Whether it is leaves or snow falling in your yard, your fireplace is aglow and you are daydreaming of close friends and family gathered around the table. It’s certainly one of my favorite parts of the year and I want to share some of my favorite ways to entertain. Gathering is essential to a happy, healthy life and with current restrictions it may seem something to forgo this year. However, these are simple 10 interior designers tips I believe will elevate your hosting skills for entertaining either a select few, or a few more.
Here are my top tips for hosting a dinner party, brunch or holiday meal. Enjoy incorporating them in your own, unique ways:
- First things first.
Not happy with your table? A tablecloth works wonders! Ordering one online or checking your favorite home goods store well ahead of time saves you the stress of scrambling for one the day of the event.
- Use cloth napkins.
My favorite is the timeless look and feel of linen. Worried about stains? Choose a dark charcoal or other dark color napkin, they will add an elegant layer to your tablescape.
- Do not skip the details.
Garnishing your tablescape is where a lot of magic happens. Use fresh greenery, pinecones, tall and short candlesticks and glass votives. Show your kids pictures of what you need and send them off on a scavenger hunt to get them for you. It may take a couple rounds, as their initial finds may need some improvement, but it keeps them engaged and a part of the fun.
- What is in the air?
Do not miss the opportunity to simmer a pot of cinnamon sticks and orange peels to a create a delicious fall scent. Or slow cook a recipe of hot apple cider, place some fresh pine garland around or bake up a batch of cookies. Aroma has the power to transport you immediately to a time and place.
- How is your soap?
Especially during this time of increased handwashing, this is a wonderful place to pamper your guests with luxurious, moisturizing, sweet smelling soap. Pure, aromatic and plant-based, Aesop’s is our favorite brand at Urbanology Designs.
- Coat check.
Create a landing spot for your guest’s coats and purse bags. A coat rack is a great investment if your entry closet is full.
- Splurge on the appetizers.
Delectable edibles are incredible tone setters. Regardless of how hungry your guests are when they arrive, each can balance their hunger pangs on demand before the main course is served. My personal favorite is to roll up a slice of salami with cream cheese and a pepperoncino inside. Quick, simple and always popular!
- Get your Prep on!
The biggest favor to yourself is to get as much of your prep work done in advance. You and your guests want to enjoy sharing each other’s company and building memories. If you’re running around and stressed it won’t be the kind of memories you were expecting.
- Enlist help.
Another great favor to yourself, ask your spouse, kids, relatives, kid’s friends to lend a helping hand. Assign specific tasks to help take the load off you. Turn on some upbeat jazz or nostalgic holiday music to get everyone in the spirit and joining the fun and flurry of getting your home ready for a memorable meal.
- “Tell me about…”
Come up with a question everyone can answer, and you’ll set the tone for table conversations that encourage sharing and curiosity. What are you most grateful for, most excited about in life, funniest thing that happened to you this year? Raise your glass, enjoy your loved ones, laugh and have fun, we all very much need it.
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