Expecting Guests? How to Make Sure Your Dining Room is Ready

Author: Stephanie Fehrmann | Updated: November 23, 2016

Expecting Guests? How to Make Sure Your Dining Room is Ready

Inviting friends and family over for a casual meal or potluck can be an effective way to unwind. The prep, on the other hand, is often the complete opposite. All of the cleaning, planning, and arranging can be exhausting. Just figuring out where to start sends many a homeowner into fits of panic.

 

If you’re not a party planner extraordinaire, there’s still hope. There are steps you can take to get your dining room guest-ready while still maintaining your sanity. So, if you need to get your dining room in order and don’t know where to begin, don’t panic. Read on to learn some handy tips for prepping your dining room for guests.  

 

Map Out Your Space

 

It’s a good idea to think ahead of time about the amount of space you’ll need for your guests. If you’re expecting a large group, but have a small dining room, you’ll have to re-think configuration. For instance, if your dining room opens up to the living room or another room, repositioning some furniture so that you can extend your table into that area may be in order. If your table doesn’t extend you’ll have to think about other options, such as bringing in additional tables.  

 

Of course, more guests mean more chairs, too. You may opt to pick up (or borrow) an extra set of chairs for just such occasions. If you do decide to purchase extra chairs, bring in slim, armless chairs so that more guests can be seated per side. Expand your dining set with a set of slender chairs in a style that complements the table while still being able to be used as extra seating in other rooms.

 

Stash the Stuff

 

In many homes, dining rooms are an occasional use area of the home. As such, they often become catch-all spots for many items that don’t have an official spot in the home. If your dining room is typically used as a storage area of sorts, your first step should be to clear it out. You don’t want your guests dining amongst the clutter.

 

If chaos in the dining room is a regular issue, you may want to invest in some attractive storage pieces.

Benches that open and charming cabinets are great for quickly tucking away random items when you need to spruce the place up. In fact, you can use them to store dining room items (such as plates, table cloths, and centerpieces) and then swap them with the clutter when you’re setting up the dining room.

 

Wipe it Down

 

Whether your dining room is used regularly or sits empty for lengths of time, it probably needs a quick refresh before guests arrive. Sweep or vacuum the floor and give the table and other surfaces a wipe with a clean cloth. For vintage or antique dining room tables, research the best ways to keep your table in tip-top shape. In most cases, it involves a mix of regular dusting and occasional deep cleans with furniture polish.

 

Set the Scene

 

Once you have things tidied up, you can set the table. Start with a design theme, then follow through with all the elements- napkins, centerpieces, and tablecloths. Tablecloths are one of those items that set dining room tables apart from kitchen tables. If you don’t have a table cloth, they can be picked up for very a low cost (try browsing the clearance section of your local home decor store) and they make a big impact. Next, set out your nicest plates, cutlery, glasses, and napkins.

 

Centerpieces don’t have to cost a thing. You can create them from objects you already have at home. In the spring and summer, flowers from the garden make a wonderful table feature. A row of pillar candles or some floating candles in a pretty bowl are another lovely choice. During the holidays, whimsical ornaments can be scattered across the center of the table to create festive dining decor.

 

Impressing your dinner guests is always the goal, but don’t get so carried away that you don’t have any fun. Always remember that the main reason people are coming over is to spend time with you. Do your best to prep your space and then sit back and enjoy the company.