I would love to be able to say that I had a plan. That I had a theme I was trying to achieve. But, alas, no. I went with my heart and picked out items from the M&S home furnishings pages that I found inspiring and interesting. Things that had the 'wow' factor for me.
Because after all, what is magic and sparkle if it doesn't excite the inner child in us?
I chose some of the key pieces of furniture first including the table. The Padstow Extending round dining table (£439.20) was the obvious choice. I love round and oval dining tables as they are perfect for eating together at a dinner party. Everyone can see and speak to everyone else so it helps people truly mix and mingle. Add in a Lazy Susan (£29.50) and you have the perfect dinner party dining table!
I would mix and match chairs rather than having the formality of matching chairs (think Monica's apartment in Friends - I always envied the quirkiness of those dining chairs all different and unique around the table). So I have chosen Conran Mitchell dining chairs (£319.20 for a pair) and Stockholm Dining chairs (£239.20 per pair).
To add a little curiosity and wonder, a few accessories for the dining room would bring the magic and sparkle to the party. The Golden Deer Head Wall Art (£45), The Heritage Sand timer (£10), and Heritage globe (£35) are all quirky additions reminding friends of how food and dining is inspired by history and across nations. Similarly the Fob Wall Clock with it's Roman Numerals (£35) and Love Compass wall art (£25) are pointers to something magical in time and place. The stylish Novara Electric Condiment Set (£39.50) brings the contemporary elements of cuisine into play reminding us how food and dining can be inspired by the past and yet entirely up-to-date and modern in their interpretation.
The colour palate for my magical dining room's decor would be inspired by nature (reflecting current trends towards foraging for food and nature inspiring food a la one of the world's leading restaurants - Noma). So there would be a pebble-inspired colour pallete, with accents of blue. On that note, I couldn't resist adding a dress from M&S. This Panelled Fit & Flare dress (£45) would really add some magic and sparkle to a special dining occasion. I guess the beautiful TARDIS-like blue colour may well have influenced me. After all 'The Doctor' certainly knows how to bring magic and sparkle to any occasion and reflects the ultimate in travelling through time and space (though I'm not sure I'd be serving his favourite food of fish fingers and custard at my dinner party!)
Other personal touches that I would creatively add are a homemade Cutlery chandelier (a fantastic upcycling idea I spotted on Pinterest) and the coffee bean candle holders (again another Pinterest idea that I've been planning to make myself for a dinner party).
As I couldn't decide on a specific theme for the actual tableware, I watched the M&S video showing three looks for dressing your table. Whilst I loved both the Rustic Country look and the Classic look, I was most inspired by the Mix-it Up idea as that can reflect your own creativity and quirkiness.
So I've made by own version of 'Mix-it Up' dining, opting for two different styles of dinner plates (The Spring Meadow dinner set at £95 and the Richmond Dinner Set at £75).
The glass butter dish (£12.50) and Drink dispenser (£12.50) are perfect for showing off your own home-made butter and any fabulous drinks you mix-up yourself.
Having seen more and more restaurants serving up food in unique ways, I thought this 3-tier stainless steel Tiffin storage (£19.50) would make a quirky way of presenting some of your dinner party food. Ditto for the Olive Wood Board (£29.50)
Remembering the links to nature, the following items complete the look:
Cast Iron Shallow Cassserole dish (£65)
Slate Heart Napkin tags (£7.50)
Slate Heart Coasters (£7.50)
Richmond creamer jug (£12.50)
Fine Ribbed Runner (£15)
4 Crustacean placemats (£15)
Trio lavender glass bottles (£25)
Conran Copper wire trim glass tealight holder (£12)
Last, but certainly not least, the cutlery. This Marcel Wanders set (£49.50) just jumped straight out the screen at me. I don't think I've ever come across cutlery quite so magical as that. I thought it was really innovative to have the design over the entire piece of cutlery whereas most would stop at the handle. I loved that it was truly unique and how, not stopping at traditional boundaries, it gives a nod to innovative food trends too, inspiring me to push the boundaries of my culinary abilities when cooking for my magical dinner party.
I hope that what I've created with my mood boards shows a warm welcoming atmosphere and one where everyone is free to be themselves however unique or different. I also hope that the feeling of magic and sparkle will inspire my dinner party guests to truly enjoy the evening being inspired by unique and beautiful objects and tableware. With such an amazing magical dining room as this, I can only wish for a little magic to help me with my cooking skills for my dinner party food to live up to the occasion too!
This is my entry into the M&S Magical Dining Room Competition, judged by Jen of Love Chic Living and Jenny of Treasure Hunter UK. Prices correct at time of writing. Please always check current prices yourself before purchase!