It's that time of year when friends and family get-together at home to fight the bitterness that is winter vs. going out. There's something so nice about staying in and having those you love the most over, especially since these gatherings help foster relationships, ignite new ideas, and truly allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It's also a great way to save on those expensive, lavish meals that may not be the smartest choice for your pocketbook or health. And with the holiday tradition that is overeating, knowing exactly what you're putting into your belly is important to keeping the waistline toned down. In addition to those little wins, we think it's so much cozier. There's tons of flexibility to move around, and the build up is as exciting as the actual event. Now, we understand for some the idea of hosting even the smallest party is a daunting task, but don't fret, we've put together our five key ingredients to throwing and enjoying your own stay-at-home gathering. Trust us, you don't want to miss out on this read!
Let us know in the comments what your go-to key ingredients are to hosting and charming guests at home.
1) Ambience. As designers & tastemakers, we’re aware that each of the senses should be stimulated in order to create a balanced space. This same rule applies for any type of at home gathering. The first step is a clean and tidy area that can be layered with candles, warm lighting, fresh flowers, music (at the perfect volume), and texture.
2) Timing. An understanding of your space and how many guests you can comfortably take in is crucial for a successful evening. We recommend having a low-key, laid-back plan in place to help keep the night running smoothly and conversations active.
3) Food. It’s important to ask well in advance if any of your guests have food allergies or restrictions so you may accommodate and incorporate variety in your menu. We always have a medley of bite size appetizers our guests can nibble on as they settle, coupled with a fully stocked bar featuring a variety of mixers, fruits, and garnishes. Adding a signature seasonal cocktail certainly puts an extra twist to an already unique flavor experience.
4) Décor. If you’re unsure where to begin with presentation, start by knowing the number of courses you'll be serving so you can include the right number of plates, glassware, and flatware. From there you can build out the table décor with the knowledge that each guest’s footprint is accounted for. Get creative and try using edible centerpieces, seasonal flowers in vases found throughout the home, musky scented candles, or fun place cards to pique curiosity.
5) Entertainment. If your budget permits, we recommend hiring a bartender along with a 1 wait-staff to help with crafting cocktails and tidying up. There are quite a few services with reasonable options by the hour, and the price is well worth it considering the extra hands allow you to be part of the entertainment while appreciating the company of your guests. We also like having games and quirky masks out for a little fun amongst each other. As of late, we’ve been major fans of Apple TV's aerial art in the background that alternates throughout the night. The content is stunning and keeps us/our guests engaged.