As the nights close in, there’s no better time to gather friends and family for a warming winter get-together. Soft lighting, soothing jazz, the aroma of festive spices emanating from mulled wine, and of course, if there’s one on offer, a roaring fire the centrepiece.

Whether it’s an overdue catch-up or our Aussie favourite, Christmas in July, now’s the time to dress your indoor entertaining space for a hearty extravaganza of seasonal produce – think beef bourguignon followed by a crumble, stroganoff followed by poached fruits. Here we set the mood for the dinner party of the season.

The dining space
The key to your overall look is, of course, your dining table. If it’s time for an upgrade – even with the daily clutter pushed aside – get your tape measure out. Because it’s all about the size. While timbers and mis-matched chairs are on-trend, to ensure maximum comfort, you need space. Space between diners, between seats and walls, as well as your under-table rug (make it almost a metre larger to allow for easy movement).

The ambience
Music and fireplaces aside, lighting will set the mood. Dim any cool overhead lights favoured in summer, and add warmth with a floor lamp. Of course, nothing beats the flicker of scented candles – adding elegance and warmth in the centre of the table or on the matching sideboard behind.

Après dinner
Make it inviting for guests to stick around with warm, plush seating nearby. Add depth with cushions and throws to match the season – perfect for coffee or a cheese board and digestif.

PRODUCT IMAGES (top to bottom): DeRucci, Freedom, Home Cinema, James Lane
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