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1940s Inspired Black and White Theme Party Decor Ideas

This party was inspired by the elegant formality of high society at the turn of the decade (30’s into the 40’s) and the popularity of the Big Band!

Modern and sleek lines are used in setting our dining table, with a hint of the musical influence. Each place setting has a unique musical instrument (these are Christmas ornaments spray painted black), and the contrast of the black and white layers makes each item pop!

If you have multiple dining tables, consider naming each table an instrument and using escort cards to direct guests to the "trumpet" table or "piano" table.

Create an interesting centerpiece with decorative art pieces, a contemporary vase design, and glitzy candle holders and frames. Tulips are a wonderful flower choice because of their sleek architectural lines, and the pop of green from the leaves and stems adds dimension to this black & white party.

Bowls don't just have to be used for serving up food! Fill them with rock salt and nestle a place card into it. This added layer adds more drama to the setting.

Make your name cards multi purpose by layering them with a menu card and a conversation starter card.

Party Game: Each guest at the table has a different question to help generate interesting discussions. The cards are held together by a sparkling brad, and embellished with musical note paper.

Table settings are all about the details. Fill some frames with photos of popular musicians of the day that you can easily find and print out on your home computer. Use them as part of the centerpiece, or have a different one at each place setting.

Make a table runner using sheet music to tie it all together.

Set up a bar (dessert and/or drinks) on an open shelf and use the different levels to showcase different items. More musical notes and instruments are used in small ways to carry out the Big Band theme here.


A great way to show off food is by serving it in interesting ways. Here we found a wire piano in the home décor section, to serve truffles on, and a vintage mirror tray to hold layered parfaits. Choosing food in your color scheme also helps to reinforce the theme.

A fun and novel way to serve champagne is in mini bottles with straws! No glassware is needed and you can stick them in small, ice-filled buckets to stay cold. Keeping up with who’s drink is who’s is easy when you turn iconic musicians into drink tags. Just choose your favorite name!


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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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