The Spring Cure: Throwing A Party!

Week 8 - Weekend Prep

Bright flowers, a colorful runner, and asparagus — a perfect Spring mix! Via The Kitchn

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• Assignment: Read Week 8: Throwing a Party
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Wow. We're almost there, friends. For the last seven weeks you've invested time and energy into making your home better, and now is the time to celebrate all your hard work by throwing a party. Woo-hoo! This is a very important step: you deserve an opportunity to show what you've done. So whether you plan a dinner party or just invite one friend over for coffee, entertaining some guests brings your project full circle and infuses your home with warmth and good feeling.

A pretty tablecloth and napkins go a long way towards making a lovely spring soiree. These linens were hand stamped.

There are many reasons why people do the Cure, but I think one of the most common is that people want their home to be a place that other people love to be. We're social beings at heart who desire community; we want to invite people in, we want to share our lives with someone, and our home environment plays a part in that. So do one more deep cleaning, cook a meal, light some candles, and go answer that doorbell!

Remember the survey you took at the beginning of the Cure? The one where you were asked to write down 3 descriptive words you'd like your friends to use when they visit your home? This was part of your motivation for doing the Cure. Some of you may be entertaining experts, and having people over is no big deal. But for others, it's not so easy. Sharing your home gives friends an intimate glimpse into your life, which can be scary! But we're with you as you take that leap, and we encourage you to take this step and have fun doing it!

The most important things to remember this week for yourself and for your party are:

Cook and eat at home, plan for the week ahead, and reflect: View this week not only as an energizing time as you plan for a big social gathering, but also as a time to reflect on how much calmer and more comfortable your home can be when you make it a priority and devote daily tasks to taking care of it. Think about all the activities you've done the last few weeks and consider: which have been the most helpful? Which have been the hardest? Which are the most important to continue doing as the Cure ends and you get back to your "regular" life?

Clean your home thoroughly: You should be so used to doing this by now, so hopefully it won't take too long this time! Vacuum and dust, clean the windows, do a final purge for clutter, and empty your Outbox. This is the last time you'll have a chance to put anything in or take anything out of your Outbox. Consider your choices carefully. Remember this quote by William Morris: "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Love these scrabble letter place cards! Via The Kitchn

Keep your guests in mind: Inviting guests over is turning your home into a stage for one night. You may need to move around some furniture or re-position a lamp all to enhance the experience of your guests. Try to put yourself in their shoes: what will they notice first when they walk in? Where will they feel the most comfortable? Where would they most like to sit? The immediate experience one receives when they enter your home sets the tone for the rest of the evening, so be ready. We like to think of it as a 3-way punch: take their coat, hand them a drink, and show them where they can make themselves comfortable. Have appetizers ready and available. That way they won't be standing around, feeling awkward, and with nothing in their hands with which to fiddle!

Set the mood: Flowers, candles, music. Buy an extra bouquet or two to put flowers around your home. Turn off overhead lighting if you can and rely on lamps and lots of tealights. Put together a playlist beforehand. Choose music based on the environment you're looking for. Intimate dinner with friends? Put together a mellow, acoustic set list that will blend into the background, nothing too loud or jarring. Having a large party where there might be some dancing? Stay clear of too many slow mood busters that might make people lose their energy. Check out this post on readers' recommendations on how to put together the perfect party playlist.

Important: Next week is Graduation! Make sure to check the Spring 2010 Main Page on Monday to submit your 'After' pic. If you signed up for the Cure, you must submit an 'After' pic to graduate. 10 lucky graduates will be randomly chosen to win a copy of our new book, Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces, but you have to complete the graduation form to be eligible! See you next week!

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