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For those who like to entertain, your dining room serves two purposes: First, it’s used as an intimate gathering place where your family can share the details of their day over a meal. Secondly, the dining room is prime real estate when you’re entertaining friends and family for a party, shower, or other celebration. Using the space for two diametrically opposed reasons–for intimate gatherings and large ones–means you have to use the space creatively for both purposes. Here are four tips for transforming your Atlanta dining room for entertaining guests.

Invest in a Versatile Table

One simple way to transform your dining room from intimate space to ultimate socializing place is by purchasing a versatile dining room table. Invest in a great dining set that includes a table with leaves that can be added or removed to create additional seating and eating spots when necessary. This extra table space can be used to lay out a wide variety of finger foods or make room for large dinner parties. Don’t forget to consider seating options. A great table that can be easily transformed for entertaining may include some upholstered chairs for family dining and several wooden chairs that can be used when the leaves are added to the table.

Consider a Stylish Buffet

Today’s buffets or curio tables are the perfect addition to your dining room. They increase storage space and many can be used to showcase extraordinary china pieces. When you decide to host a party, the buffet is a great place to layout appetizers or set up wine and glasses, saving valuable seating and dining space around your table.

Rearrange as Necessary

Depending on floor space and the number of guests you plan to entertain, you may need to rearrange the dining room furniture for a big event. Don’t be afraid to move things around! As you rearrange things, create paths where people can mingle and have access to the food and drinks you’re planning to serve. This likely means moving furniture away from the wall and creating a circular path around the dining room. You can also remove items from the dining room to create more space. Don’t forget about seating. Bring those chairs up from the basement or move chairs from other rooms into the main event space, so your guests aren’t forced to stand all night.

Intaglia Home - Kalin Dining Set

Light Appropriately

Setting the mood for dining or mingling isn’t complicated, but it does require some thought. Few things have the ability to enhance or destroy a vibe more than the lighting. Make sure your dining room lighting is appropriate for the atmosphere you’re hoping to create. In many dining rooms, an overhead light or chandelier hangs in the center of the room. This may not be enough light. In other cases, it may be too much. Consider adding a few lamps in the corners of the room to cast warm light in dark areas or the room. Or, if the lighting is too much, consider turning the overhead light off and supplementing with light strands, lamps and even candles.

Your dining room can be one of the most versatile rooms in your Atlanta home when designed correctly, and it all starts with finding dining room furniture that’s both functional and stylish.