November 23, 2010
There are so many things that can make the holidays overwhelming, especially when entertaining company. Eve has put together some tips to help make hostessing easier.
Tip #1: Prep so you can have fun! The holiday season is a time for family and friends. We open up our homes for visiting relatives and festive parties. Did I say complicated? No it can be easy. Remember that the host or hostess having fun is mandatory for the guests to have fun. Prep ahead of time so that you have fun too! I mean it; if you aren’t having fun your party wont be fun.
Tip #2: Make it easier on yourself and call in a professional. In many cases holiday entertaining means making room for additional guests and that 10′ Christmas tree. Think about having a professional designer come over and do a quick rearrange and editing of your rooms that are accommodating Christmas decorations and guests. Most designers only charge a $100 per hour (give or take) and it is well worth it to get some sound advice! Once the designer has seen the space you can call on them for advice lickety split!
Tip #3: Clean (even though you don’t want to). Ok, I know you don’t want to hear it but I have to advise to clean, clean, clean! Moving furniture and bringing in extra chairs for parties uncovers dust bunnies and cleaning up thoroughly makes you feel GOOD and ready for guests.
Tip #4: It should also smell like the holidays. Wash your home with a fresh scent, not something overwhelming. My favorite is the Maura Peters candles we carry at Studio Chameleon. They are soy-based candles in tiny tins for only $10. I love the “Twigs and Berry” scent for the holidays.
Tip# 5: Divide and rotate your ornaments each year. You are under no obligation to put every single ornament you have out every year. This will not just lead to a second tree, but also a third and fourth. As a mother, I have lots of kid ornaments like Sponge Bob and Disney characters. As an interior designer, I have some very glamorous and elegant pieces. These do not always mesh well together. So I divided up the ornaments with one set of fun and whimsical items and another that is more sophisticated. I rotate these groupings each year and it adds a lot of variety within the existing items you have.
Tip #6: Light up the night. One of the neglected areas of holiday parties, or parties of any kind, is the lighting. Use votives and tealights to light stairs, dining tables tops, consoles, bookcases, guestrooms, bathrooms, anywhere! Don’t forget to use candles outside at the entry on the stairs or at the front door. It makes the guest know you are thinking about them before they even hit the door. Many options are available at Studio Chameleon, including succulent and flower tealights that are $9 for a set of six.
Tip #7: Just-in-case gifts. Don’t forget to have a few extra gifts around for unexpected guests or a last minute party invitation. We have beautiful shell ornaments for only $10 that can be draped on a wine bottle, polished agate slices that can be used as coasters ($6), and small ammonite matching halves ($14). These gifts are fun for kids and adults alike. Because they are so unique they look less like an after thought than buying chocolate.
Tip #8: Guest gifts. Everyone loves gifts and playful party favors are great as table settings. Wrap a small gift like an aragonite star ($8). It’s good for procrastination, a holiday issue for many. What a great conversation piece at the table. For those of us less imaginative, chocolate or fun Christmas ornament works too! Don’t forget the guest room—even folded towels with a ribbon tying them can feel like a gift.
Tip #9: Personalize photos for guests. Have framed photos in a drawer so that you can pull them out and display them specific to whoever is coming over. Nothing makes a person feel more welcome than a photo of them in your home. Having photos of every single family member out can be too much, so keep them stored for special occasions and then roll them out when you know they are coming! I am telling you, this really works! Studio Chameleon offers custom framing to make your photos even more special.
Tip #10: Top it off with a few flowers. If you have a garden, cut a few flowers or just pick up a bunch at the grocery store when you are getting snacks for your guests. I would suggest two small arrangements, one on the kitchen island or breakfast nook and one in the restroom that most people will be using. Add crystal holly berry sprays ($8) or sparkly garland sticks ($8) that we sell to give a holiday touch.