The holiday season has officially begun so I wanted to write a blog about some things to keep in mind when entertaining throughout the next few weeks. I always mention to my clients when designing their homes to think about the times where they entertain - How often? How many people do they usually host at one time? How can we make the experience better for these people? I assume if you’re reading this, you have some interest in enhancing the overall experience for your guests. As a host, it’s appreciated when guests admire the items you’ve selected for your home and it’s even more of a plus when they express how comfortable they feel in your home. These are two compliments I hope you all receive this holiday season! Here are three easy ways to make you everyone’s favorite host.
1. Have Ample Seating
This is my number one tip for entertaining this holiday season! Having ample seating for guests is so important and something I bring up to clients whenever I’m working on the design for their living room, kitchen, basement etc. I always ask how often they entertain; even if the answer is not often they usually mention there’s a few occasions where they may have people over for someone’s birthday, holiday etc. As a host, it’s important to take note of the fact that not everyone is going to want to sit shoulder to shoulder on your sectional. In order for guests to feel comfortable and want to stay in your home, they want to have options when they walk in a room. So how can you incorporate extra seating? I always suggest having a pair ottomans that can be pulled in, allowing more guests to be part of conversation. Usually these ottomans are kept under a console, beside a coffee table or flank both sides of your media console, but when entertaining, it’s easy to pull them out and use them for extra seating. Here are three ottomans that I love available in a variety of color ways!
Another idea for extra seating that I’ve come up with in my previous projects is incorporating a bar height table with two barstools, usually off to the side and a little set back from the sectional or sofa. I love the functionality of this design because it provides extra seating but also is great for the clients themselves who may want to watch TV while they eat dinner one night and don’t have that option at their primary dining table. They may need to work that night but also want to be apart of the family conversation, they may want to play a game, there are so many scenarios in which clients have told me this table came in handy and are so happy we incorporated it into the design. Now of course you need to have the extra room in your space for something like this but if you do, it’s very useful when entertaining!
2. Stock up your high traffic areas
Have you ever been to a restaurant or a wedding where there are toiletries in the powder room? This is an easy hack to enhance the overall experience of your guests. It will leave them thinking you really went the extra mile yet all you had to do was visit the travel size section at your local grocery store. Think about how many people will visit the powder room throughout the night, be sure to have some of the essentials you wish you had on hand at a party - spray deodorant, extra toilet paper, facial mist, hand lotion and mouthwash are just a few items that would be great to place in a basket on the vanity. This is such an easy way to make your gathering feel more luxurious.
3. Present Food in an Aesthetically Pleasing Way
Get creative when it comes to presenting the food you’re serving. When displaying your food, focus on trying to create different heights, pay attention to the colors you’re putting next to each other so that you can create different layers. The color red encourages your appetite so adding in red toothpicks to your finger foods or displaying red napkins will allow your guests to feel less shy about approaching your appetizers. I also like to add in a natural element like a pine branch or something that goes with the occasion and enhances the overall look. If possible, place the food in different sections so that guests aren’t crowding around one area or forming a line - appetizers, main courses and desserts should be on different tables.
These tips are merely suggestions so don’t feel overwhelmed if you don’t have the space to add extra seating or display your food on different tables. The most important thing is enjoying your night and spending time with the people you love! I hope you find these tips useful and leave with some ideas on how to enhance the overall experience for your guests! If you have any questions about entertaining for the holidays, send me a message and we can set up a quick 30 minute call to go over any details you’d like!