Winter gatherings are the perfect way to warm up with family and friends over hearty dishes and toasty drinks. While getting together to catch up with old acquaintances and embrace a new year can be delightful, traveling long distances on frosty roads is decidedly less so. Thankfully, there is a solution that allows you to save time, avoid the stress of winter travel, and have the opportunity to inject some creativity into your home: Bring the party to your house!
Hosting your own gathering does not have to be a lot of work, and any home can be turned into a welcoming party space with only a few simple tweaks. Indeed, small additions such as ambient lighting, electric fireplaces, and fun decor can turn your living area into the ultimate winter entertaining space. Whether you’re celebrating a new milestone, or simply finding any excuse to throw a bash, you can use the following tips to make your winter get-together an unforgettable one.
To foster a party with lots of great conversation, make sure you arrange your furniture in the optimal way. Create a feeling of intimacy by arranging small groups of comfortable seating facing each other, and several free-standing cocktail tables. You don’t need seating for everyone, and the rule of thumb is to have about half the amount of seating than guests. This way people can move freely while mingling, but still feel like the party is intimate! Be sure there are not any large pieces of furniture blocking off a section of the room, so everyone can see new partygoers entering and make them feel welcome.
An additional benefit of close, cozy seating and the right atmosphere is that it discourages guests from constantly checking their phones. Americans check their phones 8 billion times a day1, and you don’t want any of those to be during your party! It’s also recommended to rearrange furniture that was previously arranged towards the TV in order to to completely change the feel of your living room and discourage technological interaction over conversation.
Food and Drink
While parties are all about the guests, the other star is the food! You will want to have a lot of delicious food and drink readily available for your friends to ensure their comfort. Depending on the number of guests and your party aspirations, you can choose to host a complete sit down dinner, a cocktail and appetizer hour, or just have snacks out for your guests to graze over throughout the party!
Set up the buffet table, bar, or snacks in their own space separate from the main socializing area, so they do not dominate your entertaining space. If a signature cocktail is appropriate for your event, have some fun coming up with a creative, seasonally themed drink to make your hosting skills look off the charts and the designated food and drink area that much more appealing to pass through.
A unique and often overlooked option for party catering is having the guests provide their own food—by hosting a potluck! This is an opportunity for the guests to let their cooking and baking skills shine next to your terrific hosting skills, and frees up some of your prep time to focus on creating a welcoming space.
Your interior design choices can make or break an entertaining space, and while you want to stay true to your own style, there are a few general suggestions that can ensure your guests remember your gathering fondly. Choosing warm reds, oranges, and earth tones in your color scheme encourages a spirit of warmth and coziness and stimulates conversation. Decorative conversation pieces will also transform your living area into an unforgettable winter soiree environment. Some interesting additions that can liven up a space and ensure conversation never lags include:
- Fine art pieces
- Fireplace rocks
- Eye-catching photography
- An accent wall of contrasting paint color
- Framed family photos
In addition to these strategic choices that will make your home feel like the go-to entertaining spot all year, you can make winter-specific selections that will add to the festivity at your annual gathering. You can always buy seasonal decorations like hanging snowflakes, “frosted” pine cones, table runners, and twinkling lights, but it’s also very easy to make décor that’s fun and polished looking. A little glitter and elbow grease can go a long way! If you have children attending the party, you can even set up a decorating station as part of the party activities, and have them create their own decorations and crafts.
For many people, timeless memories include cozying up to a fireplace with the people they care about. A very effective way to add warmth, soothing lighting, and a welcoming tone to your space is to install electric or gas fireplaces throughout your home. Your guests will love the nostalgic feelings that come from having a fireplace roaring during your winter party, and small touches like gas logs add to the fun! Be sure to check the thermostat regularly so that guests are at a comfortable temperature throughout the evening.
During the winter season, your fireplace is sure to be getting a lot of attention already, and additions like fireplace glass and shapes also make the fireplace more of an interesting conversation starter as guests huddle around it. Starfire Direct offers a wide variety of options for grates, mantels, and fireplace doors that can really pull together the look of your fireplace and make it the beautiful focal point of your living space—and your winter party!
If you’re in a warmer part of the country, utilizing your patio space offers guests unique options during your party for seating and socializing and is a great way to encourage your friends to check out your impressive outdoor entertaining space! During winter months, your biggest concern about an outdoor entertaining space will be staying warm. Starfire Direct offers many products that allow the party to spread outside, like fire bowls and patio heaters. Ample patio furniture arranged around these sources of warmth will surely foster conversation and closeness at your party.
Adding some seasonal activities or games to your space can take it from an ordinary living room to a memorable party. These can range from setting up karaoke, assembling a cookie decorating station, or a photo booth with silly props for your guests to pose with. Your guests will be delighted by the addition of an unexpected element to the party, especially if they get to take a memento like a photo or cookies home!
Activities like these are great for entertaining in large groups, because they encourage connection amongst your guests, and discourage them from being on their phones or glued to the television. A simple game, activity, or other interactive space in the party will allow your loved ones of all ages to interact and connect with each other and create strong memories—all thanks to your fantastic entertaining space!
You can host a memorable, stress-free, and impressive winter party with ease just by incorporating the above tips into your planning process! Many people can be turned off from the idea because they don’t think their homes are made for entertaining, but hosting an outstanding party is truly possible in any space.
Take this winter season to #ReigniteYourLife by turning your living area into a dynamite entertaining space that makes guests feel welcome, social, and full of happy memories and good cheer. Providing comfortable, accommodating seating, plenty of food and drinks, a cozy hearth, and lots of opportunities for your loved ones to make fond new memories will result in an amazing party that you and your guests will not soon forget.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The talented and knowledgeable staff of Starfire Direct pride themselves on being experts in the field of fire features, outdoor living, and beyond. Always at the forefront of upcoming trends and industry breakthroughs, the team at SD is ready and willing to help you make your dream space a reality, once piece at a time. Our business is helping you to Reignite Your Life.