It’s known as the silly season, mainly because most people are partying up a storm. Even if you are past the phase of all-night benders, the festive season does present an opportunity to mingle with loved ones and friends. The new season doesn’t mean your entire home requires a complete revamp; it’s all about using your own space and making it fit for entertaining.
ONE GIANT SPACE
Most modern homes boast an open-plan layout that connects the living room, dining and kitchen spaces. While dining spaces are seen as more formal for sit-down meals, the living room is for relaxation.
Some of the best parties are in spaces where you have enough room to move around, hang out and have the occasional intimate chat, so don’t shy away from rearranging your furniture to make a room more party friendly. And let’s be honest – seeing as a party always moves to the heart of the home… yes the kitchen – why not incorporate this space from the get-go? Here’s what you need to do:
- Move your furniture so it does not block a view or walkway.
- Create seating zones that are intimate but that still allow guests to use the entire space – this encourages people to mingle. You don’t have to have everyone in one space, give your guests room to move around.
- Keep your kitchen tidy because it is actually a great place for small crowds to gather for a chat. Place snacks and chilled drinks on counters as a drawcard and people will find themselves in the kitchen. Leave some chairs in there for those who want to mill around for longer.
- When you choose to entertain in your lounge go for informal finger foods and canapés. Spread the food out over all the seating areas you have created.
- Bring out any ottomans you may have around the house. They work very well as makeshift seating and are easy to move around as needed.
- Put some throws on couches and over some chairs for guests who might get chilly and for those who might set up a makeshift picnic spot in your lounge.
- Remember this time of year it’s fun over formality.
- Mix and match your seating – bring the kitchen chairs into the living space.
LET’S TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Whether it’s a compact patio or a large deck there are a couple of basic things you should look at to create the right entertaining space.
Flooring should be durable, non-slip and low maintenance – screed concrete and non-slip tiles are popular options.
- Before kitting out your space first decide what you will be doing in this area – if it’s mostly to prepare food or braai, get a good portable braai. A sink area is also essential for cleaning up unless your outdoor entertainment area is close to your kitchen where you have easy access to all the necessary equipment.
- Don’t forget about ambient lighting for those hot summer nights – lanterns, string fairy lights and even candles are all ideal to create the right mood.
- Strings of fairy lights around tree trunks or around umbrellas will also transform the space beautifully.
- If your budget allows, have speakers fitted and linked from your main entertainment centre. That way you will always have your favourite tunes going in the background. If not, invest in some portable speakers for a similar effect.
- When choosing outdoor furniture comfort is king – remember you’re lounging about. Outdoor pieces are usually sold individually so you can grow your set or buy what you need for what your space allows.
- A great way to give the place a lift is by adding coloured cushions and accessories to the area. These can be changed seasonally and to suit the mood and theme of your soirées.