For older generations, the “dinner party” usually connotes a formal setting. It’s when the kitchen staff prepares the food the entire day to serve a full-course meal in the evening. The finest of China should be present, and everyone should be in their best dresses. Invitations are sent out weeks before the event with complete information about the party.
That’s not the case now. Most of the time, friends call it “hanging out” instead of a “dinner party”. Gone are the formal set-ups, as younger people prefer casual get-togethers where they order food or prepare a little while waiting for their guests. They don’t mind sitting on the floor in the living room or being scattered in different spaces of the house or apartment.
The state of Millennials’ bank accounts
“Hanging out” doesn’t mean millennials have lost the art and passion for fancy dinner parties. It means that millennials are less likely to afford the components of this celebration. A Business Insider headline says it all: “Meet the average American millennial, who has an $8,000 net worth, is delaying life milestones because of student-loan debt, and still relies on parents for money.”
The salary of millennials is 20% less than how much their parents were earning at the same age. The American millennial’s $35,592 annual income simply cannot afford fine China or top-of-the-line steak. Rent has also increased by 3% as demand rises because the younger generation puts off buying a house. Thus, millennials live in small spaces where an actual dining room has been converted into a bar and high-chair or a balcony table.
Even then, 37% of 20-year-olds and 34% of 30-year-olds love to host gatherings in their home. A 2017 survey found that 75% of people prefer hanging out at home instead of a bar or a restaurant. These numbers mean that the art of hosting a dinner party is not dead. It has been redefined.
Dining rooms designed to cater to more people
With its revamp comes dining room trends that accommodate this kind of lifestyle. As guests frequent the home, living areas—especially the dining room—are utilized to cater to more people. Homeowners or interior designers might select dining room furniture in Salt Lake City to maximize seating capacity. This also means that the chairs and tables should be durable to stand constant use.
To save space, some people living in small spaces may use a combination of benches and chairs. Benches are a practical way to save space and increase the seating capacity, as opposed to individual seats. It’s also less formal and can give off a very young vibe.
The trend also leans closer to having a multi-purpose dining area where guests can just hang out and have fun. Perhaps, instead of dinner, they may be having a meeting or a group study. Modern dining rooms are built to cater to these activities, too.
Whether you’re the host of the guest, being around people whose company you enjoy guarantees a good time. The fancy food and set-up may not matter then, as you will have a laugh and a memorable night.