How to Prep You Dining Room for a Dinner Party - Home & Texture
House Tours Dinner Party Prep

Tamara McLaughlin's Guide to Making Your Dining Room a Magical Destination

September 12, 2023 at 6:00 PM PST

The dining room, for many, serves as the heart of the home. It’s a gathering place where families come together to share meals, celebrate milestones, and craft memories. For designer Tamara McLaughlin, her dining room is designed to transport guests to a magical place.

“I wanted it to feel like you were having an experience,” she shares in the latest episode of Home & Texture’s House Tours season two. The designer loves hosting dinner parties and uses her dining room to guide guests through different moods and vibes to suit the evening. A well-curated dining room has the power to turn a casual get-together into an unforgettable experience.

Here’s how you can curate a dining room to transport guests when hosting, like Tamara McLaughlin.

dining room, Tamara McLaughlin
Photo Credit: Nina Menconi

Focus on the Centerpiece

The centerpiece is the heart of your dining table. McLaughlin elegantly placed a bouquet of pink flowers on her French table that was built in the 1930s. When choosing a centerpiece for your dining table, opt for an arrangement that feels true to you and incorporates elements of nature. You could combine fresh flowers with rustic branches or display candles with varying heights and sizes. Choose a color scheme that is inviting yet sparks interest and conversation. Think deep purples, pinks, shimmering golds, and calming blues.

Lighting is Everything

With the right lighting, you can truly set the vibe that you desire. McLaughlin loves chandeliers, so it was no surprise that her dining room features a stunning chandelier. “Every room that I have has a chandelier. This one [dining room] is a little bit more traditional, but I love how it’s reflective,” says McLaughlin in her House Tours episode. One thing she always makes sure her chandeliers have is a dimmer. Dimmers allow you to determine the ambiance. If you have bright overhead lights in your dining room, replace them with soft, ambient lighting. Candles are also a great addition to providing a warm glow and luxury scent experience.

dining room, Tamara McLaughlin
Photo Credit: Nina Menconi

Textured Touch

Fabric choices are important when curating a dining room that transports guests. Luxurious tablecloths, cushioned chairs, or plush seat covers can make your guests feel like royalty. Match your silverware and utensils with the theme you’re going for—whether it’s a vintage charm or a contemporary feel. Unique glassware or statement dishes are great conversation starters.

Surprise and Delight

Attention to detail is everything when curating a dining room where your guests feel truly transported. Incorporate small surprise and delight moments, whether a handwritten note under each place, a signature cocktail, or a small gift tied with a ribbon.

Journey through Tamara McLaughlin’s Los Angeles abode in the latest episode of Home & Texture’s House Tours season two.



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