Interior Style

4 stylish themes that will make your next dinner party one to remember

Cold nights are perfect for a cosy dinner party, so change up your dining space and create a destination-themed setting. Here are four stylish ways to do it

Joshua tree

  • Desert tones such as red ochre, terracotta and sand are key to this look.
  • Vintage rugs and kilims add colour, pattern and a sense of authenticity.
  • Rough finishes such as untanned leather, scorched ceramics and turned wood bring a handmade, artisanal vibe that feels warm and welcoming.
  • Serve dips and mains in small bowls and platters for easy sharing.
  • Woven textures bring lightness as well as a further connection to nature – try a woven pendant light, bench seat or basket.


Menu: Guacamole and tortilla chips, barbecued lamb with salads, churros and chilli hot chocolate (or tequila if it’s that kind of party!)

Tip: Cacti are essential for the Joshua Tree look but they can be expensive. Buy small specimens and enjoy nurturing them to maturity.

Hollywood glam

  • Go all out with this glitzy, glamorous look that harks back to the golden age of Hollywood in the 1920s and ’30s.
  • Powder pink and antique gold evoke the contrast between softness and steel – a dichotomy embodied by Greta Garbo, Bette Davis and other movie stars of the time.
  • Statement items such as a mirror, pendant light or dining table create drama.
  • Old-fashioned Champagne glasses, preferably with an etched pattern or gold detailing would be perfect in this setting.
  • Gold cutlery and napkin rings add a decadent finishing touch.
  • Dim the lights and light tealight candles for an intimate atmosphere over dessert before you party into the night.

Menu: Champagne with strawberries, shrimp cocktail, lemon meringue tarts and more champagne (or sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice)

Danish darling

  • Capture the feel of a chic Danish apartment with a combination of contemporary styling and heritage detail.
  • Soft colours such as sage, dusty pink and grey are offset by matte black furniture and serveware.
  • Classic mid-century Scandinavian furniture and lighting styles combine with parquet flooring to evoke a sense of history.
  • Add a reindeer hide to seating for an element of cosy texture.
  • A lush botanical arrangement makes this otherwise modern table setting feel generous and welcoming.

Menu: Smoked salmon blinis, a hearty slow-cooked casserole with crusty bread, seasonal fruit crumble and mulled wine.

Tip: Pick out the tones of your table setting with a big, informal arrangement of wildflowers and greenery.

Japanese simplicity

  • Set the table with handmade or neutral ceramics that feel good to hold and possess a few quirky imperfections.
  • Furniture and accessories made from natural materials such as wood, cork and jute have a timeless yet modern look.
  • Delicate greenery such as maidenhair ferns, bamboo palms and dried willow bring the all-important connection to nature.
  • Rustic forms and textures, as seen on these three-legged stools, create a sense of soothing simplicity.
  • Cool colours such as slate and charcoal create contrast with pure white and warm timber.

Menu: Miso soup, vegetable sushi, mochi (sweet rice cakes) and green tea.

Styling by: Fiona Kerr and Catherine Wilkinson. Photography by: Toaki Okano.

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