Holiday Entertaining Tips


Source: Making Me Events via

Throughout the year we discussed ways to transform your apartment into a home that you really love. We tackled space planning issues, storage dilemmas, lighting, home office design and décor.

Now that your space is styled to perfection, it’s time to show it off to your family and friends. As the holiday season is in full swing, you may have considered entertaining guests this year. Whether you’re hosting a small, intimate dinner party or throwing a New Year’s Eve bash, here are eight holiday entertaining tips that will have your friends looking forward to your next gathering.

1. Pick Your Event Style. All good parties have a theme to set the tone for the event. Having a theme gives your guests something to look forward to, and it makes it easy for the host to select the décor, music, attire and menu.

2. Decorate. After choosing a theme, think of ways to incorporate that into your event décor. For example, instead of decorating with a traditional red and green color scheme, opt for something a little more modern like white and gold, blue and silver, or orange and brown. Add vintage ornaments in a tall glass vase as a centerpiece. Fill glass bowls with pine cones and place a pillar candle in the center. Purchase helium balloons and let them float toward the ceiling. Change the clear bulbs in your light fixtures to blue, lavender or another color for a fun, festive look.

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3. Arrange Furniture. Depending on your guest list, you may need to rearrange the furniture in advance to accommodate people or to create additional seating in the party area. If you need tables, consider grabbing the night stand out of your bedroom to give guests a place to rest their drinks in the living room.

4. Create Ambiance. Lighting can make or break a party. If it’s too bright, guests may feel uncomfortable. If it’s too dark, you risk putting people to sleep. Create a layered look using overhead lighting (use dimmers), lamps and candles for a nice glow.

5. Serve Drinks. Invest in a bar cart or designate an area that will serve as the cocktail table. Encourage guests to make their own drinks by offering one or two signature cocktails and displaying the recipe ingredients on the table. This simple trick will prevent you from having to serve drinks all night so you can interact with your guests and enjoy the party.

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6. Pick A Signature Scent. Appeal to your guests’ sense of smell by displaying scented candles in the party area, bathroom and kitchen. You can also create a scent by boiling apple cider and cinnamon sticks on the stove.

7. Choose A Playlist. Nowadays you don’t need to hire a DJ or a band to play music at your next party. Create a station on Pandora or Spotify to save on entertainment costs.

8. Create A Selfie Area. We live in an era where selfies rule. People love taking pictures and posting them to social media. Impress your guests by staging a selfie booth for them to snap photos. Create a backdrop by covering a door in holiday wrapping paper and grab a stool for guests to sit on. Don’t forget the props – fake mustaches, oversize glasses, holiday bows, wigs, hats and headbands.

The key to a successful party is to keep calm and plan ahead to ensure that your guests have a wonderful experience. If they leave your home smiling, you can guarantee they had a great time.

Happy holidays!

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Danielle A. Gray

Danielle A. Gray

Washington, DC based interior designer, blogger and creative force behind Gray Livin', a home interiors brand inspiring cool people to live soulfully with style. To schedule a design consultation, please visit:

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  • Hi there! Can you please update your image credit, this was from Making Me Events and featured on Pizzazzerie.


  • Taylor Ryan

    No problem, done and done! Thanks for stopping by!