We all love to entertain friends and family but often think the planning and time to dedicate to the process takes a lot of work.  If you were able to use simple tips for getting your home ready and thinking through the entertaining logistics before hand, the task wouldn’t seem so daunting.  Remember, you can make your event as large or small as you want.  Start with your comfortability level and work up at later events. Here are helpful tips to help you plan and prepare your home for the perfect party!

  • Assess your home: Before you send out invitations, take an assessment of your home and how large or intimate you wish the gathering to be. If it’s going to be large, look at what rooms you plan to use, and if outdoor areas will be utilized as well.  For smaller gatherings, space may not be a concern, but still determine where people will eat, mingle, and gather for socializing throughout your event.
  • Determine how much seating you need: When you entertain, the quantity of chairs is usually the only thought considered. Also think about the type of seating needed for the activity.  Lounge chairs may be comfortable for finger food, but not when eating dinner.  At the same time, upright dining chairs are appropriate for a seated dinner amongst friends, but may be too formal for an evening party on a rooftop terrace with neighboring families.
  • Decorate for the occasion: Depending on your event, decorating can be as simple as a beautiful centerpiece, to an elaborate entrance with exterior lighting welcoming guests into your home. If you don’t know where to start, look through entertaining magazines or look online for inspiration theme parties.  If you don’t want the hassle, consider hiring an event planner to help you decide or to plan and arrange the décor themselves.
  • Preparing food: Planning your food menu should be done in advance, as so should your delivery of the meal.  Often times we put more effort into what will be served, than who will serve it and when.  If you are having a large crowd of guests, consider a buffet style delivery method of the food. This allows the host time to put food out, and still be ready for arriving guests. If you would prefer a plated meal and guests will be served individually – take this into consideration in your energy level of being the host! Catering is also a great option if you want to be free to mingle with guests and enjoy the evening.
  • Create beautiful ambiance: All the senses are involved in the feeling of great ambiance at a party. Great entertaining is about making your guests feel welcomed at your home. Think about music, floral centerpiece arrangements, and comfort items. If you’re entertaining in the evenings outdoors remember it can be cool so consider using outdoor fireplaces, portable heaters, and throw blankets on lounge chairs, these will be welcomed by your guests.
  • Send your guests home with a memory: Everyone loves gifts! Consider making parting gifts or “swag bags” for your guests.  Elaborate gifts can be from jewelry to gift certificates to spas and golf outings. For less elaborate gifts consider enclosing personalized note cards thanking your guests and/or having a drawing or raffle at the end of the night for a gift. This extra touch will send your guests home with a piece of your thoughtful hospitality.

Throwing a party and entertaining at your home can be exciting and it’s a wonderful way to bring together those you cherish spending time with.  With thoughtful planning throughout your home, the stress will be lifted and you will enjoy your guests as much as they enjoy your party! Freshome reader’s do you entertain at your home? How do you plan out your space in your home? Suggestions are always welcomed.