Recipes & Entertaining

4 Tips to Wow Dinner Guests Without Breaking the Bank

87879HWe’ve all walked into home décor stores that have elaborate dining set-ups costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. But when you’re on a budget, throwing a dinner party that will elicit “oohs” and “aahs” from your guests may seem out of reach. Fortunately there are ways to make your dining room look like a million bucks with whatever you have in your wallet.

Event planner Lynda Paylan believes it’s all about getting creative. “Let your personality shine when you choose your decorations. Use whatever inspires you!”

She says it doesn’t matter if you spend $5 or $500 on decorations — what’s important is that the space feel warm and inviting, just like you. Follow her four top tips for entertaining on a budget.

  1. Keep it classic: Always opt for white candles to add a bit of sparkle. They’re available everywhere and you can use them all year round. Just make sure they’re unscented: “You don’t want your decorations competing with the aroma of the delicious meal you just prepared,” Paylan explains.
  2. Fresh flowers: Drop into your corner flower shop to get great deals on seasonal bouquets. Not only does a fresh bouquet work as a gorgeous centrepiece; it also adds a pop of colour to your entertaining space.
  3. Eclectic adds interest: Use different sizes and shapes of containers, vases and any décor items that catch your eye to add visual interest. Get a great deal by shopping at local stores you may not initially think of, like Habitat for Humanity ReStores, that sell new and gently used furniture, building materials, household and décor items and more at about 50 to 80 per cent off retail value. Discover new-to-you treasures that’ll make perfect conversation pieces.
  4. Let whatever just came out of the oven do the talking: Serve a family-style meal in quality dinnerware that lasts longer and will save you money in the long run. Pick a classic shape and colour and you won’t have to worry about it ever going out of style.

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.