just after Christmas. The crystals hanging from the chandelier are from this past year’s Christmas collection at IKEA and were also bought on sale in January.

Our china is from the 365+ series at IKEA. We use it for every day and special occasions. It’s simple and let’s the food speak. I like that. I also like the price tag. The red wine goblets are also from IKEA. I love how huge they are…

dinner party ideas

I used white translucent ribbon with silver print to wrap the bigger plates. I’ve had the ribbon for ages so I can’t say whether or not it was cheap or not but since I’ve had it for so long I think it can be defined as free, LOL!

I wrapped velum around a square vase from IKEA and put two tea lights inside to create a lantern. The light from the lantern was really soft and created a great atmosphere.

DIY lantern

I had my eye on the diamond shaped glass ornaments for several months last year. The place where we go grocery shopping had them in their candles/napkins section and I would pick them up every time I passed by them, but I never bought them. Not until I discovered that they were on sale for about a dollar each after Christmas – and then I picked up the whole stock!

dinner party ideas

The round glass beads and silver twine was part of plant/candle combo gift I got a few years ago. After the candle was burned and the plant said it’s goodbyes, I picked the thing apart and kept what I thought would come in handy. Another great way to keep the costs down.

(Tip: You can find similar diamond decor at websites like shopwildthings.com, weddingfavorites.com, and jamaligarden.com)

I put floating white candles (again, from IKEA) in vintage champagne glasses that I inherited from my grandmother. I thought the champagne touch would go well with the diamonds.

dinner party ideas

And there you have it! I didn’t purchase anything specifically for this dinner. Everything was in my house already and most of it was inexpensive.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Linda!