Family gatherings are always an adventure. Meeting your cousins, your aunts gossiping together, uncles having the time of their lives, there’s always plenty to talk about. What makes a family gathering memorable and fun? Whether it’s for dinner, lunch or even a brunch, your environment sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Setting the tone
Cutlery, plates, tables, chairs, carpets and all the way to napkins or tablecloth can set the tone for a family gathering. First, comfortable chairs go a long way. Your guests, family members or even friends should be comfortable as they have their meals and catch up. Soft relaxed chairs encourage your guests to stay just a little while longer. For kids, preferably chairs should be easy to clean maybe leather or wood.
It was found that tableware including plates, cups, and cutlery; affect the taste of your food. This is because your environment, what you see, what you hold in your hands (your sensory traits) affect how your feelings such as hunger, satiety (the feeling of feeling full) are processed in your brain.
Colours, shapes, even the weight of your cutlery, all these factors affect your mood and therefore affecting the hunger of your guests. Neater presented foods are preferred over messy servings, white plates are preferred over blue ones, and other little factors can affect your meals. Naturally, it’s not possible to take all these factors into consideration, but it’s always good to know.
And of course, the most important, the dining table. Your kitchen and dining room tables should not only suit your style and preference, but it should be spacious and clean. If you’re having friends or large family gatherings, long rectangular tables are preferred. But a smaller table isn’t all that bad either.
Smaller round tables encourage intimate conversations and good times to build stronger bonds with the few of you. The material also matters; wooden tables can make your home feel more homely and down to earth, while glass tabletops can make your space look cleaner and more simplistic. The choice is all yours.
Then what is your style?
Décor matters more than we realise. If your kitchen or dining room have little ornaments, maybe candles, a flowerpot, or paintings on the wall, wouldn’t that make you feel more relaxed at the table? Depending on your style, décor goes a long way to making your guests feel at ease, encouraging more conversations and more eating (which is always great).
Some prefer bold styles like chandeliers hanging above the table while others prefer something more simplistic like a vase or flowerpot or a candle at the centre of the table. Even the smallest of décor and ornaments can make a huge difference.
Sometimes there are more factors that affect meals and how we perceive hunger and food, and although it is good to be aware, we cannot take all these factors into consideration. Ultimately what matters is your style of preference and creating a comfortable happy atmosphere for your family gatherings (and just hope you get lucky to avoid all the family drama).