Summertime is a season many people look forward to and enjoy. With the warm sunshine, longer days and cool evening breezes, it is the perfect opportunity to host gatherings for any occasion. While preparing for these events can be stressful for some and exciting for others, creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere in your home and décor can help to relieve a lot of the pressure many party hosts may feel. Thinking about your space ahead of time and planning accordingly will help to make your party a successful one. We’ve come up with some things to consider before those guests start arriving at your door.
- Update and Rejuvenate
Look around your home and determine if there is anything that needs to be updated. Freshening up existing things can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. Areas of the home guests will be using and seeing are important to think about. Below we’ve listed some things that would be good to update if you are planning a large summer blowout:
- Kitchen: This may not be an area too many people will want to undertake before a party, but it is something to think about for future events such as holidays or even everyday use. If your kitchen doesn’t function the way it needs to for you, updating it may be a cost you will at some point, need to consider. Counter space for food prep or for a spread of party platters can help tremendously both every day and when entertaining. Not to mention kitchen layout or even the types of appliances may need to be updated for optimal use.
- Powder Room: This is a room many don’t think about but it is a place everyone will visit. This small room can leave a lasting impression, good or bad, so it is important to make sure it is up to date. There are different ways you can update this area without spending a large amount of money. A fresh coat of paint, maybe adding wallpaper or even changing out the towels and accessories can make a statement. Sometimes even just changing out the vanity or maybe even just the knobs and handles can be all you need. Your vanity mirror and lighting can be simple changes as well that will change the entire feel of the space.
- Flooring: Do you have flooring that needs to be professionally cleaned, or even changed to incorporate something new? Scheduling this ahead of time is important as many people wait until this time of year to do the same thing. With large amounts of foot traffic that occurs during a party it is essential that these areas will take a lot of wear and tear. If you have an area that has carpeting currently but could be updated, consider a hard surface option such as wood or tile. These are much more durable and can be cleaned easily. Area rugs can be placed to anchor sitting areas and define spaces and can be more easily cleaned or treated and, if necessary, they are more cost effective to replace. If carpet is what you want in your space think about having it sprayed for easy stain removal.
- Paint: A fresh coat of paint can make anything look new again. Whether you are going to change up the color or keep it the same this is a simple thing that will make a definite difference. A fresh new color scheme is a good way to lighten and brighten your interiors and exteriors. It creates a great canvas and backdrop for your party.
- Furniture Pieces: Do you have any furniture pieces that need to be updated? Whether it is something that needs to be reupholstered or bought new, this will make a big impact on your guests. They will be sitting and lounging on your furniture so it needs to be comfortable. Think about fabrics that will be durable and still be stylish, leather or textures can take lots of wear and look great with many different design styles. If buying a new sofa or chair isn’t in your budget, but it needs to be updated, consider having new fill put in the pillows or seat cushions.
If you have any hard case furniture pieces that need to be changed out now is a great time to invest in that new item. Whether you need a new table or maybe a piece that will serve as a beverage or dessert bar, think about the way it will be used for your party. New or not, if you are considering using a wood top console table or buffet for a beverage center consider putting a glass top on it to protect the finish. If you have a piece that you love but it is beginning to look a bit shabby, consider having it refinished. A new finish will bring it back to life and may be slightly better on your budget.
- Accessories: Changing out accessories around your home can make everything feel new again. New pillows for your sofa or a new area rug can bring in new colors and patterns that will pop and add a new interest to a space many of your guests may have seen before. Think about changing out artwork or lighting fixtures as well in certain areas. These are small changes that your guests will definitely notice!
- Room to Gather
Furniture arrangement is very important when planning how your party will function and flow. Creating open yet intimate sitting areas is important for any large gathering. Making conversation areas in multiple locations is key to keeping your party interesting. People can wander throughout and feel comfortable wherever they end up. It is also a good idea to think about the flow of traffic when people will be getting food or drinks. You want to keep these areas free of standing groups of people. Standing pub tables or other spaces where people can set things down while in conversation can help to draw people away from these areas.
- Bring the Inside Out
As mentioned above, space for the people gathered at your party is important in making it comfortable for you and your guests. Having a large center open slider or bi-fold door can help to marry your interior space with your exterior space. Creating a larger space will help people to mingle and create interest with a slight change of venue to enjoy the beautiful weather that summer can bring. Outdoor kitchens or living spaces can be extremely convenient for this type of gathering. If this isn’t something you have in your budget but you want to something smaller that is in your budget, consider using a beverage cart (or a few) in your outdoor space. They are fun and can be moved wherever you see a need.
There are many different kinds of parties that people have during the summer months. Birthdays, graduations, Fourth of July or maybe even just a party to celebrate the season, whatever the reason there are types of entertainment people like to incorporate into these events.
- Music: Think about having speakers installed both inside and outside your house. Having music playing in the background is great filler for parties and can set the mood for your guests. There are lots of great products out there for both interiors and exteriors that can fit most any budget.
- TV: Depending on the type of party you are having, t.v’s can come in handy. Whether it is to help keep smaller kids occupied with movies or video games, or to show a big sports game, there are many options available. Summer is a great time to have an outdoor movie night with friends, think outside the box and you can bring an unexpected element to a party that your guests will never forget.
Multi-use furniture: Furniture has come a long way from just simple single use items of the past. Consider looking into pieces that can serve more than one function. Game tables can be a great addition to your space. Most are made with a reversible top that can make it into a regular dining table or they can fold into a simple lamp table when not in use. Guests will be pleasantly surprised and you’ll feel like you’ve gotten a great deal!
- Don’t Forget the Details
With any party, details are very important. Table decorations and centerpieces can set the stage for the entire look and feel of your celebration, so don’t be stingy. Fresh flowers and pops of color will go a long way and don’t have to cost a fortune. Plates and dishes are important as well, bringing in cost effective plastic plates look much better than paper plates and add a fun sophistication to your event.
Accent lighting is key to creating an ambiance your guests will love. Stringing lights over your outdoor areas, and adding dimmable lighting inside, can create a magical mood for those summer evenings. Mix the lights with soft pillows and cushions in your outdoor space and people will feel comfortable and relaxed.
Adding seasonal plants to your planters and pots can also be a great way to liven up your exteriors and bring a splash of fun summer color! They can also add to your color scheme or theme, have fun with it and your guests will too.
Some of the updates that we mentioned above may not be in your budget or timeline, but they are important to think about in the long run. While some of these things can be implemented at any time, you may want to think about the larger changes for holidays or even for next year. Whatever the case, big changes or not, you’ll be glad you invested in your space the entire year through! Consulting with a professional designer can also be helpful in making sure you are thinking about everything and getting the most out of your budget. They have the experience and expertise to pull from to give you the best advice, and will most likely have out of the box ideas you and your guests will love.