Tuesday, July 26, 2011

setting the mood: seating

this week i am going to be featuring a series on "setting the mood." aside from major occasions and milestones, a lot of people just don't entertain anymore. maybe they are too busy, or intimidated at the prospect of hosting people in their home.

most of these tips will pertain to the "at home dinner party"--it's accessible, intimate and has SO much potential to become truly special. however, any of these tips can be applied to everything from birthday parties and weddings to home decor.

the first element of setting the mood is SEATING.
often overlooked but, in my mind, pretty obvious. you're having a dinner party, you want people to experience comfort, so for heaven's sake, give them someplace comfortable to sit!

photo courtesy of sarah richardson

first off: sit in your dining chairs. if after five minutes you are uncomfortable, chances are your guest certainly won't want to sit for an hour or so over a long, leisurely dinner.

secondly: pay attention to the height of your chairs. if the chair is too high, they won't be able to cross a leg, or they'll be leaning down over their plate the whole evening. too low and they will feel like a little kid, shoveling food into their mouths the whole evening.

third: if you have arm chairs at your table, make sure there is enough room for someone to scoot in and out. armless chairs, you can really cram in. true, in an ideal world you want to have a comfortable amount of distance between each guest -- but i am of the mindset that it's kind of sexy to have people sitting in close quarters--let them bump elbows a little...it might start something ;)

four: get creative! "that chair belongs in the living room," you say? nonsense. feel free to use living room chairs in the dining room. in my opinion, SO chic. grab that old bench from the backyard and put it at the table too! little unexpected touches make things novel and fun. having a gourmet menu? consider rustic, casual seating to keep things accessible. backyard bbq? drag those chairs from the living room and class it up a bit!

enjoy some of my favorite seats below.
...happy sophisticating...

love the grown up chairs with the relaxed slipcovers. so comfy!
photo via lifeinthefunlane

i can't say enough about this. the color palette, the bench, the wingbacks. it's all fabulous. wouldn't you feel special being invited to this dinner party?
photo via decorpad

love the dining room IN the kitchen. LOVE the seating.
photo via decorpad

you know this dinner party will last for hours and hours.
photo via simplyseleta

love the mix of seating here. you just know your guests will be fighting over who gets to sit on the fun pillows. suddenly a traditional setup become fresh and innovative.
photo via decorpad

wondering who sits next whom? check out this adorable seating strategy guide from real simple!


Room Designer said...

Gives a Royal Feel to the Home, Love the Designs.

England Furniture said...

Thanks for sharing your tips. When looking at furniture, it is important for you to sit on or try out the furniture. If it's not comfortable for more than a few minutes, think of how your guests will feel. Thanks again.