Published on March 18, 2020

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

So you’re staying in. That doesn’t mean you can’t host a dinner party—you just have to tweak the definition a little. Welcome to a new era of entertaining, where people throw happy hours over Google Hangouts and FaceTime catch-ups replace the IRL thing. Hannah Bronfman is making the case for digital dining: The DJ and influencer is having a “cooking party,” and everyone’s invited. 

Bronfman shared the idea on her Instagram account: “Let’s make dinner together using what we have in our pantries…when is good? Tell me and let’s make it a date.” Keep checking her profile for the exact invite, but if her Stories are any indication—she also posted a behind-the-scenes of a truly luxurious Tuesday night dinner: mussels—we’re in for a treat. 

Whether or not you tune in, the idea is a simple one and something that everyone can get in on. Making meals at home feel a bit more elevated only takes a few easy tricks—no Michelin star required. 

Invite Your Friends

Virtually, that is. Tune in to everyone’s kitchen via FaceTime for the prep work, so you can all stay connected while chopping and dicing—glass of wine preferred, but not required. Then move the fete to the dining room and keep the conversation going all night. 

Set the Mood

Nothing ruins an atmosphere faster than fluorescent overhead lighting. Switch over to sconces or accent lamps for a cozier setting. And you know those colorful tapered candles you bought at a boutique years ago and never found the right occasion to burn? Light ’em to kick things up a notch. 

Rearrange the Layout

Who says dinner has to happen on a dining table? Move yours to the living room coffee table, in front of a fireplace or your favorite movie, to differentiate it from an everyday meal. 

Bring Out the Good Stuff 

The decor you collect—like the Italian porcelain dinnerware you bought as a souvenir or the antique flatware passed down from your grandmother—is meant to make you happy, and it deserves to be used even on nonspecial occasions. So go ahead, break out the proverbial fine china for your frozen pizza spread, even if it’s really just a novelty dish you found at a flea market. If it’s smile inducing, it’s a fit. 

See more ways to make staying in work for you:
Looking for a Way to Pass the Time? Try This
All the Hotlines and IG Lives to Help You Figure Out Dinner This Week
Try This DIY Aromatherapy to Turn Your Home Into a Calming Retreat