Oh, the big New Year’s decision: go out and party like a rockstar, or stay in and throw a fabulous dinner party? Depending on your situation, a dinner party is always a good idea- not being out amongst drunk drivers, not eating from an overpriced preset menu you cannot change, not dealing with belligerent party goers- I’d say a dinner party sounds great!
You know everyone wants to drink champagne, dance, and enjoy good food; so creating an equally exciting ambience for your guests is the fun part of getting your home ready. Setting the perfect table will bring that “going out” experience to the home!
Start with an empty table, pulling away any extra chairs, and giving you a clear way to view the overall layout, deciding how your guests will be situated, and making sure everyone has enough room (no one wants to be elbowing each other!)
Start the layering process. Adding textured metallic, and mix matching metals will really bring out the traditional colors of New Year’s: black, silver, white, and gold. Here I have silver and black woven placemats with silver chargers, and then gold-rimmed white dinner and salad plates.
Add stemware and silverware. Depending on what you’re serving, (and what your courses are), make sure you have enough. Here I’m mixing a clear water glass with black wine goblets, and gold trimmed champagne glasses. Your guests will definitely not be confused as to which glass contains what, and the color scheme is continuing.
This is also the time to break out the fancy silverware you’ve been holding on to. If you have wedding china, grandparents heirlooms, or anything else decorative- this is the reason to use it! After all, you’re setting a table for the last night of the year, and the start of a new one- make it special!
Add flowers and candles. This is where the first step (clearing the table completely) really helps. You can get an overview of exactly how the finishing touches are going to be, and make sure they don’t interfere with the guest’s eye-line and conversation. There is nothing more difficult than trying to hold a conversation over a too-tall floral arrangement, or dodging candles in the way of a face. Low flowers (white fluffy hydrangeas) spread down the table give fullness and bring softness, while mixed metal candles and tapers (again, white, silver, black and gold) complete the continuity. Adding place cards finishes the layout and clears confusion for guests.
For the after-dinner festivities, have a table ready with party favors. Guest can have fun and dress up in spirit, and ring in the New Year with props to make all the photos you’re going to take- New Year’s Eve festively perfect!
Cheers, and Happy New Year!