There is an art to entertaining. I believe that the key ingredient to being an effective entertainer is loving the home you are entertaining in. If you love your space, if it’s reflective of who you are as a person and as a family, if it feels amazing to you and makes you proud, entertaining in that space should be a breeze. Because if this is the case for you, your home will already feel warm and inviting and personality-filled to your guests. The rest of the ingredients for effective entertaining simply require some planning ahead. In this article, I would love to provide you with some key ideas to consider when designing your spaces, to make entertaining easier and more comfortable, from a design/layout standpoint, for you and your guests.

Think about the flow: Depending on how large or small your party is, think about how you want people to interact. Make sure that you have enough seating for about 75% of your party guests. You want those extroverted guests to have room to walk around and start up conversations while providing intimate conversation seating for your more introverted guests. Break up your seating a bit by placing a few chairs close enough to your sofa and love seat so that people don’t have to shout to speak.

Utilize your console, side and coffee tables to spread out your appetizers and nibblers, forcing people to move around the space and interact with each other.

Create a centralized drinks station with ice, glasses and cups, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and mixers easily accessible to all.

Make sure to set the mood with your lighting. If you have holiday lights in, about or around house, make sure they are on. If you have dimmers on your overhead lights or lamps, try dimming them to about 75%. Use lamps instead of overhead lights where possible. And if you have a fireplace, turn down the heat and turn that baby on. It really helps set a cozy, festive mood.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. There is nothing more special at a party or gathering than a host who is having a blast. Set things up ahead of time, find easy-to-make and prep-ahead recipes, don’t sweat the small stuff, remember to enjoy your guests and your home while it’s filled with them. Make sure you are present and enjoy the moment – that is the most important part of entertaining.


Happy Entertaining!