The festive season is nearly upon us, and plans are already being made to start entertaining at home this Christmas. With dinner parties, drinks evenings and general gatherings over cheese and wine, it’s time to start thinking about how we can style our homes in preparation for these events.
This post isn’t specifically about styling your home for entertaining at Christmas though (more of this to follow next month, I promise!). Today I want to walk you through how I like to prepare my home for entertaining, and how I like to think about the home when I’m getting it party-ready. No matter what sort of event or party you have invited guests round for, I’m sure you’ll be able to take away some of these principles and apply them to your home too.
I have separated this post into two sections; Ambience and Defining the Space and Food & Drink. I believe these are the two key principles to master for perfecting your styling when it comes to events or parties at home.
Without further ado, let’s get going!
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Ambience and Defining the Space
First of all, your home needs to be welcoming, warm and inviting. I’ve actually written another post on how to Create a Welcoming Hallway which is a great place to start. For any event at home, it’s more than just individual pieces within, such as a dining table… It’s about the environment in which these pieces are in so they can tell their own stories themselves.
One of the most important aspects of preparing your home for a gathering, event or party is to define key spaces. Aim to create a “focal point” to your main room, perhaps this is where you have most of the drinks or food presented. It’s also helpful to separate large spaces into cosy smaller sections, use your dining table to lay out food and other dining chairs can be dotted around the living room to add more seating.
Food and Drink
Ahh, the most important part of entertaining! Styling and presenting the food and drink on offer to your guests. For this particular set-up, I’ve used key pieces from the beautiful Tatra Collection from LSA International.
The Tatra Collection was inspired by folk traditions of woodworking. This becomes a decorative feature throughout the pieces, carved natural ash from FSC certified sources. With its angular designs for drinking it creates a contemporary take on glass and server ware.
First of all, I prefer to display the food on the dining table. Whether it’s an informal setting with the table pushed against a wall or a more formal arrangement with the table fully set up – it’s the key to presenting food. How you do this is entirely up to you. I tend to use ceramic dishes for nibbles, and boards for cheeses, cakes and canapés.
For this intimate gathering, I set up four table settings with slate placemats and coasters – these are my absolute go-to when having family and friends over! To start the evening we started with a glass of champagne, general chatting and catching up. This was followed by a cheese collection which could be enjoyed sat around the dining table or at other seating areas of the apartment.
For presenting any beverage at a party or event at home, it’s imperative to have the perfect ice bucket to make sure they are chilled to optimum temperature. There’s nothing worse than a warm drink…
I love using ice buckets for not only chilling the drinks, but also as a way to style console tables and finish the dining table off… I tend to switch the position from both of these pieces of furniture throughout the evening depending on how it’s going. You can normally tell when people are more or less interested in the food or drink, so moving anything out of the way is helpful to clear the space but also adds more interest to the new location.
The other critical thing to remember when entertaining is the glassware you provide for the drinks. Aside from the ice bucket, you’ll need to make sure you have all the right glasses to go with it. I personally love to entertain with either Champagne or Gin as the main drinks. I always make sure there are beers and soft drinks tucked away in the fridge just in case there is anyone that doesn’t enjoy the main.
For this gathering I had, I prepared the table with Champagne flutes from LSA’s Tatra Collection, as they are beautiful crystal style glasses that match the serving board and ice bucket perfectly.
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I really hope you have enjoyed this post and learnt some key principles for your next party at home… How do you like to prepare your home ready for guests? Share it with us in the comments below!