If you’ve got a passion for the past and you’d like to share this with friends and family, an evening dinner party soiree might offer just the occasion. Whether you’re throwing it way back to the roaring 20s or submerging your guests in 60s psychedelia, there are plenty of different decades and eras that make for fun dinner party themes.
If you’re unsure on how to plan a vintage-themed dinner party, in today’s post, we’re offering you our expert tips on using authentic vintage decor and furnishings to bring your throwback experience to life.
Start with furniture
To go above and beyond with your dinner party theme, buying furniture at auction will guarantee you create the full effect when it comes to the aesthetics of the evening. Fortunately, antique and vintage furniture doesn’t have to be expensive. At Featonby’s, we often see quality 20th-century furniture come through our doors that doesn’t carry a hefty price tag – and that means you won’t be paying over the odds if you decide to bid on secondhand furniture at our auctions.
Whether it’s a beautifully preserved antique armchair, an oak dining table designed in the 70s or a set of shelves made to display classic china and porcelain, you’ll find a wide array of authentic vintage furniture pieces in our sales ideal for transforming your interior for your themed evening and beyond.
Cook up a culinary storm
No dinner party would be complete without food and drinks – and with a theme dedicated to the past, there’s so much potential for creativity when it comes to what you serve up. If you intend to recreate the undeniable cool of 20s-style speakeasies, a prohibition-inspired drinks menu of gin, whiskey and cognac cocktails is bound to impress guests – and you could even make child-friendly mocktails for underage attendees, if there are any present!
For the main event (i.e. the food), there are all sorts of avenues you could take. If your theme is quintessentially British, serve up a selection of iconic dishes such as spotted dick, fish and chips, bangers and mash or even a staple Sunday lunch. Alternatively, if you’re throwing it back to a decade defined by a distinct sound, you could cook up meals centred around particular tracks or artists in that era; think ‘Strawberry Pie Forever’ for the 60s, or ‘Living on a Pear Soufflé’ for the 80s – the sky’s the limit.
Update your living room
While the main event for the evening is undoubtedly important, you might also consider having pre-party drinks or after-food games. For this, you’ll need a living space that reflects your overall theme. As mentioned before, it’s not hard to acquire vintage and antique furniture for bargain prices at our auctions – so consider bidding on vintage chairs and sofas if you see them, or even designer Italian or French vintage lamps or hanging chandeliers.
Complete the vintage living room look with a high-quality rug and coffee table to perfect a timeless aesthetic that’s never been more in fashion than right now.
Top off with tableware
If both your interior and the culinary concoctions you’re creating are on point but you’re let down at the final hurdle, why make the effort at all? Vintage porcelain and china can regularly be found at our auctions, giving you the finishing touch you need to round off your vintage-themed affair. Particularly popular options are Royal Worcester, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, among others – so keep an eye out for these established vintage and antique brands when looking for dinnerware at our auctions.
You could even take your dining table top to the next level with silver cutlery, classic cocktail glasses and vintage candlesticks – though you’ll need to tailor the items you buy to fit with your specific theme, of course.
Wow with vintage wall decor
Fine art from the 19th and 20th centuries can often be found at our auctions, with everything from exquisitely detailed paintings of our local region through to retro posters and prints channelling the spirit of the early 20th-century appearing. Whichever type of wall decor is best suited to your dinner party, you’re sure to find it here at Featonby’s – with our auction house seeing a delightfully varied range of art pieces week in, week out.
So, there you have it: mix in all of the key ingredients above and your vintage dinner party will ace its theme. And no matter your budget, you’ll find that many of the items we’ve suggested are affordable, which means you won’t need to splash out on expensive goods for a single evening – though you’ll find many of the vintage interior items at Featonby’s are suited to permanent positions in modern homes anyway.
Ready to dive into our auctions? Check out our guide on how to buy at our UK-based auction house from anywhere in the world.