On Friday night, my husband and I were invited to a friend’s home for dinner. What a treat for us! As you may know, we host boardgame tournaments, tea and dinner parties obsessively.
We love hosting parites but we know our routine can become predictable if we don’t allow ourselves to experience hospitality as guests too. In other words, we are exposed to new ways of hosting when we watch how our friends show hospitality. This kicked off our dinner parties for the summer! For comic relief, take a look at Will Ferrell’s “Get off the shed” skit from SNL for a summer dinner party gone wrong.
Disclosure: I have not been paid to endorse any company, product, brand or blog.
|Photo Credit: Joamas Supri Modern Living Room Decorating|
Friends E. and H. are newlyweds. Since they are both graduate students they did not want to have bulky furniture to carry with them upon graduation. They told me they rely on Ikea for their modern home decor.
What did I like best? The dramatic red, black and white theme with mirrored squares on the walls and white paper floor lamps. If you are looking for examples of modern dwellings, I recommend Dwellinggawker.
Our hosts served us salmon with oven roasted garlic still in their skins, a salad with light balsamic, and a Turkish squash dish. To say that it was amazing was an understatement. Because of E. and H. I visit Turkish food websites now such as Turkish Cookbook.
|Photo Credit: Open Cage Cheese Assortment at Turkish Restaurant|
What made the food especially good? The presentation. The serving platters and dinnerware were geometric ceramic mocha brown plates and bowls. The earth toned dinnerware gave a warmth to their contemporary dining area.
|Photo Credit: Gimmesomeoven Red Velvet Cupcakes|
Their Craftsman style unadorned wooden table and chairs fit so well in the modern style for the rest of their apartment. The food itself was prepared with modern concerns in mind. Light protein, low sodium, and high fiber. It was well balanced light dinner and indulgent dessert.
We continued to laugh as we ate Susie Cake’s red velvet cake and my chocolate croissant bread pudding. Our hosts also served their favorite Yellowtail Shiraz and Riesling. Red velvet cake with Riesling-dipped strawberries are mind-blowingly wonderful. Because of the light, healthy meal it seemed reasonable to indulge in cake with double chocolate ice cream. Fun!
|Photo Credit: Geograph UK Squash and Gourds|
And was it delicious? Yes! The Turkish squash, beef and tomato dish reminded me of hard-to-find Asian squash that is tender like eggplant and usually stir fried with shrimp. It was insanely comforting to eat that with steamed white rice.
Our lovely hosts come from two different heritages. My my husband and I are also an interracial couple. So our newlywed hosts made jokes all night about Chinese and Turkish cultural habits that they encounter as husband and wife.
The conversation was rich and hilarious. We decided against playing Pictionary and continued chatting instead.
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul|
The husbands talked about school because they are classmates and the wives talked together about creative writing. My hostess is in the doctorate program at Stanford but enjoys creative writing in Turkish when she’s not doing empirical studies in Sociology.
We had a rollicking good time talking about Fitzgerald, Joyce Carol Oates, Patricia Highsmith and Raymond Carver. She introduced me to Elif Shafak’s Forty Rules of Love and Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul.
Now that’s a dinner party. What uplifting friends! What lovely food! What delightful hospitality!
What did I learn? To switch up home decor for a modern dinner party with light, healthy dishes, consider modern presentation. If I were to switch up my traditional dining room/living room apartment I would store my ribboned orange and blue storage boxes and leave out my potted orchids.
I’d streamline the busy look of overflowing bookshelves and create quiet bookscapes that looked more Zen in my home. Our hosts did this so well. Their contemporary apartment gave guests the feeling of tranquility and orderliness. The use of full-length Asian style paper floor lamps and geometrical mirrors on white walls gave their home a sleek, art museum vibe. Disclosure: I worked for AffordableLamps.com as their online etailer home lighting blogger in the past.
3 Modern Home Decorating Ideas
1. Create tranquility with a mostly white canvas for home decor.
2. Add earthy tones for “hot” areas such as the kitchen by using earth toned dishware and serving platters.
3. Add drama and interest with pops of red decorative pillows and black home accessories to give the room “anchor” and weight.
Take a break and accept a dinner invite!