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The Secret to a Perfect Dinner Party: Set the Mood with Lighting

There are lots of decisions to be made to host the perfect dinner party, starting with the menu and the setting. Whether the event will be grand and festive or an intimate gathering of close friends, every detail needs to be just right. When you are making the plans, don’t forget to include the lighting. Without the right amount and type of light, it is nearly impossible to create the right ambiance for the occasion.

Outdoor Dinner Party

Keeping It Casual

If you are having a casual dinner with friends, lighting should be minimal. You will also have to consider the types of lighting you have in your dining room. Many modern homes lack ceiling lights, allowing the homeowner to install lamps or wall lights according to their own taste.

Multiple wall sconces are a good choice since they give you the option to use as many or as few as needed for appropriate lighting while also dispersing the light across the room and the dinner table more evenly than a single large ceiling light.

Adding candlelight is a versatile option that can increase comfort without making it too bright. For a casual dinner party, a few simple candle holders spread down the center of the dinner table will add just the right amount of coziness. Avoid using fragranced candles that some guests might be sensitive to or simply not like.


Once warm weather rolls back around, there are going to be plenty of occasions to bring the party outdoors. When you do, lighting is even more important, especially since the amount of natural light can vary. A good place to start is with permanently installed outdoor lighting that will focus on the dining area, most often a patio.

If the party will extend into the evening, hanging lights are a good option for adding light to a larger area. Lanterns or hurricane lamps placed on the tables will help to add to the feeling of festivities while also making it easier for guests to see what they are eating.

Go for Fancy

There’s nothing wrong with modeling your ideal bathroom design after the palace at Versailles. Bring a little luxury into your bathroom’s new look with rich colors and opulent accents. Touches of gold color in accessories, picture frames, switch plates and more can make even the smallest bathroom feel like part of a vast estate. If your bathroom has the space (particularly if it’s your home’s master bath), consider adding a small vanity table to amplify the lavish, graceful feel of the room.

Dining Ware


Special occasions and events that call for a more formal setting can also be outside or inside. Using the right amount of silver and gold, crystal, and even mirrored surfaces can increase sparkle to the setting and bring a feeling of magic to the table.

An outdoor wedding may continue with the outdoor theme for the wedding reception. Although there may not be the need for additional light outdoors, candles can still add to the elegance of the setting. Consider a centerpiece made of flowers and candles for each table to carry the theme throughout.

Elegant Candles and Flowers

One of the last things guests want to do when they come to your home for any event is to ask for directions to the restroom. Make it as convenient as possible by lighting the entryway and the pathway to the bathroom.

While you’re at it, add some bathroom accessories to match the theme of the event. For example, if you are using crystal candlestick holders for the dining table, add a few crystal bathroom accent pieces that match to make the necessary room a welcoming part of your home.

For the elegant dinner party that takes place indoors, nothing fits the part more than a beautiful chandelier hanging overhead. While lights should be kept low during the dinner, leave them brighter until all the guests have arrived and enjoyed a drink or two. Think bright and friendly initially, and intimate and formal during the dinner.

The key to having the right lighting for the mood of any dinner party is to have the right basic lighting installed both indoors and outdoors. From there, you can always add additional light sources, change to colored lighting, or cover lights with fabric to subdue or brighten the room for a more energetic, festive setting.