As many of us are preparing to host or attend New Years Eve parties this weekend, we thought we would get some entertaining tips, ideas, and experiences from our design staff to share with you.
Hosting A Great Holiday Party
Holiday Entertaining with Melanie
Living in a townhouse, our space is fairly limited. We prefer to host smaller, more intimate gatherings. Our finished basement is the perfect spot for casual entertaining we affectionately refer to this space as the lower lounge". The downstairs flooring is actually heated porcelain floor tile designed to look like hardwood so it's always cozy in the winter. Our layout includes a sectional sofa and two occasional chairs. This arrangement encourages good conversation and a relaxed atmosphere. The upholstery fabrics we selected feature a mid-tone grey palette which provides an ideal backdrop for seasonal accent pillows, yet is also very durable and easy to clean. I like to keep extra throw pillows and soft throws on hand for lounging. We usually dim the recessed lighting in the evening to soften the atmosphere. Our solid walnut cocktail table provides adequate space for small plates and beverages, and I no longer have to worry about surface scratches or rings on the cocktail table since we added a custom glass top.
I have a lifelong interest in cooking and several cherished recipes that I've collected over the years. If you're a guest in our home then you can expect we'll be providing the refreshments! During my college years I worked in a very unique, upscale home design and gift store. We always served this famous Holiday Cheeseball at our annual Holiday Open House. The recipe was provided courtesy of one of our fabulous customers. It s still a tradition for me today. I remember that adorable shop and the special people who helped shape my career every time I prepare it!
I like to layer home fragrance. Usually I opt for a refreshing oil diffuser in the entry hall as guests arrive and light scented candles in the living spaces. I love the subtle glow of a candle in a hand blown glass vessel. Eventually we'd like to add a banquette for additional seating along with some wall sconces for ambient lighting. If your home doesn t include a designated built-in bar area, get creative with a kitchen island, bar cart or a console topped with a tray as a beverage station. Consider adding small ottomans tucked under a console, or a pouf nestled nearby to offer convenient pull up seating. Sometimes the most memorable occasions are simple. Ultimately I think it s about making people feel comfortable.
I host a "friends giving" twice a year. Once in September for friends I have in Florida and then again just after New Years.
I have a very open floor plan so with a little rearranging I am able to accommodate up to 28 people. I find that utilizing furniture that I already have like a dining room table, a peninsula, a larger round table, and several bridge tables, I am able to manage larger groups. Side note: don t shy away from bridge tables. They are easy to store, move around, and they can be utilized in several ways.
The Menu & Mix:
I enjoy cooking so I am the head chef when it comes to hosting events and parties:) I don t want to give away all of my secrets but one of my go-to favorites is serving a filet at room temperature with a fabulous barefoot contessa sauce! By serving it this way it opens up my oven for sides galore. I also like to get the party started by serving a shrimp cocktail. Another tip: Sofa tables make great serving tables. They are usually taller than regular tables and can be easily moved around the house. Great for appetizers while my guests mingle.
I will say one more thing, get a furniture protection plan! It s when you least expect it that a glass of fine wine will be spilt on your beautiful area rug or a Brie-covered cracker will make its way between your new sofa cushions. We have you covered here at Oskar Huber with a 5 year protection plan from Guardsman. Stop in and see me at the Ship Bottom store and I can tell you all about it
Check out our current New Years Sale for big savings on furniture and accessories to make your next party amazing! Going on now thru Jan 15th! From all of us at Oskar Huber Furniture & Design, Have a safe and happy New Years Weekend!