Have you guys ever heard of the Crappy Dinner Party? I don’t mean a dinner party you’ve attended and had a crappy time (sorry, mom, I know you’re cringing right now). I mean the dinner parties you used to throw just for fun. BEFORE everything had to be Instagram-able and you sweated every.little.detail because you wanted the night to be totally amazing. The dinner parties you used to have wearing holey jeans and threadbare t-shirts just sitting around the table with your friends, family and neighbors hanging out, laughing and having fun unaware of the time and without a single piece of china on the table.
I’ll completely admit, it’s been a while since I’ve hosted a crappy dinner party. I’m almost always coming up with a theme, a menu, a guest list, a shopping list and a play list so far in advance I have to look at my notes to remember what I had planned. I’ll even try on outfits in advance. I know. In my defense, part of taking extra care to plan the small things means I’ll be more organized with the big things. It also means, I’ll be more relaxed which means the guests will be more relaxed.
But lately, I’ve been thinking about how best to handle Friendsgiving. I’m at a bit of a standstill…”go all out” or “kick it crappy dinner style.” I’m not really sure which way to head at this point. Part of me wants to make it as easy as humanly possible. The other part of me feels passionately that the people coming to our home for the first time deserve our best. I mean, first impressions only happen once, right?
Thankfully, there’s plenty of time to decide which direction to go but it’s definitely something to consider. We have plenty of room around the fire pit to hang out, our old work bench can easily serve as a soup buffet and our weathered farmhouse table is big enough to welcome everyone. I’ll let you know what we decide to do. Until then, I thought I’d share an easy to create outdoor tablescape in case the thought of hosting a crappy dinner makes you cringe as much as it does my pearl wearing mother. She’s probably clutching her strands right now.
Last year, I found 6 yards of this navy plaid fabric for $3. I know, right? So exciting! It became the inspiration for the tablescape.
The back patio and front porches are great spaces to create a more relaxed atmosphere for your family, friends and guests.
Use bits of nature like natural deer sheds,
corn, pumpkins, gourds and leaves to make dressing up the table easy peasy.
Add vintage ironstone or a large dough bowl to help create a collected look.
Most likely your table is going to be the focal point of the patio so keep everything else around the table fairly simple.
Layer comfortable plaid pillows,
and highlight your favorite fall flowers.
We use this old work bench as a food and drink station all the time. If you’re not having people over for a dinner, consider using a similar space for a dessert buffet or a gourmet s’mores bar.
I completely understand how entertaining can sometimes be stressful even though you’re excited about having people over. Obviously, your true friends and loyal family members are happy to just be invited and have the chance to spend time with you. They’re not looking around for dust bunnies or fur balls or lifting the corners of your duvet to see if you’ve squared the corners correctly.
More than likely they’ll be having such a great time they’ll ask to borrow a blanket, help you brew a second pot of coffee and offer to help with the dishes…crappy dinner party or not.