Arrange Your Home for Entertaining
It’s getting cool and crisp outside (finally!) and this means the holiday season is around the corner. If you are entertaining this season I know your to-do list will be long. Does that list include ensuring your guests have the opportunity to have great connections at your party? Does it include making sure they have a place to drop their glass of Pinot Noir while they share a laugh with a friend? Does it include making sure your guest all feel at ease? These party planning ideas will cross all of these things off of your to-do list, giving you party confidence!
Here are a few ways enhance your guests’ experience at your next party.
1. Arrange your seating to encourage conversation. A pair of chairs in a cozy corner, with a table between them, is a great use of space and encourages chats. Place your main seating - a pair of sofas or grouping of chairs - within 6’ of each other so guests can easily hear each other. If you have a lone chair try to add a small bench next to it to create a great spot for two.
2. Have a place to drop a drink or plate. Side tables - large or small - placed around your seating areas allow guests to drop their glass of Pinot Noir while they take a bite of your crab balls. An easy way to ensure you have enough tables is to sit in all of your seating and make sure there’s a table arm’s length away from each spot. If not, pick up a few small “drink drop” tables and place them around the room. As small as 12” round works. You can keep these on hand for future parties as they don’t up much room and are easy to move around! If you have nesting tables now’s the time to break them apart and spread them around.
3. Use flexible seating. Along the lines of the movable tables, I find that movable seating - often in the form of upholstered cubes - work great to provide seating guests can move as the mood and conversation strikes them! A pair of these can sit in front of your fireplace or tuck under a console table when not in use. (They also make great foot stools!).
4. Create seating zones in long spaces. If you have a long room consider breaking it up into 2 or more “zones” or groups of seating. If you need to do this on the quick for a party consider bringing furniture in from other rooms in your home to create these zones. You may love it so much after your party that you put a new plan into place. Either way, consider how your room can hold two or three seating areas similar to the rooms shown here.
Entertaining is all about ensuring your guests have a great time. If your home is set up to encourage conversation and comfort, your guest will remember their conversations and your delicious food and NOT that they had to stand and juggle their plate, wine glass and try to be charming when chatting with a new friend, all at the same time! Create spaces that work well and you will have confidence that your holiday party will be one to remember (in a great way!).