6 Ways to Elevate Your At-Home Dining Experience

Updated: May 5

A couple weeks ago I had the best time collaborating with The Home Design & Remodeling Show on the inaugural launch of #diningup, a quarantine trend akin to dressing up. And, I'm recapping it for all of you because I am nice like that. And nothing brings me more joy than to see families around the dinner table making memories, getting a little fancy and listening to your favorite playlist.


The ironic part? This is NOT about the food. Yes, the food matters. But, it's more about the overall experience from setting a theme to styling the table. Without further ado, here are 6 ways to elevate your at-home dining experience. And I included all of the products below so you can shop direct should you love anything you see!


1. Create a theme. Whether you are dining solo or with your kids, creating a theme helps set the overall tone. Do you want energetic and fun? Romantic and moody? So much of setting the foundation determines the outcome, especially when it's intentionally done. I came across the Clare V. for Anthropologie collection and the second I saw these plates, that defined my theme: energetic French.


2. Dress up. Yes, what you put on is going to really impact this dinner. You've seen it everywhere (speaking to the ladies right now) how more and more people are putting on nice clothes or their work clothes, despite staying home all day, because of the impact it has on their mood. Well, this is no different. So, I busted out my 40th birthday dress and the crowd went wild. No for real. If you want it, I've linked it here AND it's 40% off. #yourewelcome



3. Cue the Playist. Music matters immensely and not just at dinner. When I play music in our house in the morning, I've noticed a vast difference in our day. And winding down at night while prepping for dinner with the right music to push you into how you want to feel - magic! I choose French Cafe on Spotify for this dinner and it did not disappoint.


4. Bring the outside in. Literally. As an interior designer, one thing I have learned thanks to Kelly Wearstler (massive designer crush) is you have to really study and pay attention to the outside when designing the inside. Well, the same holds true when styling a table. And living in Miami we truly have the best options for free elements to add to our dining tables. No excuses! But even if you don't live in Miami, there's always ways to get creative: collect a bunch of leaves and fill vases and spread across the table. Clip some beautiful fall flowers that you find in your neighborhood. Buy some lemons from the store. And when all else fails, go to Pinterest, there are one bajillion ideas.



5. Set the table. Now we are getting to the fun stuff, people. As I mentioned, the Clare V. plates set the theme but they were also part of the table setting. I layered them with a jute natural place mat, the cutest Target Opalhouse dinner plate and rounded it out with gold silverware and some floral textured water and wine glasses. I enhanced a few plates with some greens from my backyard, put a few candles on the table and called it a day!




6. Last but not least - the food and wine! This series was less about the actual meal and more about pushing you all to create some memories around the dinner table but of course, the food has a role. I have been sticking to some of my pre-quarantine themes (a la taco Tuesday) and I've also been trying some new recipes from Half Baked Harvest and Cooking Light. I'm crushing hard on orange wine right now so that has been on rotation a lot - if you haven't tried, I strongly recommend! It's like a more bitter, orange-esque version of a rose. You may love it, or you may hate it. Either way, it's fun to try new things!


And finally, BON APPETIT! I hope these 6 ways to elevate your at-home dining experience helped. You can find all the products to shop yourself right here, btw:




Also, if you want to check out the whole Instagram live where I take you through this, have at it!










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Ann Ueno | Interior Design

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