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October 14, 2016

Transform your home for a party

Give your home a sense of personality that your guests will remember long after the party dishes are cleared away.

Sure, you want to serve delicious food and have a good mix of people at your next party — but it’s equally important to set a tone that reflects your own personality as a host or hostess. Here are some ideas to bring some of your interests and hobbies to life via your home and party decor. 

Create an Interesting Tabletop

Create tabletop and mantel vignettes using an odd number of items, which makes for more visually arresting displays than arrangements composed with an even number of objects.

Visualize a triangle when setting your scene. Place something high at the triangle’s top in the back, and put the small objects in the front.

Glam up your event with an abundant glow. Bring out fleets of candles, and display them on trays with reflective surfaces — metal, glass, or plexiglass — to enhance the gleam. You can vary the arrangements, using candles in one size on some trays and staggered heights on others.

Create a focal point on your table and bar stations. Fresh flowers and carefully arranged collectibles combined with shimmering candlelight draw special attention.

Check your lighting several days before the event to get just the right amount of illumination. For a look that heightens drama and adds a veil of subdued mystery, consider trading bright bulbs for some with lower wattage, and remove a lamp or two from the room (or just leave them turned off the night of the party).

Show Your Soft Side

You’ve arranged decorative pillows for a look of perfection, but are they comfortable? Put your seating to the test. Try out every sofa and chair where visitors will be sitting, then add or remove pillows to ensure coziness.

Review your collection of textiles and experiment with adding flair with fabric along the back of your sofa or chairs. This is an easy way to increase your rooms’ decorative interest.

Display Objects You Love

Days in advance, take inventory of your rooms. Are there objects, art, or photos in private spaces that would enhance guests’ viewing pleasure in your entertaining areas? If so, swap them for less interesting pieces. You can always return them to their places after the party.

Remove any books or other objects that might be filling space on tables or surfaces where guests will be placing their plates or glasses. Remember that a room may look pleasantly cozy when only you and your family are present, but it can quickly seem cluttered when filled with guests.

Think of some inventive ways to turn unique as well as everyday containers into vases. Freshly cut flowers look lovely in an antique memory-ware bottle. Crystal ice buckets not only make a perfect place for a bouquet, but also beautifully reflect the glow of candles in the room. For a casual centerpiece, place blooms in mason jars or juice glasses and space them along the center of your dining table.

Palette Check, Please

The quickest and easiest way to add life to a room is to bring in colorful pillows or throws that complement your overall palette. A pop of a fresh, modern hue instantly updates and energizes any space.

Used with permission. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.