Fine food, fab friends and fun finishing touches are the ingredients to a successful dinner party.

Give your social evening its own style by paying attention to the small details. Just as important as ensuring the food is tasty and the bar fully stocked, a fashionably fixed-up home will enable guests to feel welcome and special. Personalize their experience with placeholders; use fruit or flowers for added creativity.

“I use white china and accessorize in flowers and linen,” said Virginie Martocq, interior decorator and home editor at Chatelaine. “Dim lighting for me is key and that is complemented by candlelight. I always choose white candles — never scented as you don’t want the food and the candle to compete.”


Place a candle in a square vase surrounded by stemless flowers. For flowers Martocq suggests hyacinths, wintergreens, big-bloom hydrangeas, or tulips in one color, either cut into little glasses or potted in a wine bucket. Keep centerpieces low so conversation across the table is unimpeded.

“The easiest way to get a good look is to grab a whole bunch of big blooms and put them all over the house in various vases,” Martocq said.

Don’t worry about the house being perfect and orderly, Martocq said.

“I think dimming the lights can hide a lot of sins.”

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