From family gatherings to holiday office parties, the holiday season usually comes attached to a slew of party invites and a constant parade of party-hopping. If you’re suffering from party fatigue, the season's best luxury is ringing in the new year by hosting your own New Year's Eve bash. Not only do you get to stay in the comfort of your own home, you don’t have to worry about travel or picking out the perfect host gift. Whether you’re a hosting novice (or a seasoned veteran), throwing the ultimate party of the year doesn’t need to be intimidating. Impress your guests with ease by following these simple entertaining tips that will help you ring in the new year with style.
The key to any unforgettable get-together is preparation. Get a headstart wherever possible, from decorating to menu planning. Since arranging place settings for dining takes time, lay out your dining utensils ahead of time. Bring out a stack of plates, along with some napkins and glassware. A countertop or sideboard offers an ideal spot to arrange a self-serve station for guests to pour themselves a drink or grab some snacks. It takes mere seconds to neatly arrange a row of tumblers and utensils on an elegant silver serving tray. Even better? A serving tray means an easy cleanup after the party has ended.
A common misstep for first-time hosts is being overly ambitious, especially when it comes to decor. Simplicity is key, and focusing on a few well-chosen locations in your home will do the trick to channel stylish festive cheer. Focus on gathering places like your living room and dining room where guests congregate the most. You don’t have to deck the halls extravagantly to host a stylish New Year's Eve party. Stick to a theme that speaks most to your personal style. We love sprinkling in sparkle with tinsel and disco balls for a glam New Year's Eve look. (You can easily find mini disco balls at a craft or party store). If your style leans more naturalist, clip some greens directly from your leftover Christmas tree, and place them in small vases for simple seasonal decor.
The easiest way to upgrade any party is to add a well-stocked bar cart to your home, which lends plenty of ease for you and your guests when the kitchen isn’t nearby. Building a bar cart takes little planning. Go-to bar cart essentials consist of glassware, a decanter, a bucket for ice, and of course, plenty of your favorite spirits. When it comes to ringing in the near year, however, get creative! Pop off the new year with by building a bubbly bar with a champagne cart; or consider building a party station stocked with bowls of confetti, noisemakers, and New Year's hats to help guests celebrate when the clock strikes midnight.
A good host is always mindful of their guests’ comfort. Nesting tables are the perfect solution, offering additional spots for guests to set aside plates and glassware for conversation. A low-profile stool or ottoman works, too, enabling guests to free up their hands to better mingle during the party. You’ll thank yourself in the end when nothing has been spilled because someone attempted to awkwardly balance a glass on an armrest.
Of course, no party is ever complete without music. While setting your iPod on shuffle is fine, the vintage appeal of a record player holds plenty of nostalgic charm that is perfect for celebrating the end of the year. The time-honored ritual of spinning vinyl on a turntable is making quite the comeback in today’s digital age, and we can’t think of a better way to look back on the year than with a soundtrack of your favorite music.
Lighting is where the magic really happens when hosting any celebration. Ambiance is everything when it comes to celebrating special occassions, and the perfect lighting can instantly elevate the appeal of your home. From the interior, to the outside of your home, festive lighting sets the proper mood for New Year's Eve. Several layers of illumination add newfound depth to your home, and will captivate even the most familiar visitors. Simply dim the lights, and light plenty of candles for a soft, diffused glow ideal for intimate gatherings. Candles of various heights, such as tapers and votives, heighten the allure, while scented candles also bring a cozy feel to your home that invite guests to linger.
Making your guests feel as if they can make themselves at home is the goal of any great host. Ample seating is a must when you have multiple guests around during end-of-year festivities. Create a lounge vibe by multiplying your seating by way of low-profile ottomans, poufs, and floor cushions. The freewheeling, bohemian approach will put both you and your guests at ease, and create a casual, yet intimate experience perfect for the new year.
Don’t be afraid to call for backup to get the New Year's Eve party started. Hosting doesn’t mean you have to do all the holiday heavy-lifting. First-time hosts should consider hosting a buffet to cut down on the stress of planning and executing an entire menu. Ask guests to bring essentials, such as a bottle of wine, desserts, and snacks, while you prepare the main course. Choose an appropriately sized table or sideboard to hold everyone’s offerings comfortably. To convey the abundance befitting a celebratory feast, stage your food with a careful eye. Pay attention to different heights with stackable stands, serving platters, and bowls, that will make serving easier, and create a stunning banquet.
Benches are the perfect solution when you’re entertaining a large party. Not only can you squeeze in last-minute guests effortlessly, the addition of a bench eliminates the dilemma of mismatched chairs gathered around the dining table. Pulling up a bench to the dining table is a surefire way to freshen up any dining space, adding visual interest to an otherwise tired aesthetic and boring dining layout. The new dining setup will impress guests just in time for the new year.
For those lucky enough to live in warmer climates, hosting your New Year's celebration outdoors is ideal. To bring festive cheer to your outdoor space, let the inside out and transfer touches from your home to your outdoor space. Adding in linens and cushions will soften up your patio furniture, and bring in all the comforts of home. Plenty of cozy accents, such as coordinating throws and pillows, will instantly transform your patio into a stylish space perfect for ringing in the new year. We suggest using classic black and white stripes for a sophisticated, yet simple palette that is sure to be a party hit.
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