Throw your next dinner party in style with tips from the designers at Monogram Dinner by Design.

In just three years, Monogram Dinner by Design has turned into a national party. The annual celebration of design and fundraiser run by the Social Concierge launched in both Calgary and Toronto this past year and returns to Vancouver September 20 and 21.This month’s Vancouver edition will feature nearly 20 designers—including Karla Amadatsu and Stephanie Brown—each of whom will flex their skills in the creation of a fully immersive “tablescape” or custom cocktail bar.Ahead of the event, here are entertaining tips straight from Dinner by Design designers.

8 Designer Tips for the Ultimate Dinner Party

`WL0915_DinnerByDesign-07_Barry-Calhoun-copyLight and shadow take centre stage—with plenty of room to dance—in this all-white wonder, created by Alia Noormohamed of FNDA Architecture.1. Commit to a Theme. Aside from the green stems in the floral arrangements, Noormohamed stuck strictly to a monochromatic palette. Even the dinner party favours—pure white chocolates from Thomas Haas—are housed in modest white boxes.2. Break Up Straight Lines. Offset clean, rigid lines with more organic shapes. Here, Noormohamed hung sculpted mesh from the ceiling for a cool, abstract effect, but the curved centerpiece and orchids work just as well.3. Play with Ceiling Height. To create a more intimate experience for diners, the designer installed LED-embedded slats that, at their lowest point, sit eight feet from the ceiling. “The look is formal,” she says, “while still maintaining a light and airy feel.”`WL0915_DinnerByDesign-05_Barry-Calhoun-copyA traditional dining room—complete with white panelling—is styled with hits of contemporary cool in designer Sophie Burke‘s double-duty space.4. Consider a Bench. Installing a bench not only offers more seating, it also creates a sense of space for forcing the table to one side, notes Burke. For maximum comfort, she added a soft linen cushion and throw pillows throughout.5. Warm Up with Wood Accents. Balance a more dramatic palette with hints of natural wood. Here, a sleek walnut table and Carl Hansen lounge chair add warmth to Burke’s black and white backdrop.(Photos by Barry Calhoun.)Western Living’s tablescape, designed by David Keeler and Robert Quinnell of Provide, is inspired by the chic GE Monogram kitchen that surrounds it. The designers played off the kitchen’s white and bright colour palette, warming up the clean lines with a collection of unique handmade elements.6. Up the Contrast. To draw attention to the table, Provide wove punches of black into the white and silver décor for a high-impact look. The rounded placemats designed by Doug Johnston, for example, feature black and white hand-stitching—and pair perfectly with the light sculpture (also by Johnston) overhead.7. Play with Shapes. An array of geometric shapes—from silkscreened napkins to the faceted resin candle holders—adds visual interest to the space, but it’s also a creative way to have fun with a more formal setting.8. Cover Your Chairs. For added texture, layer a cozy throw over your dining chairs. In this case, the pair draped pieces of luxe sheepskin over white wire seats from Bend. “It helps add a humanistic touch while making guests feel more comfortable,” says Keeler.

Monogram Dinner by Design

Designer tablescapes are open to the public for two nights of wining and dining before a few are moved to Oakridge Centre for Western Living Design Week, September 17 to 30. For more details head to