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Dining room ideas: How to seat more during Diwali

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Mumbai based interior designer Minnie Bhatt, founder of Minnie Bhatt Design gives us nifty tips on dealing with unexpected arrivals at your Diwali dinner party

While more might be merrier, unexpected guests at Diwali can be challenging for any host. Keeping the décor streamlined to create more space is a good idea ­– move unessential furniture to another room for the evening. To take your table setting up a notch, interior designer Minnie Bhatt suggests decorations like draping fairy lights, using silk or velvet cushion covers, adding rich table runners and tall candle holders.

Divide and conquer
Don’t use only the periphery of the room for seating; this creates an empty space in the middle. Instead divide the room into sections – a rug with cushions in one corner for card games; a sofa with ottomans placed across for those who want to chat, a circle of dining chairs in the third corner for another group.

Use all the surfaces available to you to set up dinner. Says Minnie, “A console or side-board can double up as water-cum-dessert station while the dining table can have a buffet layout.” So, bring out that trolley or those nesting side-tables and put them to good use.

Pouffes, pillows and perches
Pillows, bedroom pouffes, ottomans, even storage boxes can double up as low or floor seating, suggests Minnie. Your window ledge could be of some use as well. If you have a low perch, place a few cushions on it for a cosy seat.

Go diagonal
If your table is set for a sit-down dinner, added guests means more table settings and seating. “Invest in a dining table with an extension system to accommodate a greater number of guests,” Minnie recommends. In case you don’t have one, bring out that bedroom desk and place the two tables diagonally to accommodate last minute surprises.

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