Home Entertaining

Thanks to the rise of the celebrity chef and shows like MasterChef, ‘staying in’ is the new ‘going out’.

Showing your flair in the kitchen via dinner parties has never been so much fun. And homes can reflect this new entertaining aspect, according to Susan Hasler of Freedom Kitchens. “The kitchen is being reinvented as the second living room,” she says, “and creating a seamless flow between the two areas is more important than ever.” This includes having handle-free units and high-gloss cabinetry in open-plan kitchens, which integrate well with adjacent rooms. Devices for hiding appliances, such as roller shutters and deep drawers, are also important to take away from the busy kitchen feel and keep the space uncluttered.

Sydney design house Dandi, which specialises in fabric and tableware, has a few tips to help turn you into a ‘host with the most’ when entertaining at home. Plastic placemats and paper serviettes won’t do your masterpiece justice. A beautiful tablecloth, set with colourful, fabric napkins, can work wonders when entertaining as it helps add warmth and a sense of occasion to the table. It’s important to adapt the setting to the time of day, as a lunch, afternoon tea and dinner party will each have different requirements. Creative centrepieces look fantastic, but make sure they’re no higher than eye level or your guests won’t be able to see each other. For an Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea party, feature a tablecloth, with a contrasting table runner down the centre, and dress it with cupcakes and fine china. Lunch is often more of a casual occasion than dinner. To make your setting less formal, while keeping it stylish and attractive, use a lighter colour theme when choosing tablecloths and napkins, and arrange beautiful vases on the table with freshly cut flowers from the garden – the more colourful, the better! For the extra enthusiastic, follow the lead of Seven’s My Kitchen Rules and give each guest a menu outlining what you’ll be serving. Fold the napkins using the menu tuck pattern at www.dandi.com.au and place one at each setting. This works well for both lunch and dinner parties.

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