How to Throw an Epic Dinner Party in 12 Hours: Making Your Space Party Ready From 8 to 8

You've got this, we promise.

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Hey, you’ve just moved into a new place, congrats! We bet you’re excited to show off your space, and you want to throw a casual, super stylish dinner party and have some friends over. Well, great news, you don’t have to wait forever until your space is perfect, in fact, you can get your space party ready in 12 hours flat. We took over a beautiful apartment at one of Corcoran’s properties Pierhouse with the help of interior designer and party expert Nathan Turner to learn the 6 quick steps to infusing your personality in your space and throwing a dinner party everyone’s going to be talking about for weeks afterwards.  

Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

1. Wallpaper

Wallpaper? The day of the party?! Yep! You can turn your walls from blah to yah! in mere minutes with a chic removable wallpaper, like Turner’s own (really fun and stylish) collection for Wallshoppe. Simply wallpapering one wall gives enough punch to turn around an entire space. (And it peels right off again when you’re ready to remove it, perfect for that chic rental spaces of yours, too.)

Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

2. Lean up a piece of art against the wall

Leave those hammers and nails for another project, because simply leaning a painting or two (especially if they're large scale) against a wall is enough of a showstopper. And it’s our type of displaying tip because it couldn’t be any easier and requires no fuss or commitment.

Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

3. Flowers

Florals are your friend. Not only do they obviously look chic, they can be used strategically to fill in spaces. For example, use large palms, leaves, and other tall foliage and florals to make a still half-empty room look full.

Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

And it’s nice to have smaller flowers, like dahlias and daisies, in shorter vases for the table. Turner used these adorable (and cheap!) copper vases from CB2. Nothing worse than not being able to gossip with your friend across the table due to a tall floral arrangement.

Hot tip: Turner suggests placing your elbow on the table, and if your flowers are taller than the height of your fist, cut them a bit shorter so they aren’t a distraction.

Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

4. Take out!

Throwing a dinner party does not mean you have to cook (phew)—takeout is just as fun and so much easier. But have fun with the food display, like takeout sushi displayed on platters and a poke bar in colorful bowls. But take it to the next level, literally, with elevated platters, bowls, trays, or even a footed cake stand.

Don’t own a pedestal stand? Fret not! Hack it by turning a bowl upside down and place the platter on it. (Feel free to use museum wax to secure the platter and bowl together.)


Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

5. Mix and match

Have some fun with color schemes with different tabletop patterns. Turner took a matte black charger from World Market and paired it with an abstract impressionist-inspired spattered plates by the always incredible Hawkins New York for a really bold look. Gold flatware and brass-rimmed glasses tie it all together. 

Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER
Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

6. Set the Mood

Complete the mood by lighting those candles, turning on lamps, and shutting off all overhead lighting. Fact: Everyone looks good in candlelight.


Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER
Published on September 29, 2017 - 4:38pm EDT

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