You love to host family and friends for dinner, game nights, watch parties, really anything — you just like having people in your home and keeping them happy with food, drink and fun. Unfortunately, not all homes are built for entertaining. Cramped spaces and cluttered surfaces do not usually accommodate people well, and certain décor can distract from company and activities. The truth is that if you want to be the perennial host, you need a home that works with you.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to prepare your home for hosting, no matter how big it is, how lavish it is or how old it is. The following tips will guide you to a home that is great for entertaining, regardless of what kind of entertaining you like to do.
Declutter and Organize
You know the feeling of stepping into a dirty, disorganized home. At worst, you feel slightly repelled, like you don’t want to linger in the space, let alone touch anything; at best, you don’t feel welcome, like you are intruding on your host’s privacy and that they have neither the space nor the time for you. If you want to be the perennial host, you need to prevent your guests from feeling uncomfortable or unwanted, which means you need to keep your home sparkling clean and orderly.
To start, you need to declutter, which means ridding your home (especially your entertainment spaces) of unnecessary belongings. Open spaces are the best for entertaining because they allow guests to move and communicate freely. You should try to minimize big, bulky furniture, and you should keep your horizontal surfaces relatively bare, so guests can use them for snacks, drinks and personal items. When you are hosting, you might need to move some items to private rooms, or for large events, you might even take advantage of an offsite storage unit to temporarily create open areas in your home.
Add Sufficient Seating
While you do want your home to be open and inviting, you don’t want to deprive your guests of comfort. Thus, you need to have enough seating to accommodate everyone in your group — which will vary from event to event. It’s a myth that you need to have a large home to be an effective host; in truth, scale is much more important than size, so you should prioritize finding the right seating for your space as opposed to investing in a huge home and packing it with a multitude of seating options.
To start, you should think about the types of gatherings you typically organize. Are you one for massive house parties, or do you tend toward more intimate gatherings of just a few friends at a time? If you mix up your hosting style, you might want to be flexible with your furniture arrangement. In fact, if you live in a city like Sacramento where public storage is close, you might consider amassing and storing a variety of seating options for different types of gatherings, so you can always offer the right entertaining environment.
Set the Right Mood
Once you have space and seating down, you need to turn your attention to setting the right mood. This is partially about decorating your space in an enticing and exciting way, using decorative elements that suit your style and appropriate trends, but the mood relies less on objects and more on the general feeling of the space. Thus, you need to think long and hard about how you can manipulate the atmosphere of your entertaining areas to generate the emotional response you want your guests to have.
The color palette of a room can have a significant impact on mood, not just for visitors but for you, the host, as well. Generally, warmer tones tend to put people at ease, helping everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Depending on your sense of style, you might prefer to fill a room with earthy colors like chocolate brown, wine, olive green and yellow ochre, or you might opt for warm neutrals and pastels, which can give you more flexibility in other aspects of your design.
Finally, you should outfit your entertainment spaces with media that help your rooms feel full of life. For instance, you should always be playing music while guests are over to make pauses in conversation feel less scarily empty. If you host watch parties, your television should be large enough and well-positioned so that it is visible from all seating. A crackling fire adds warmth, movement and a focal point to your space.
Not everyone is cut out to be a host, but any space can become a space worthy of entertaining if you invest your energy into decorating the right way.