Opening up our homes for entertainment is one of the joys in life. But anyone who’s ever hosted the party knows that entertainment can be a hassle too. Don’t worry, our expert designers have these tips for stress-free entertainment.
It may seem old-fashioned, but turning on the TV is a no-no for quality entertainment. If you don’t get the gang together to see an awards show or the Super Bowl, your guests are focusing on each other, not the subway. To resist the temptation, dedicate a seating area – with no television – for all of your guests to see and face each other. In this chic TriBeCa loft, we have framed four anthracite gray armchairs around a black cowhide carpet. It’s perfect for good cocktails and good conversation.
If you want to serve drinks to your guests – and we strongly recommend you do – a home bar is a wonderful addition. And installing a bar doesn’t mean converting your home into a pub. With an unused corner, wall, or shelf, you can create the perfect home bar.
Professional tip: Don’t leave your home bar unadorned. In this SoHo duplex we distinguished the home bar with a bright yellow stripe.
Hopefully if you are entertaining you will serve your guests more than just drinks. Try to get most of the food prep out of the way before guests arrive, but some kitchen chores are inevitable. An open kitchen, like the one on this Sag Harbor loft, is a great way to keep the conversation going.
Pro tip: guests have an opportunity to stand in the way of cooking. A kitchen island and a couple of counter stools are a great way to buffer guests and get them out of the way.
Lots of seats
Adequate seating is essential for entertainment. It might seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. Plan the course of your evening – where to start with cocktails, where to go for dinner, and where to end the evening – and make sure that there is enough seating in each area for all of your guests. Even if you need to get some folding chairs out of the garage, it’s better than getting your guests to stand.
And remember, your guests need a place to put drinks and appetizers. So don’t forget to set up lots of tables too.
Entertain the children
If you have kids, want to have kids, or if your guests have young kids, you’ll want to set up a separate area for the kids. We’ve outfitted the basement of this Connecticut home with air hockey, foosball, and a big screen television. It’s perfect for distracting the kids and giving parents the relaxation they need.
If you have a lot of space in the back yard, a fire pit is a must. Set up your fire pit like a coffee table like we did in this chic, rustic Hoboken apartment. It gives you an extra area to entertain in the mild spring and fall months and is a perfect place to start or end the evening.