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Italian inspired dinner party [on a budget]

August 16, 2018

One of the things I loved most about my travels in Southern Italy was the way the Italians cocktail and dine. Every cocktail hour comes with snacks and meals are long and leisurely, truly embracing the art of quality time.

I wasn’t home for a week and yearned to replicate the perfection that is Italian culture back in Houston. A dinner al fresco was calling my name but temperatures wouldn’t break 90 so I decided to turn my house into a quaint little indoor bohemian rhapsody.

I teamed up with my good friend, the talented Meg Grant, and we invited 12 of our mutual friends for the best Monday night I’ve had in a very long time (maybe ever)!

I’ve only lived in my new house for a few months and didn’t have a functioning dining room, so Meg came up with the genius idea to have guests dine in my entry way! We transformed this otherwise empty space in my home into a chic, cozy dining nook.


Our table is a “vintage” Home Depot find. Wink, wink! It was simply made with a long piece of plywood that Meg had cut at the good old Home Depot. Instead of a tablecloth we kept our plywood “naked” for added texture. This also helped keep things low budget. Meg used pillows and rugs that she found on to create a soft inviting place for guests to sit. Shoes optional!


Meg and I took a trip to the farmer’s market the weekend before the party and used fresh wildflowers for the tablescape. We only needed two small bouquets to do the entire table. We combined our ecclectic collection of small vases found on Etsy, Ebay and other online sources. Thus, proving that you don’t need fancy crystal to create a killer ambiance on your tablecape.


In lieu of napkin rings we included a simple flower stem or basil leaf on each plate. We used a $10 Caspari paper tablecloth folded like a runner, another genius idea of Meg’s.


A second piece of plywood was used to create a tableside menu for the evenings dinner. The entire scene light, airy and serene. The perfect little nook to dine with friends well past curfew!



Table cloth | Pink plates also here and here | Floral plates | Cotton napkins | Votives | Assorted vases geometric turquoise sea urchin white egg | Faux fur pillow also here | Woven rug | Blue rug | Faux fur throwWood crate

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