Guests make or break a party, so make sure yours are happy and well cared for. This isn't about spending lots of money, but finding simple, cheap things to you can DIY or switch up on the fly. All your efforts will translate into good cheer, sparkling conversation and a memorable evening. Here are some of our best tips and thoughts on creating a home that says "You're Welcome."
Outdoor Lighting: Set out outdoor luminaries or lanterns alongside your walkway or driveway. There is no more beautiful sight than softly glowing lights that guide you up to the front door.
Welcome Mats: Give your guests a friendly and obvious place to wipe off their feet, so they don't stress about tracking in snow or dirt onto your nice floors. (Okay, this one is about making you feel comfortable, too.)
Equipped Entryway: The entryway is your guests' first glimpse of your home, so make it good. Stash away your own coats and make room for others. Give folks places to store shoes and personal belongings.
Bar Setup: Once guests are inside, have a bar cart fully stocked and at the ready. The socially anxious among us sometimes need a little liquid courage when they first arrive, and before the rowdy karaoke begins. Here are ways to build and/or style the perfect bar cart.
Atmospheric Lighting: Turn off, or dim, the overhead lights and find alternative ways to create a warm, flattering and cozy atmosphere.
(Image credits: Maxwell Ryan; Design Sponge; Chez Larsson; 1.800.Recycling; Kelly Wilkinson; A Subtle Revelry; Martha Stewart; Chez Larsson; Martha Stewart; Your Home & Garden, via Makezine; Vively Online; Martha Stewart; Hrrr Thrrr; Hello From The Natos; Angela Ferdig; Living Etc. via Apartment Therapy; Alex's Granny Chic; Primer Magazine; A Life Designed; Lonny Magazine; Jimmy The Bartender; Flickr user MT Carlson under CC BY 2.0; BEth Zeigler via Apartment Therapy; Rachel Wray Thompson; Mike's Amazing Mid Century Pad; Anne Krueger Design via Apartment Therapy)