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There’s nothing like the satisfaction and fun of throwing a successful dinner party.
There’s also nothing like the stress that comes with hosting a bunch of friends, especially when you don’t have the gear you need to pull off a flawless party. These must-have home items from Amazon will instantly make your next gathering feel way more sophisticated, and you don’t need a big-time budget to afford any of them — everything’s under $25.
Expect the oohs and ahhs to start immediately after you pull out this crystal cocktail shaker. It has the heft of something truly special, with the sort of intricate glasswork carving that makes it feel like a family heirloom. No need to put it away after the party — the shaker will look beautiful as a statement item on your counter, shelf or bar cart. Take the top off, and it also functions as a beautiful glass for whatever you’re drinking.$25 at Amazon
A fancy cocktail shaker makes fancy drinks, and fancy drinks deserve fancy ice cubes. Enter this set of two silicone molds. Each one makes eight 2-inch cubes, which, in addition to looking incredibly cool, also melt way slower than your standard cube. Try filling them with juice or tea during the summer for a cool and delicious treat. $18 at Amazon
If you’re planning to host, you’ve gotta have a cheeseboard. This one is about 1 square foot — ideal for getting that luscious look of high-stacked charcuterie and small enough to make sense even if you’re living in a really tight space. The knife tray slides under the tray into a hidden drawer, making storage all the more convenient. We especially love the light, natural look of this organic bamboo.$23 at Amazon
Cloth napkins will instantly up the adult factor of any table setting. Even when you’re the only one around, they’re still the way to go — cloth napkins are sturdier than paper, feel way nicer on your hands and are, of course, the more eco-friendly choice. This understated, sophisticated set comes with 12 per package and is available in many other nice colors as well. Best of all, you can throw them right into the washing machine when you’re done. (Come on, we’d never make you hand wash.)$18 at Amazon
Made of shatterproof and BPA-free Tritan plastic, this set of four wine glasses has the look and feel of actual glass without any of the fragility. Stemless glasses are the way to go if you — ahem, your friends — sometimes tend to be a little careless, as it minimizes the risk of accidentally knocking them over. And, of course, they look super cool. $20 at Amazon
A grown-up dinner party demands a classic wood salad bowl, preferably with matching servers. This affordable acacia option checks all the boxes. Even though you shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher, the tight grain is stain-resistant and doesn’t pick up odors, so it's a cinch to keep clean. When you’re not hosting, use it as an elegant way to store fresh fruit or bread out on your counter.$21 at Amazon
Astronomically increase your adult quotient by keeping olive oil out and available for guests at all times. It’s truly one of the most sophisticated condiments and truly makes anything taste better. To go even more mature, put it out on the table in a glass dispenser like this one. The spout helps you pour the perfect amount every time, and the dark-colored glass protects your oil from sunlight to preserve its shelf life. It also comes with a funnel to minimize mess when pouring oil into the dispenser. $10 at Amazon
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