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How to be the perfect hostess

Hostess with the Mostess: It all Starts with Knowing your Style

Being the hostess with the mostess is a title that no one wants to lose or give up. However, being a great hostess requires more than just knowing how to entertain guests; it requires a home that allows you to entertain to the best of your ability. In the same way you can’t be a five-star chef with one-star produce, you can’t be a great hostess without having a home that is great for entertaining.

Of course, knowing what makes a home great for entertaining is a task tougher than Frodo’s march on Mordor. There is just so much to think about, from the warm and inviting ambience that you need to create, to the lighting and even where everyone is going to sit. Then there is the layout and the flow that needs to be considered too. Wowzer, there really is a ton to wrap your heads around.

Luckily for you, we have spoken to a few design experts and party planners about what makes a home ideal for entertaining in. So, with the holiday season right around the corner, these are the little things you need to consider doing if you are going to create a home that is made for entertaining. Now, go and get your hosting on!

drinks and party food

Know Your Entertaining Style First

The only way you are going to make a home that truly suits your entertaining needs is by knowing exactly what your entertaining style is first. You need to know your needs before you can cater to them. Oh yes, there are different styles that need your consideration – cocktail parties where everyone swans about, intimate dinner parties with your inner circle of friends, wine-tasting and movie nights or even parties where kids are likely to tag along. All of these nuances can drastically influence what your entertainment needs are, and that is why you need to understand what your style is. Get this right – even if it means creating a list – and you have the hardest part conquered.

Let Your Garden Help You Out

Nothing is going to be a bigger help than being able to more than double the size of your space by rolling back some bifold doors and allowing your guests to flood into your decked area. Not only will it help you out with space, but it will also give your party that little bit more je ne sais quoi. The ambience will feel less stuffy, your designated room will feel less full and people will be able to flow in and out with ease, meaning the flow of your party will be much more on point. This is super important. Just make sure that you consider your garden when it comes to setting up. That means having some comfy seating on offer, tables for people to put their drinks, some delicious garden lighting that will add to the atmosphere, light a fire, turn on the heaters and maybe even some low-volume music. Cater to people that want to grab some fresh air without missing out on your shindig and you will find smiles everywhere you go while playing hostess. Yeah, your garden is your hidden asset.

Seating Is Second To None

It doesn’t matter what sort of entertaining you plan on doing, getting your seating absolutely spot on is key to getting the atmosphere absolutely right. If you are having a dinner party, then you need to make sure everyone can sit comfortably. That could mean investing in a contemporary dining table 10 seater that will allow everyone enough space without being too far away from each other, or it could mean cooking up a meal that only requires small plates, creating a sense of scale that plays to the intimacy of your seating. If you are just having a cocktail-slash-drinks party, then make sure that you move your furniture around so that a sense of intimacy is created. A great way to do this is by creating little pockets of furniture – little groups – where people can enjoy good conversation. This could be in your living room or on your patio; so long as you understand the importance of encouraging intimacy where possible you will be onto a winner. You want your guests to be able to talk to each other without sitting forward and leaning across the coffee table. That is kind of the golden rule on this one.

Create A Designated Entertaining Room

Just because we have mentioned the word ‘entertain’ does not mean you are limited to dinner parties or cocktail do’s. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Entertaining is something that one just enjoys doing at any given opportunity; it is creating a homely environment that makes your place the go-to for any event, and that is where a designated room can really come into its own. That is one way to keep your guests entertained. Yes, we are talking about the basement you never use or that garage full of things you didn’t unpack when you moved in eight years ago. Both of these offer you something wonderful. It could be that you convert your basement into a bar with an array of comfy seats and a big old cinema screen; what better reason is there to have the girls round for a glass of wine, a chit chat and then a film. Or it could even be that you want to host the big games at the weekend. Even adding a balcony to hold little get together’s on will be an amazing addition to your home’s entertaining abilities. Just having a little-hidden space that you and your friends can escape to is going to see your hostessing star rise up and shine brighter than anyone else’s.

You Need To Set The Mood

You could make all the cocktails and all the dishes you want, but no party is ever going to be great unless the mood is great. The best way to do this is to use music. Not only will this give your party a soundtrack, it will tie your different rooms together and create a constant flow that will keep everyone on the same page. That is why investing in a sound system that connects all your main rooms is a great investment to make. Another fantastic way to influence the mood is through your lighting – something that goes for your al fresco parties too. It could be that you use your dimmer switch to great effect, highlight different parts of your space with lamps or even use other forms of lighting to your advantage, such as candles, lanterns and fairy lights. Each of these will create a different effect. The last thing you need to be aware of when it comes to the battle of mood is decluttering. Having an overwhelming sense of clutter is a surefire way to put a little black smudge on your efforts. That is where storage can become your knight in shining armour.

As you can see, the best parties are the ones where there is a ton of space for people to wander around with different options for hanging out and having intimate conversations, while still feeling apart of everything that is going on, while still being encouraged to talk to the faces they may not have met before. Inside or outside, so long as the flow is good, the seating is spot on, the spaces are set up for entertaining and the mood has been given some of your focus, you will find that you are ready to put on the best party of the fall. That’s right, there is no time like the present.

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