For the past 6 years, I’ve lived in smallish rental flats or house shares – which can make entertaining guests pretty difficult. This has been a bit rubbish, because I absolutely love hosting parties and get-togethers. However… as regular readers will know, I recently bought my first house (!!). FINALLY I have a good space for dinner parties, games nights, the odd bit of drunken dancing… okay, regular drunken dancing…
Today, I’m teaming up with Barker and Stonehouse to share with you 4 ways that I’ve maximised my new dining area to host a whole manner of get-togethers. Hopefully, these top tips will help you to make your space as versatile as possible, too.
Tips for creating a versatile entertaining space at home
Keep it simple
The key to versatility is to keep a space simple. If you add too much, then you risk starting to shoehorn what it can be used for. To show you what I mean, let’s consider the past 7 days… my dining space has been used for eating breakfast, sharing a romantic meal, casually flicking through a magazine, having friends round for a board game night and even as an overflow craft studio space! With such varied uses, it’s important to keep the décor fairly simple. That way, you can dress it up appropriately for whatever occasion it needs to serve at that time. It’s MUCH harder to do so when you’ve painted the walls a bold colour, or covered the area in artwork. (Don’t get me wrong: I’m a massive supporter of adding character to other rooms, such as living rooms or bedrooms – after all, these spaces generally have much fewer uses than an entertaining/dining area).
Include a statement piece
Whilst you should aim to keep things simple (see the previous point), a good trick for an entertaining space is to have a singular focus point to draw the eye. If done correctly, this can be an easy way to make a space feel roomier, by bringing your attention to the furthermost points of the room. Take my dining area: I’ve mounted an oversized clock on the back wall. I was genuinely amazed at how much depth it adds! The clock is from Barker and Stonehouse (see it here) – I LOVE it; it’s spot on for this entertaining space.
Lighting is crazy important
Jeez, I can’t stress this enough: LIGHTING IS SO IMPORTANT. This is true for any room, but especially one that serves multiple purposes such as an entertaining or dining space. Personally, I think natural light is the most important. It makes a space feel fresh, airy and more relaxing to be in. Luckily, I’ve got nice big patio doors that let light through like an absolute dream. (Insert heart eyes emoji!). I’ve also tried to emphasise this further, with fresh white walls and a glossy white table – it’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works.
Of course, all the windows in the world aren’t gonna be helpful when the sun sets. So it’s important to have some decent light fixtures too. I’ve gone for a simple metal shade, to tie in with the clock, fitted with an LED bulb. The bulb has a slight yellow tint, to add a soft vibe when the evening rolls in – this is great for both daily life and for hosting guests. In time, I’m planning on extending the cable so the light fixture hangs a little lower, to add a bit more intimacy to the space.
Make it somewhere that YOU like to be
This one’s a biggie: your entertaining space needs to be somewhere that YOU enjoy to be. It needs to be somewhere you can relax in, somewhere that inspires you or makes you feel good. After all, if you don’t like it – how do you expect your guests to like it? Some good ways to make a space feel more personal to your tastes are by adding a few finishing touches: chuck some cushions on the chairs, add a few ornaments or decorations. I’ve made my entertaining area a bit more personal by adding some handmade coasters and some large place mats, which really reflect my style.
If you’re looking to create a more versatile entertaining space in your home, I hope these tips are helpful! If you have any other tips or tricks, I’d love to hear them. Just drop me a message in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to reply. :) – Mike.