With hygge, an emphasis on self-care and a focus on home, there is no question that staying in is the new going out. Whether you’re hosting a few close friends or a large crowd, adding a few extra touches will make an evening at your home feel particularly special. Put these ideas into action to turn your space into the ultimate home entertaining hub.
Plan in advance
In addition to planning the menu in advance, here are a few other ways to get ahead:
- The night before, lay out the dishes and utensils you will need. You can also label each one to identity its intended use (i.e. a note in the chip and dip labeling it spinach dip and pita chips).
- Place all mixers on the bar and cut garnishes the night before to store in the refrigerator covered.
- Restock the hand towels and toilet paper in the bathroom.
- Prior to your guest’s arrival, empty the dishwasher to eliminate an overflow of dirty dishes in the sink.
Declutter all surfaces
Create a less chaotic space by removing all the piles of paper and miscellaneous items that inevitably collect in your living spaces. If you have pets, take a lint roller to the furniture, for fresh seating when your guests arrive.
Set the scene
Create an impression before guests even come in the front door with exterior decorative planters or lanterns lighting the walkway. Create ambiance by dimming the overhead lights, playing an evening-specific playlist, lighting a delicately scented candle and displaying fresh flowers throughout. Set a basket by the front door with inexpensive slippers guest can slip on to keep them comfortable as soon as they walk through the door.
Control the vibe
Whether you’re hosting a close circle of friends or a more extended group, you set the tone as the host. Set a positive, relaxed vibe by budgeting in an additional thirty minutes prior to your guest’s arrival to enjoy a cocktail and take a breather before the evening kicks off. Your guests will reciprocate your relaxed and positive vibes. Remember to introduce those who don’t know each other. If you have concerns with how the food will turn out, keep them to yourself — your guests are unlikely to notice any shortcomings.
Create a designated bar area with the basics, including wine, beer and a signature cocktail to cut down on the amount of clutter. A signature cocktail offers a festive twist and will save you the costs and time associated with creating a full bar. A charcuterie board is a go-to crowd pleaser. Assemble three to four different types of cheeses, crackers, several meats, a bowl of olives, a fruit spread and grapes. Make it look less intimidating by taking a bit or two before your guests arrive.
Create a self-serve atmosphere
For a less formal vibe, make all food and beverages self-serve so guests can eat and drink when and where they would like. If you have an island, arrange the food so guests can create a plate at their leisure and select a spot in your home to eat. Have fun selecting disposable dish ware and utensils.
Don’t forget the littlest guests
If you’re hosting guests with kids, pick up some kid-friendly entertainment such as coloring books, games, and toys. It’s also good to have some movies ready to go on Netflix and kid-friendly drinks and snacks. It will not only keep the kids occupied, but provide the adults some appreciated break time.
Add extra comfort
Create cozy spots to sit and talk by positioning a basket of blankets to curl up in, and set out water bottles for grab so that guests can easily stay hydrated. Have a guest room set up for any late night guests who may be in need of a last-minute sleepover.