Opening our homes to entertain is one of the joys of life. But anyone who has ever hosted the party knows that entertaining can also be a hassle. Not to worry, our senior designers have these tips to stress-free entertaining.
It may seem old fashioned, but having the television on is a no-no for quality entertaining. Unless you’re getting the gang together to watch an award show or the Super Bowl, keep your guests focused on each-other and not the tube. To resist the temptation, dedicate a sitting area—sans television—where all of your guests can see and face each-other. In this chic TriBeCa loft, we framed four charcoal grey armchairs around a black cowhide rug. It’s perfect for good cocktails and good conversation.
If you’re planning to serve your guests some drinks—and we strongly recommend you do—then a home bar is a wonderful addition. And installing a bar doesn’t mean turning your home into a pub. With an unused corner, wall or shelf, you can create the perfect home bar.
Pro tip: don’t let your home bar go unadorned. In this SoHo duplex, we differentiated the home bar with a bright strip of yellow.
If you’re entertaining, then hopefully you’ll be serving your guests more than just drinks. Try to get most of the food prep out of the way before the guests arrive, but some kitchen work is inevitable. An open kitchen, like the one in this Sag Harbor loft, is a great way to keep the conversation flowing.
Pro tip: guests have a way of getting in the way of cooking. A kitchen island and a couple of counter stools is a great way to buffer guests and keep them out of the way.
Plenty of Seating
Ample seating is essential to entertaining. It may seem like an obvious point, but you would be surprised how often it goes overlooked. Plan out the course of your evening—where you’ll start with cocktails, where you’ll move to for dinner, and where you’ll wind down the evening—and make sure that each area has enough seating for all your guests. Even if you have to bust out some folding chairs from the garage, it’s better than making your guests stand.
And remember, your guests need a place to put down drinks and appetizers. So don’t forget to set out plenty of tables as well.
Entertaining the Kids
If you have children, are planning to have children, or if your guests have any little ones, then you’re going to want to create a seperate area for the kids. We outfitted the basement in this Connecticut home with air hockey, foosball, and a big-screen television. It’s perfect for keeping the kids distracted and is sure to give the parents some needed relaxation.
If you have ample backyard space, then a fire pit is a must. Position your fire pit the way you would a coffee table, like we did in this chic, rustic Hoboken apartment. It’ll give you an extra area to entertain in the balmy spring and fall months, and is a perfect place to begin or end the evening.