Your transition into adulthood will be marked by several defining moments: moving out of your parents’ home, accepting your first job, getting your own phone plan … and even hosting your first dinner.
At some point during your 20s, you’ll most likely feel the need to move up from chips to appetizers and from red plastic cups to wine glasses. And, if you want to host like an adult and make a great impression, you’re going to need a few things in your dining area:
A dining set
Eating food off of your coffee table is fine when it’s just you and your best friends or significant other. But, once you start entertaining new people, you’ll need a dining table and chairs that match. While your dining set doesn’t need to be made of mahogany and seat 20, you should have a stylish table and at least four chairs ready to go.
Tablecloths for multiple occasions
Whether you want to host an elegant holiday meal or a fun dinner party with friends, getting the right tablecloth for the event will set the mood and elevate the experience. Have at least one white tablecloth made from quality linen. For less formal occasions, play around with colors and patterns and find out what fits you best.
You can spend hours working on a meal and making sure everything tastes just right. But, if you’re going to plate your masterpiece on mismatched china of different sizes and serve espresso in novelty mugs, all your hard work might fall flat. Do yourself and your meals a favor by getting a matching dinnerware set that will also show off your personality.
We mentioned red cups earlier for a reason: as an adult, you need to own at least one set of regular drink glasses and a set of wine glasses. If you want to serve other drink types, as well (and you will), consider investing in whiskey and cocktail glasses. And, when you’re ready, move on to flutes and coupes.
Speaking of serving, any great meal will make a bigger splash if you serve it in a beautiful dish. Start simple with a salad bowl and a few porcelain pieces to hold your sides. If you want to go all out, get a multi-tiered serving stand for desserts, a gravy boat, or even a lazy Susan to make serving a breeze.
Basic paper napkins aren’t bad. However, if you picture a fancy dinner, you’re probably already seeing a beautiful, ring-tied cloth napkin arranged on your plate, waiting for you to place it on your lap before digging into a juicy steak or a rich risotto. Cloth napkins add style to your meals and prove you’re capable of cleaning up like an adult.
This is where setting up your dinner table turns into art. A beautiful centerpiece, a few well-placed candles, and a couple of table décor items will go a long way in making your dinner feel as festive as it should. Start by getting a few things that fit any season or occasion—like some simple, yet stylish, candlesticks; a charming vase; or a centerpiece bowl.
A framed picture
Bare walls can have their charm, but unless you’re working with something special—like exposed brick or a creative wallpaper—add a little flair to your dining area. If you want to keep it simple, go for a framed black-and-white photograph or a simple abstract piece. Or, if you’re going for a quaint feel, frame some dried flowers or hang a watercolor painting. The sky’s the limit when it comes to art.
It’s not a dinner party unless you can serve a couple of drinks, and few things are more annoying than trying to improvise a cocktail when all you’re working with are teaspoons and glasses. A shaker is a must in any adult household that consumes alcohol. Similarly, an aerator is also a requirement to taste a high tannic or an aged wine at its best.
A serving cart
Finally, if you have the space, a surefire way to serve with flair and wow guests is by rolling in the drinks and food on a serving cart. Besides being practical when you’re hosting, you can also use it as storage at any time.
If you’re looking for a new rental with the perfect dining area for entertaining guests, check out thousands of verified listings for apartments near you.