Four Cheap & Easy Dinner Party Tips, Courtesy Of Lauren Conrad

Well, if you were wondering — which, um, we’re sure you were — now we know what Lauren Conrad was up to last night. According to her Twitter, she was hosting a dinner for a bunch of friends. Check out the photo of her table, above, all “did-up” for her guests! (Dinner parties: very grown-up.) Now, really check it out. Go in for the close-up, because LC employed some pretty genius tricks when putting together her “tablescape” (as Sandra Lee likes to call it). After the jump, four ways to set a swanky-looking table with minimal money/effort…

  • None of her plates match, no matter. Celebs, they’re just like us! They don’t have enough soup bowls to go around! Next time you come up short on a specific plate or bowl, go with it. Love how Lauren mixed and matched the round bowls (of different sizes and shapes) with square plates. Just make sure you have some sort of unifying color or element. Here, everything is the same shade of white and she used matching placemats, so it works!
  • Flowers need not be from a florist. Seriously, who has the time or bank account for a florist bouquet delivery every week? Make like LC and pick up a bunch of tulips or another inexpensively priced bloom (the bigger the better, and cheaper—you use less when flowers are bigger) at your usual supermarket or corner store. Go casual and throw them in a glass vase or pretty water pitcher or even an old Mason jar. Lauren upped the ante by breaking up a few blooms and sprinkling the petals on the table.
  • Incorporate different heights. Candlelight is the most flattering light there ever was (and is)—but who actually owns a “set” of candelabras? Seriously. Life is too short to worry about matching candlestick sets. I love picking up candlesticks at the flea market and, again, mixing and matching the different heights. Notice the center of her table feels full? That’s the varied heights working in her favor. Just don’t stick anything over 15 inches in the middle; people can’t see over whatever it is and it kills the convo.
  • Short on chairs? Look to your living room. Check out the two floral-printed chairs pulled up to the middle of each side of the table. Do they look like dining room chairs? Not particularly, but who cares! As long as they aren’t your chunky La-Z-Boy chairs (and guests are able to sit upright enough to eat), have ‘em join the party!