Cover Fendi Casa Ford dining table, from Da Vinci

Take cues from private dining experiences to craft a cosy ambience for your next dinner party

Before communal meals ground to a halt during Singapore’s circuit breaker period in April, private dining experiences were a booming trend in the local food scene, with food lovers joining waitlists for a chance to feast in a cosy home setting.

According to Nikki Muller, co-founder of private dining service Intimate Suppers, it’s not just about the food. “A private dining experience is made memorable because it is rooted in human connection. It goes beyond good food and takes you on a journey,” she says.


Nikki Hunt, founder of Design Intervention, concurs. “The time spent with loved ones around a dining table forms some of our most cherished memories. So, as the backdrop to so many of our special moments, the design of the dining room deserves special consideration,” she explains. Hunt recommends investing in dining chairs with soft, padded seats that can also provide good head and neck support to “keep your party going long after dessert is served”. She also suggests seating guests around a narrower table to encourage conversation.

(Related: 4 Steps To Designing A Stylish Dining Room)

If you are looking for another way to transform your dining room with minimal effort, the right lighting makes all the difference. “An iconic lamp not only enhances the ambience, it also sets the mood for the space and serves as an accent piece in the room,” says Sarah Tham, design director of Cube Associate Design. “For a cosier vibe, go for a lamp with dimmable lighting.”

This keen attention to detail should also include a personal touch, a highlight that will set you apart from other hosts. “I’d put on soothing music and spritz a nice fragrance around the house, as well as use soft furnishings such as rugs, cushions, table runners and tableware,” says Larry Lim, managing partner of interior design studio Summerhaus D’zign.

Adds Muller: “Showcase your hobbies like your art, musical instruments and collectibles from your travels in your dining room; all of these mementos have stories to tell. The essence of your family and your personality should be felt for it to be truly memorable.”

Adding small, interactive elements throughout the dinner will give the evening a fun spin. “If you have a Christmas tree at home, guests could make their own decorations to hang on it,” says Muller. “Anything that makes your guests feel like they are part of your family is sure to be a hit!”

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Fritz Hansen Caravaggio pendant light from W. Atelier

Add a soft glow to your dining area with the Caravaggio pendant light, first designed in 2005 by Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen. Its timeless silhouette has been recently upscaled, with larger versions that can create a focal point in your home.

Available at W. Atelier

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Fendi Casa Ford dining table from Da Vinci

Make a stylish impression with the Fendi Casa Ford dining table—the angular form and shine of its galvanised steel base appear almost like a pair of gold bangles. Choose from a variety of wooden and marble options for the table top; various metallic finishes are also available for the customisable base.

Available at Da Vinci

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Georg Jensen leather coasters and Bloom Botanica candle holders

Add pizzazz to your table with an elegant set of four leather coasters and a pair of stainless steel Bloom Botanica candle holders. The petal-like edges of the candleholders are inspired by the form of flowers in mid-bloom.

Available from Georg Jensen

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Floral arrangements in sleek brass vessels from This Humid House

Botanical design studio This Humid House offers an original mix of floral arrangements in sleek brass vessels. These can be combined and customised to form a dramatic tablescape for your dinner party.

Available at This Humid House

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Limited Edition Bauhaus Circle pure wool rug from Space Furniture

While the attention will surely be on the centrepiece, don’t forget to dress up the floor, too. We recommend the Limited Edition Bauhaus Circle pure wool rug, which features geometric forms inspired by the influential design movement.

Available at Space Furniture

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Versace Home x Rosenthal tableware set

Besides wowing your friends with an amazing feast, pick plates that will impress. The Versace Home x Rosenthal tableware set features the most iconic motifs from Italian fashion house Versace in sumptuous hues.

Available at Versace

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Ulivi Salotti Lise dining chair from Sphere Living

Seat your guests in comfort and style—this Ulivi Salotti Lise dining chair is upholstered with a plush padded seat and a curved backrest.

Available at Sphere Living

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Tom Dixon Swirl candles from Xtra

Visitors will marvel at the psychedelic patterns on these Tom Dixon Swirl candles. This product is made with an upcycled material, derived from powdered residues from the marble industry combined with resin and pigments.

Available at Xtra

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Germaine sideboard from Snow Globe

Store a prized liquor collection in the Germaine sideboard. With the wave-like motifs on its textured blue doors, this debonair piece is sure to make a statement.

Available at Snow Globe

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Poliform Concorde dining table from Space Furniture

The rounded edges of the Poliform Concorde dining table by Emmanuel Gallina will allow guests to shift around with ease; choose between wood, wood with marble top, or wood frame with glass insert versions.

Available at Space Furniture

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SP01 Etoile coffee table and Michelle high-back chair from Space Furniture

Just right for a post-meal setting, the SP01 Etoile coffee table and Michelle high-back chair offer an intimate resting spot for after-dinner drinks.

Available at Space Furniture

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Textured fabrics from Hodsoll McKenzie’s Autumn 2020 collection from Cetec

For a homely touch, consider these textured fabrics from Hodsoll McKenzie’s Autumn 2020 collection for your accent cushions, upholstered seats and curtains in your dining room. They draw inspiration from the Great Exhibition held in 1851 in London, which is regarded as the biggest international trade event of the 19th century.

Available from Cetec

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Molteni & C Half A Square dining table from P5

The trick to an effortless setting is investing in a gorgeous dining table. The Molteni&C Half A Square dining table by Michael Anastassiades is an exquisite piece with a slim profile; it can also be customised in various materials such as eucalyptus wood, graphite oak, marble, aluminium or reflective glass.

Available from P5