Party on with some smart tips to entertain elegantly and easily
While Americans may be rusty after the social drought caused by the pandemic, they are beginning to host gatherings again, celebrating the end of a very long year-plus of staying away from one another.
Entertaining at home will always be special. After all, with all the remodeling so many of us have been doing since the pandemic began, perhaps it’s time to finally show off and open the social floodgates. In case you’re out of practice on how to have the most fun while entertaining, the key is to set things up ahead of time. Doing much of the work in advance offers you more time to circulate. Here are a few pointers offered by Century 21’s real estate blog.
First, permit your furniture to work for you. Do your “homework” ahead of time — then set it and forget it. That means placing finger food on the coffee table, 1950s style. You will, after all, be busy greeting guests and catching up on one another’s news. Simply put appetizers like a cheese plate, crackers, and olives out on your coffee table so guests can munch and mingle.
Let your dining or side tables become buffet tables by shoving them against a wall. Your kitchen island will do the job as well. People do love to serve themselves without worrying about being scrutinized when piling portion sizes and food choices on their plates. It all adds up to less time in the kitchen for you. Same for a beverage bar. If you have a bar cart, set up all your beverages in one place. If you don’t have a bar cart, assemble everything on a large side table. There is often someone in the crowd who loves to play bartender. If not, appoint one. Just make sure they are stocked with glasses, a bucket of ice, and all the accoutrements of serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Rearranging furniture is a clever way to encourage chatting among guests. If you’re short on furniture, bring chairs from the dining room or kitchen into the living room while people enjoy hors d’oeuvres. And don’t forget to add elegant details such as fresh flowers, candles, and place settings that can make the evening even more special. A well-thought-out dining table setting, with curated cutlery, china, serving ware, and napkin choices make for a lovely view for your guests ahead of the dining experience itself.
Lastly, expand your entertainment space by taking the party outside. Clean off your patio furniture, set up an outdoor umbrella, and add some comfortable seating. You can even add flowers from your garden and dot your personal landscape with lanterns or candles. People love to break off into small groups, so the more room you have for them to do so, the better.
Does all this preparation sound like a throwback from lifestyle advice magazines of the past? Who cares? It still works. Now put on that smile you’ve been suppressing through all those months of quarantine and distancing. Your doorbell is ringing.
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