Party Tips: Setting the Mood with Lighting

When it comes to my entertaining at home tips, setting the mood with lighting is one of my top ‘rules’ to consider. I’ve partnered with Lutron lighting to let you know how I do that.

Entertaining at home tips: set the mood with lighting. #partytips #entertaining

From all my years of entertaining at home I’ve amassed my own set of ‘rules’ for setting the right mood for a party. They include a variety of duties like getting the house ready on a fundamental level, to creating the right atmosphere and playlist, to having the right lighting. With so much emphasis put on decorations and food, I think most of the time these things get overlooked or forgotten.

Lighting is a KEY element when setting up for a party.

For most entertaining you want your room lighting dimmer than usual so people feel cozy. Lower lighting also makes everyone look better! There’s a reason they turn the lights down in a bar. I’m just sayin’.

In other cases like game night or activity-based gatherings, you’ll want brighter light so everyone can see details.

In our previous house we had several dimmers installed to control the brightness of some main areas like the dining room and family room. But when we built our current house the dimmers weren’t offered as an option and boy did I miss them!

Last year during a party there was a crowd lingering around the kitchen island, and you know how bright kitchen lighting is! I didn’t like it at all, so when Lutron offered to send me their light dimmer kit I was very excited to get it installed.

Entertaining at home tips: set the mood with lighting. #partytips #entertaining

Install a dimmer switch to control lighting in main rooms like dining room, living room, and kitchen.

Since the kitchen is so bright I knew this was the room I wanted to put the dimmer in. After all, I use lamps in the other rooms to control the brightness. My husband is quite the handy man and he installed the dimmer easily in about 10 minutes.

With the dimmer switch controlling the kitchen lights I’m able to have them on full power to cook and clean, but lower them for entertaining around the island. I. LOVE. IT. I’m excited to have this new feature during our annual Christmas cocktail party this year, and I’ll finally be able to set the mood just the way I want it!

Entertaining at home tips - Set the mood with lighting from Lutron

Here’s a look at how the dimmer switch fits into our existing unit. The little slider virtually ‘disappears’ into the switch plate for a clean look. Just move it up or down to control the light level.

Here are 6 more ways to set the mood with lighting when Entertaining at Home.

  • Turn on lamps in auxiliary rooms where people may gather {instead of overhead lights}. In our family room I’ve got table lamps and floor lamps spread around the room, and will turn on a couple of those so people can go sit and have a conversation without feeling like they’re being interrogated.
  • A dining room NEEDS a light dimmer for cozy dinner parties. If you’re setting the table up buffet style you can use lamps and candle light to illuminate the space.
  • Add a nightlight in the powder room so guests aren’t fumbling to find the switch when they walk in.
  • Add under-cabinet lights in the kitchen for a fabulous perimeter lighting.
  • If you have space between your upper cabinets and the ceiling, you can tuck in string lights for a beautiful look.
  • Add can lights in the corner behind a plant or chair for a light source that’s almost unnoticeable but creates the illusion of more space.

I hope you’ll start thinking about lighting in a new way, and see how it impacts the mood of your party. For more lighting solutions visit the Lutron website.


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  1. Thank’s for this post. I totally agree with that fact that light influence on a mood. We have to learn how to bring everything on a right way to make atmosphere comfortable.

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