I am a habitual reader of high-end design magazines. The photography is gorgeous, ten dollar words abound, and everything is well, expensive. While I still harbor dreams of luxe dinner parties in my future, my current 24-year-old lifestyle and income just don’t make them possible (for the moment). Instead, I decided to lean into the ‘bohemian shabby chic’ vibe and fake a dinner party without all of the fancy glassware and tablescaping. Here’s how I did it:
Thrift Store Finds
To complete my tablescape on the cheap, I visited my local goodwill and shopped the home section. Platters, interesting glassware, and various vases don’t match at all, but somehow create a fun and eclectic look that’s a little shabby chic.
Two Dollar Greenery
My biggest secret to creating a super-classy dinner party on a budget is getting tons of great greenery. Eucalyptus is usually about two dollars a bundle, and a few bundles go a long way. You can arrange artfully on the tabletop, or create a lush look by placing a huge bunch in a ceramic pitcher. I love the luxurious feel of tons of greenery, and it’s just so affordable.
Look, by hosting the party, you’re doing your friends a service. You’re organizing a get together and taking care of the logistics. So, let your friends help you out and make your invite BYOB. This way, you’re sure to have a variety of beverages to try. You can make it even more fun by adding a prompt, like “BYO Beverage that you think Martha Stewart would love.”
Ultimately, throwing a great dinner party is all about ambience. So, lean into the fact that you don’t have the budget of an Architectural Digest spread. Use your coffee table and throw pillows on the floor for seating. Play a drinking game before food is served. Keep the music going throughout the night. Let your guests serve themselves!
In the end, there truly are no rules. Don’t marry yourself to the traditional dinner party experience, and try the cheap and cheerful route instead! It’s sure to be a good time.