How to Style Extra Seating for Parties

Design is all about the details and after spending so much time planning and preparing for your dinner party, the last thing you want is to neglect a simple detail that can transform your space and add to the atmosphere. When entertaining or hosting a dinner party, extra seating is a must! After all, you want your guests to be comfortable.

If you already have an occasional chair incorporated into your room design, you probably have it styled to create a lovely vignette, but beautiful as that styling is it lacks the function needed for extra seating at parties.

While function is key, you also want your seating to be pretty and to add something to your overall design. Styling the extra seating at a party is simple and can be accomplished in 3 easy steps.

STEP 1: Add the Seating

Its time to pull a few extra chairs out of storage or rearrange those you may have in other rooms that will not be part of your entertaining space. If you already have occasional seating incorporated into your space, go ahead and remove any styled objects, you want to start with a blank slate.

If you are struggling to find extra chairs that aren’t fold-able, remember that extra seating does not necessarily mean chairs. You can also use benches or stools, and if you are outdoors then your seating options are limitless.

STEP 2: Consider Seating Placement

The placement of your extra seating is a primary component of its function. Ideally, you want your party seating to be near a place that your guests may set their drink (and that you don’t mind them setting their glass down). This could be a partial wall, counter top, table or other piece of furniture.

You want to arrange the extra seating for your party in a way that you create small spaces for conversation. This includes angling your chairs in a way that suggests intimate conversation.

You also need to consider the overall flow of the room. Make sure that your extra seating doesn’t create a bottleneck anywhere and keep it away from your high traffic areas like the bar, buffet and dining spaces.

Doorways, especially exterior entrances, should be avoided if possible. That way your guests will be able to move freely and those using your extra seating will be sheltered from a hot or cold blast of air, as well as accidental bumps from other guests.

STEP 3: Make it Inviting

To avoid a musical chairs look with your extra seating at a party, it should be pretty and inviting, but styling should maintain the functionality of the chair and be minimal. You do want your guests to actually use the seat.

Simply add a decorative pillow and casual throw blanket to create a welcoming look. A small throw blanket or wrap is especially useful if your guests may catch a chill. If a throw is too much, a simple scarf can soften the look without being cumbersome.

This is still a party though, so don’t use heirloom pieces or your personal favorites so that there will be no awkward moment if a guest accidentally spills or drops something.

Finally, make sure that the added décor is complementary to your overall party décor so that it adds to the space rather than making your extra party seating a noticeable eyesore.

When playing the gracious hostess and entertaining your guests, you have a lot to worry about to create a fabulous atmosphere, delicious food and drinks and an enjoyable time. By taking a few minutes to consider the function and style of your extra party seating, your efforts will go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable and welcome.

Have a quick decorating question to get ready for your next party? Ask the stylist, your answer awaits! Looking for a personal home stylist to work with you to design your next amazing event or freshen up your space before you play hostess? Our home styling and design services provide personalized service to help get your home in envy-worthy shape before your guests arrive.

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