It’s time to nail at-home winter entertaining
When we think winter, we picture hearty dishes, warm drinks and cosying up in the comfort of your own home… So this article is all about transforming your space and making the most of every metre whatever the weather – there’s no longer a need to brave the cold, or spend a fortune this season!
Let’s start with layout
Make your home an inviting space to come home to. Although there are many benefits to having an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area, traditionally the space can seem quiet cool and, well… open. Although this is ideal for the summer months, when the cold kicks in it’s time to dim the lights, turn up the heat and make the place cosy to prepare for a season of entertaining!
Why spend your hard-earned cash dining out or sipping on an overpriced glass of wine when you could make a few small changes and you’ll want to hibernate in your cosy new home all winter long? It’s time to create a space that lends itself to cuddling up and cosy conversation.
A few clever tricks is all you need
It doesn’t take much to transform your space – we know re-decorating with every season isn’t a financially viable option, but there are lots of smaller ideas that make a big difference.
Soft furnishings, throws, scatter cushions and a statement rug are just a couple of interior design ideas to get your started.
Dinner by candle light?
With dark nights creeping in earlier and earlier the simple addition of some extra lighting can make all the difference. A warm glow adds ambience, whether you plan on switching your bulbs, lighting a few candles or letting your fire roar, this is an easy way to give any space an instant warmer feel.
It’s all in the arrangement
Arrange your furniture for the occasion. For an intimate affair, draw your comfortable coaches together to form a smaller, soft layout – opt for flowing lines, circular and hexagonal formations work best. Having your furniture facing each other, and placing it away from the walls with a simple coffee table to rest drinks and nibbles forms an ideal space for entertaining.
Don’t stress about seating
When it comes to entertaining, there’s no need to panic about seating all your guests, if you’re having a larger gathering than you can accommodate, guests will want to mingle and move freely between each other, so restricting them to a seating plan isn’t the way forward. Divide your space with a combination of comfortable seating, eating and places to lean or rest drinks for the perfect mix. If you’re concerned, invest in a few movable ottomans or large floor cushions.
Get rid of the outside chill
Make your outside space winter-ready with the addition of an outdoor heater, and an array of blankets – patio heaters are perfect at keeping off the chill, while still making the most of your alfresco. If you love being hypnotised by an open fire – a fire pit could be your new winter essential – it’s ideal for creating ambience, warmth, and you can even toast marshmallows over it! Plus, you can even make your own, or pick up a cheap alternative.
Don’t forget to add outdoor lighting – a sprinkling of solar lights down your pathways or fairy lights entwined in the trees can make all the difference.
Hosting doesn’t have to be hard work
Many people are intimidated by throwing a party, or inviting over a large group of friends and family, but it is all in the planning. As long as you do your prep work, there’s nothing to worry about.
There are a few things to think about prior to your event that will have you enjoying your the company of your guests opposed to running around like a headless chicken.
Remember to cook smart
Now is not the time to try a new recipe or whip up a complicated Michelin star dish. Choose something you’ve made at least once before and ideally a meal that you can completely prep in advance, with minimal watching and stirring required. A one-pot meal or casserole is an ideal choice if you’re hosting a dinner party.
Thinking cocktail hour, snacks or grazing boards – choose a table to host your buffet or form a bar area where you can keep all the food in one place. It is nice to keep food slightly away from your entertaining zone so guests get the chance to mingle.
To avoid any stresses, choose cold food with farm drinks. This way, all you have to do is keep an eye on the mulled-wine or tea brewing. Or why not get guests to each bring a dish? It’s a great way to save money, and offers a great variety.
Set the scene
If you’re sitting down to dinner, why not set the table in advance? You can even do this the day before to prevent rushing around before your guests arrive.
A little background music can finish off the scene – don’t forget to charge your speaker and pick a playlist to suit the occasion.
Winter gathering ideas
Not content with a simple gathering? There are lots of great ways you can entertain guests.
You have the classic dinner party, why not add a twist and pick a theme for your meal? Choose a country, occupation or event and go from there. A murder mystery night can offer the perfect excuse to dress-up and escape the winter blues. If your friends and family like a challenge, you could throw a quiz evening, or get out all your board games and bring out their competitive side? A poker night is great entertainment whatever the age of your guests. Or simple draw the curtains, put the popcorn on the stove and enjoy hosting your very own movie night – exactly why you chose a floorplan with a home theatre.
Don’t forget to make room for your motor
Now that all your rooms are all decluttered and ready for hosting, don’t forget the garage while you’re at it. Keeping your car out of the cold can be important during the winter months. So make sure you clear up you garage and avoid any winter winds and hailstorms.
Looking to get your interior winter ready?
Take a look at our handy blog article packed with great ways to warm up, and transform your home into a winter wonderland.
All that’s left is to set a date
Now your home is ready, you’re all set to become the hostess with the mostess – enjoy a winter full of entertaining!