Creating a ‘Mini-Oasis’ Small Dinner Party!

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Do your “open plan” spaces sometimes feel a bit TOO open for intimate dinners? Feel like just being cozy for a night? I have just the solution!

Sometimes my house is too full of LEGO and Nerf Bullets and I really don’t want to clean it ALL just for one dinner, or I’m just too busy cooking to really care… or maybe I just want my guests closer to the Kitchen where I’m stationed – either way, a Mini-Oasis has become my NEW FAVORITE THING!

I had a dinner scheduled for 6 people, and even though our Dining room is open to the Kitchen I felt like it was too far for me to be involved in conversation as guests sat, chatted and enjoyed the courses I was planning. Full disclosure – the Dining Table was FULL of crap I didn’t have the energy to attend to, either. In a moment of SHALL I SAY GENIUS problem-solving haha I thought ‘what if I use the ’empty’ space between my Island and the Dining room?’!

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It started fairly humbly – an IKEA fold-up table with one of my pre-cut plywood tops was perfect for a small party of 6. But what of the mess around the rest of the house I had neither the time nor the inclination to clean?

alison kent home dinner party small group mini oasis house plants table setting intimate ideas tips for small parties
SO inspired to do this again AND SOON!

HOUSE PLANTS! I’ve kept larger house plants for years originally for air quality with all our allergy-sufferers here, but now mostly because they’re less likely to die than smaller plants. In their pots, they’ve also proven portable, so they were the perfect solution for hiding the rooms we weren’t using while creating a beautiful, intimate space right next to the Kitchen.

PRO tip

If you have the space to extend your table, keep it simple with a sturdy fold up table and a plywood top cut to match the width of your Dining table.

VOILA! Extra seating space on demand.

BONUS: You can use your fold up / plywood on it’s own for smaller parties!

alison kent

It turned out so beautifully, I’ll definitely be repeating it for small dinners to come. I’ve also since propagated my Monstera and Banana Leaf plants, so now I have 5 more larger plants (for FREE!) to add to the Collection.

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Happily a guest brought this tall pink plant (??) to plant in our yard, so for dinner it contributed perfectly to the screening of the adjacent Living Room (also messy… #sorrynotsorry

For a larger summer party last year, I took the big plants all outside to create an outdoor oasis and it was perfect – but next time I have to be sure to bring them back in doors by the next am or they start to die, apparently LOL…

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Can you say YARD GOALS?! I may or may not have a few of these Hydrangea snippings to start in pots in my own garden!!

It was such a good idea indoors, I’m even going to try to carry it outdoors this year by putting gorgeous Hydrangeas and Lavender in pots that can be – by someone much stronger than I LOL – moved to surround the table when desired.

What do you think? Would you try this??
What would you add to make your mini-oasis dinner that little bit EXTRA?!

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