How to add a bit of theatre to your next dinner party with Elizabeth Gadsby

2 minutes, 11 seconds
We all know that a successful dinner party isn’t just about the food. Discover how award winning set designer, Elizabeth Gadsby, sets the mood for her dinners.

How award winning set designer, Elizabeth Gadsby, sets the mood for her dinner parties at home.

We all know that a successful dinner party isn’t just about the food. When it comes to entertaining, it’s all about creating the right atmosphere for the occasion. Setting the right tone and mood is crucial. According to award winning set designer Elizabeth Gadsby, adding a little bit of theatre can go a long way. From the right playlist to lighting and even switching rooms, here are some tips and tricks to elevate even the simplest of dinner parties.


Soft mood lighting is a no brainer when entertaining. But adjusting the lighting throughout the dinner will keep things interesting. “Bright overhead lights are never great for intimacy. Lamps, candles, and feature lighting are all ways to support the experience of sharing a meal. If there is a simple and subtle way for lighting to change between courses that is great. Starting a bit brighter and moving toward just candles for dessert” says Gadsby. If you don’t have dimmer switchers in your home and have an open plan kitchen that leads onto the dining area, a good lighting hack is to use your rangehood for some backlighting, like the AEG 90cm canopy rangehood with a dimmer-controlled LED function. The key is “unusual lighting moments for added drama” explains Gadsby.


According to Gadsby “creating a great soundtrack to accompany a meal is essential, a playlist that creates energy moving into something more relaxed” is a good starting point. You need to consider the tone of the dinner and have something that will grow as the evening develops. Starting off with chilled classics and ending with some upbeat favourites adds some fun, unexpected elements and helps to elevate the mood. Also, don’t drown out your music with loud appliances in the kitchen. For example, if you load your dishwasher mid-party, use the extra-silent setting featured in the AEG 60cm stainless built-under dishwasher so as not to distract from the tunes.


Dinner with a side of drama

Sure, you’re at home, but why keep things at the dinner table. Change locations as the dinner party evolves. A change in scenery keeps things interesting. “Although in your own home, think of ways to mix up each course. Can you have starters in the garden, mains around a dining table and desserts on a snack board in the lounge room? This also allows the opportunity to mix up seating arrangements so that you don’t have to do an awkward ‘musical chairs’. If possible, always eat under the stars”, says Gadsby.


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