• Courtney Edwards

How to Host for the Holidays | Six Ways to Maximize Party Flow at Home

Hurray! Holiday season is here! But are you feeling a little stressed about just HOW you're going to get all of your family and guests into your house for that party you're dreaming up?

Don't worry—we've got you. We sat down with our Owner & Founder Shay to get her best tips for hosting a fabulous party this holiday season! Here's her favorite ways to set up a party that flows:

1.) How do you determine how many people can comfortably fit in your home for a party?

We like to walk through a space with this exact question in mind and try to find creative options to optimize and open up the flow. Taking your basic seating and adding to it with oversized cushions or soft ottomans can be part of a very comfortable and beautiful design.

2.) If you're planning a holiday party and you realize that your home can't accommodate the full guest list, what should you do? Are tents an option?

One of our favorite ways to make a space more expansive and engaging is to bring the living space and comforts of home outside on the lawn or patio. You can use a tent or if you have a garage you can pipe and drape it, add lighting, and create a very elegant and soft space. We love to bring furniture that has been in storage out into those places so that it feels like home. Things like Grandmother’s old table or those straight back chairs you want to recover are perfect.

2.) If you're planning on having a large party at your home, are there any considerations you should make for the comfort of your guests? (Ex: additional bathrooms, places to store coats, etc.)

Making sure your guests are comfortable should be your number one priority. Consider their experience from the time they arrive at your home until the moment they depart. Place a coat rack on the front porch, consider tall cocktail tables or other surfaces that a guest can place a drink on without damaging your furniture. And don’t forget about bathrooms! If you have fewer than 2 bathrooms and more than 50 guests then renting a bathroom is a great idea. One other thing that I always suggest is to rent all of your plates and glassware. This way you are not looking for glasses at the end of the night and you don’t have to do the dishes—worth every penny.

3.) Is there an effective way to estimate how many people will end up attending your party? For example, if I invite 50 people, how many should I expect to show up?

The typical return on RSVPs is 80%. So, if you invite 50, expect 40!

4.) When you're hosting a large crowd, what's the best way to lay out the food/drinks? Should you put them all in one spot? Scatter them throughout the home to prevent a bottleneck in the kitchen?

Always spread things out. If you place everything in one area, then people are on top of each other and never move. You want to create different experiences throughout the rooms of your home so guests can explore and keep the flow going. Think appetizers on the dining room credenza, bar on the patio, the main dish in the kitchen, and sweets in the living room.

5.) Are there food considerations to keep in mind as you host a party? (Ex: gluten-free or vegetarian options, non-alcoholic options)

You will always have guests with different needs, so I do encourage hosts to create a food and beverage menu that is varied and sets the welcoming tone for your event.

6.) If you have pets, what should you do with them during the party? Is it okay to let them wander?

I love my furbabies but they are not always a comfort to others, especially during a more formal event. I suggest keeping them in a bedroom or investing in pet care for the evening.

Well we're feeling ready to party, HBU? More questions on setting up your space? Drop them in the comments and we'll give you our best advice for a stress-free and merry holiday season.