Entertaining At Home
Page 7
Hang a Wreath on a Cabinet Door (The Easy Way)
It’s officially time to deck the halls. I have very clear memories of my mother hanging wreaths on our kitchen cabinets. Coincidentally, I also have memories of small wreaths falling in my cereal bowl more than once. If she would have seen this trick, I might have been more fortunate.Over at the blog Lemonade, the Timmons family has a handy trick for hanging items over doors.
Nov 28, 2011
Stinky Flower Water: Don’t Let It Happen To You
Your guests will be arriving any minute. The candles are lit, the bubbly is chilled, the coolest music anyone has ever heard is playing at the perfect volume, the flower arrangements are lush and modern, and the flower water is subtly, insidiously stinking up the entire apartment…Stinky Flower Water (STW) happens to the best of us. It happens so slowly, so subtly, that it may be undetectable to those that co-habitate with the flowers in questions.
Nov 21, 2011
Pros & Cons: Sit Down Dinner vs. Buffet?
We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our home this year, for the first time. My family hasn’t got a traditional dining style beyond simply gathering together, so I’m busy contemplating the logistics of such an event in our home! Do we have a sit down dinner? Or go buffet style?I recently helped put on a baby shower for a close friend, and we opted for a buffet style event.
Nov 10, 2011
12 Tips for Arranging the Perfect Buffet Table
Whether the occassion’s Thanksgiving, a Friday night potluck with friends or Sunday brunch, serving your food “buffet-style” is the easiest way to feed a large group. Here are our best tips for arranging the table for a presentation that’s stylish and streamlined and gets your party moving!• Position the table away from the main eating area: This ensures people will move around and mingle, two keys to a great party.
Nov 9, 2011
Etiquette at Home: Solutions to The Great Shoe Debate
Should party guests remove their shoes at the front door? Ok, no question about it, this is a “thing”. An issue that people have strong opinions about, a definite yea or nay and it can feel like a “never the twain shall meet” situation.
Oct 20, 2011
Moving On: Post-Breakup Apartment Therapy
Sally: At least I got the apartment.Harry: That’s what everybody says to me too. But really what’s so hard about finding an apartment?After a break-up, getting to stay in your apartment can be a relief; but how do you make it feel new and yours, once a live-in love moves out?This month, we’re exploring the concept of Setting Up Home — sometimes that entails moving, and sometimes it means staying.
Aug 5, 2011
Bless This Home: Rituals for New Homes
When I’ve moved into new homes, the closest thing to a ceremonial ritual I’ve practiced is a pizza dinner on the floor. But whether by custom or religious faith, many do something more to get their new place off to the best start. Here are a few ceremonies that are practiced: Jewish: Once moved in, a Chanukat Habayit is held to make the house into a home. This involves gathering everyone outside the door, where they meditate upon good blessings for the home.
Aug 1, 2011
One Simple Idea: Mason Jar Candles on Summer Nights
So you don’t have room for a bonfire. And you don’t have room for a grill, let alone a fire pit. It may not be a raging fire, but a group of candles in Mason jars can add delightful charm to a summer evening!I’m a frequent candle burner in my home during the winter months. With the apartment all closed up against the chill, I find it very comforting to burn candles, both scented and unscented. When summer rolls around, I sort of forget all about candles.
Jul 14, 2011
How to Host a Great Kids’ Party in a Small Apartment
Last month we dove into parties and this month we’re all about small spaces. So, what do you do when you want to throw a birthday party in a small, maybe one bedroom, apartment? Well, we’ve done it ourselves, and it is possible. Here’s how:First, NYC-based Mommy Poppins has a great list of 10 tips to keep in mind if you decide to host a birthday party in your small home.
May 11, 2011
5 Inexpensive Table Covers For Your Next Party
Although parties in general don’t appear to cost a great deal on the surface, you can quickly $5 yourself to death. Try saving a few pennies with these options for table covers that you very well might already have in your own home!1. Sheets/Blankets: Sheets and blankets are the easiest place to start looking for inexpensive table coverings. Most homes have a set for every bed in the house and swiping something colorful, or even just white is an easy fix that doesn’t cost a cent.2.
Apr 25, 2011
How To Host a Video Gaming Party That Everyone Will Love
Thinking of having a get-together this weekend? Consider organizing it around some game-playing action. With the rise of family gaming and the release of party games that take advantage of new console motion controllers, it’s now easier than ever to build a party around gaming, and these tips and guidelines will help you throw a party that everyone will enjoy.Pre-Party Prep 1. Choose games that have group appeal; that means being as fun to watch as to play.
Mar 1, 2011
Tricks To Maximize Your Space To Accommodate A Holiday Party
Whenever I think about rearranging furniture for an event or group I’ll be entertaining, the first thing that comes to mind is the movie Father of the Bride. Steve Martin flips out because he has to move all his furniture out of his home in order to have all new furniture brought in to seat everyone. Well this isn’t the movies and there’s no way we’re shipping out our seating!
Dec 16, 2010
Mid-Century Parties: 1950s
Anyone even vaguely interested in interior decorating and design can’t help but be familiar with the mid-century modern aesthetic. Through vintage photos and movies from the era or through contemporary designs that play homage to the mid-century style, we have a pretty good idea what a 1950s home may have looked like. But authentic images of 1950s homes populated with real people are harder to come by on the Web.
Dec 9, 2010
Small Space Solutions: Making Guests Comfortable WITHOUT a Guestroom
Just because you don’t have a guest room, doesn’t mean that your guests should be treated as afterthoughts. Yes, there are all kinds of Martha Stewart type things you can do for your guests, but the bottom line is this – your guests should be made to feel welcome. This is true whether you have a bona-fide guest room, a pullout sofa, an air mattress or just a designated spot for sleeping on the living room floor.
Nov 23, 2010
10 Little Things To Do Before Guests Come Over
There’s nothing worse than being at someone’s home and not being able to find an extra roll of toilet paper when it’s needed. Check out our list of things to do before company comes for 10 ideas that will help make your guests’ stay memorable for all the right reasons. Over the years there are little things we’ve noticed while attending parties (and hosting our own) that make guests feel more comfortable while they’re in your space.
Nov 19, 2010
How Do You Serve: Family Style or Buffet?
When it comes to a big holiday meal there are two ways of serving the food – family style, with every dish spread out on the table and diners passing the food around, and buffet style, with all the food set up on a table or counter and guests serving themselves. How do you roll in your house?This Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a buffet year in my house. With seven place settings around our little table, it’s going to be a tight fit with little room leftover for serving dishes.
Nov 17, 2010
Setting Up a Temporary Guest Room in the Living Room
Holidays bring guests to stay even when you don’t have a designated guest room — often making living rooms temporary bedrooms. While “the more the merrier” might be your mantra, it can be a challenge to make everyone feel comfortable when space and privacy are at a premium. As a tribute to all of the generous hosts who open up their homes over the holidays, here are some ideas and tips to help make a temporary guest room work:1.
Nov 15, 2010
5 Low Cost Big Impact DIY Branch Centerpieces
With fall in full swing, we have officially reached the point where some of our trees have lost all of their leaves. As beautiful as changing leaves are, there is something magical about bare branches. So, this season as I look for ways to bring nature to the table while celebrating with family and friends, I’m looking to all things branch.
Nov 12, 2010
The Smell of Home: The Science of Scent
What do pumpkin pie, cinnamon buns, licorice, toast, bleach, rain and linen have in common? They are all scents that evoke potent emotional and physiological reactions in humans. The question is, what kind of reactions? The answer may make you change what you serve for your Thanksgiving feast … and how you clean up before the guests arrive.“Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.” Vladimir Nabokov said that.
Nov 11, 2010
8 Eco-Friendly Blankets to Keep You Cozy and Warm
No matter where you live, a great blanket is key to making it through the winter. Blankets help keep the thermostat down a notch or two and are a super easy way to inject a little style into a space. A quality blanket will last for decades, but if you’re looking for some new throws, or need to stock up for expected overnight guests, be sure to check out this list of some of our favorite eco-friendly blankets.
Nov 9, 2010
Tips For Hosting Parties For Families With Children When You Don’t Have Any
I don’t have children, but they weave their way into my life in many ways and are always welcome in my home, especially when we entertain. But how do we retain our sanity? Do we baby proof the space? Is there a box of goldfish crackers stashed in the back of our pantry for just such an occasion?
Nov 9, 2010
Tips For Lighting Your Party
You’ve planned the menu, made the playlist and pressed your tails – but don’t forget the lighting! Because proper lighting can often be one of the most overlooked elements in the formula to an evening’s ambience, let’s shed a little light on how to keep your party aglow.Soft lighting brings people closer, creates cozier affairs and can even make small spaces seem bigger. Variations in lighting can change the mood from room to room and keep your guests circulating.
Nov 9, 2010
The Best Paperless Invitations
I was raised to believe in the old-fashioned, inherent thoughtfulness of the hand-written note. In fact, “Santa” still leaves thank-you notes in my stocking every Christmas so that I have no excuse not to write them. I am 30. However, when it comes to party invitations, I have to admit I always go online. With features like guest tracking, easy one-click RSVPs, and pot-luck sign ups, it’s easy for both my guests and me to plan for the event!
Nov 1, 2010
Best Wine Racks for the Home 2010
image:157ca1e2b01664601887bcdd7a26dd2bb09bd3bc w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" I’ve been compiling a list of the best new wine racks for the past two years, and this year I thought I’d do something a little different and highlight vintage designs (in addition to an expanded list of new and easily available racks).
Sep 21, 2010
The 1962 Playboy Townhouse
“Posh Plans For Exciting Urban Living”! In a spread from the May 1962 issue of Playboy Magazine we catch a glimpse of a “modishly swinging manor for the modern man” — a three level dream-pad decked out in teak, where everything is controlled by remote. Step inside this impeccable (and surprisingly voguish) space to experience the fine art of leisurely living.Though drafted in 1962 by architect-designer R.
Aug 30, 2010
Sleeping Together for the First Time
Whether you’ve just moved in with your significant other or have decided to have a date spend the night, sleeping in the same bed with someone else can sometimes be a real compromise. When I imagine sleeping in the same bed with someone, I first think about the romantic ideals and completely forget about any issues such as snoring, stealing covers, and alarm clocks.
Aug 18, 2010
Coffee Love: Latte Bowls
One of my favorite rituals of the day is making a morning latte. Since I never seem to fit my coffee — with its mounds of steamed milk — into a mug, I was delighted a few years ago to discover latte bowls.It started with drinking a ridiculously large sized latte every morning. The milk made my coffee spill over the edges of even an oversized mug.
Jul 2, 2010
String Lights Zigzagging Overhead
We love strands of white string lights for outdoor spaces. Our favorite layout? A canopy of them overhead in a zigzag pattern. It looks so casual and somehow “European” to us. Sounds silly, but that’s just how it makes us feel:The zigzag pattern of hanging lights is one of the easiest, too: Simply fix the strand in place back and forth across a space.
Jun 25, 2010
10 Things To Put In An Adult Piñata
Piñatas are typically associated with children, and the sight of candy scattering can certainly make them come running. But we think they’re for more than just kids. Even if your party is adults only, that’s no reason not to blindfold people and watch them whack things with a bat. An adult piñata is also a fairly easy way to add something unexpected to parties–and a low-key, low-pressure way to create an activity that will get people buzzing.
Jun 23, 2010
10 Things To Pack In A Piñata That Aren’t Made From Sugar
So apparently we have piñata fever around these parts. We just can’t help it. They’re perfect for a party, a backyard get together, or could even be a fun way to pick summer chores (who says they can’t come pouring out amongst other things?) for little ones, but sometimes we’re not into all that sugar. Here are a few non-food ideas instead!1. Bubbles: You can find small packages of bubbles (check with wedding supplies) that won’t weigh things down too much!2.
Jun 23, 2010
7 Tips for a Fabulous Outdoor Movie Night
There’s just something about a classic movie and a warm, summer evening that go together so darn well. With summer breezing in, now’s the perfect time to start planning a movie night party for a few friends. We’ve got the ideas and tips to make yours go off without a hitch:Throwing an outdoor movie night doesn’t have to require a lot of stuff or be expensive, but it does need a little planning ahead to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.
Jun 4, 2010
How To Host a Cook-Off
If you’re looking an entertaining idea for this summer there is nothing more amusing than a little friendly competition between friends – especially when it involves food! Hosting a cook-off is a great excuse to encourage friends to go head to head with their best recipes and serves as an instant icebreaker among the guests. With a bit of planning, hosting a cook-off can be stress-free.Here’s the breakdown of planning your own food-centric competition.
Jun 3, 2010
How To Make A Wine Bottle Tiki Torch for Under $4.00
Inspired by the this Recycled Wine Bottle Torch post and annoyed by mosquitoes this week (how is it that they’re already out and there’s been only a few weeks of spring?), we hit up the hardware store and threw together a $3.48 recycled wine bottle torch filled with citronella. While it’s not as classy as the real thing (nor as safe), it keeps the bugs at bay and looks pretty good. And it was quick and cheap.
Apr 9, 2010
A Bathroom That Opens Into The Kitchen: Awkward?
If you live in an old building or a rental, you’ll understand where we’re coming from: our last apartment’s bathroom opened up directly into the kitchen, as did our apartment before that. In fact, we grew up in a home where the toilet room (just the toilet.. the sink and bathtub were separate) was basically in the dining room, a few feet away from the table…and our guests eating dinner. For anyone entertaining or on a date, this can be veeeerrrrry awkward.
Mar 2, 2010
Modern Hanukkah Tables
Across the Jewish diaspora, stoves are heating up in preparation for the Festival of Lights, otherwise known as the Festival of Fried Foods. For eight wondrous nights, we’ll indulge in latkes, doughnuts, and other fabulous fritters. Here is some inspiration for serving your holiday feast in high style.FIRST ROW• 1 Laura Gross fashioned this festive tablescape with sparkling placemats and silver rimmed stemware.
Dec 4, 2009
Top Ten House Party Albums
During entertaining month, we thought we’d take a break from blogging about dinner parties and delve into something a little more raucous: the all-out house party. Our friend Jason (aka DJ Intel) is a hard working mix-master who gets paid to make people dance. We figured he’d be the right person to go to for the ultimate house party playlist.Jason is one of those mellow, grounded people who has the amazing ability to make a whole room of people start acting crazy.
Nov 17, 2009
Outdoor Party Ideas for Cold Weather
An impromptu outdoor fireplace from Casa SugarOne thing I love about living in the Bay Area is that it almost never gets too frigid cold to be outdoors. Even in winter, it can be fun to entertain in a backyard or out on a deck, provided you let your guests know that they need to bundle up. Try these tips for making a cold weather outdoor party cozy and fun.
Nov 16, 2009
Round Tabletop Extenders
This isn’t one of the sexiest design products you’ll see on Apartment Therapy today but it could be one of the handiest, particularly as you make plans to entertain over the holidays.Maybe your space is small enough that day to day you’re limited to a small, cafe size table without leafs. Or maybe you don’t even have a table set up on a daily basis, but you stow a card table for when you have to use a table.
Nov 11, 2009
Food On A String: The Easy, Instant Party Game
Now before you start shouting the dangers of the use of food in games, I’d like to say that I’ve played many games of this sort (under supervision) and everything has gone swimingly. In fact, they’re some of my favorite memories from childhood. Lame, I know, but eating food, from a string, without using your hands… …is just plain old fun. Seriously.
Nov 5, 2009
How Do You Party-Proof Your Home?
With the chilly season upon us, it’s time to move the party indoors. And while we all love a good gathering, the thought of mingling red wine, white sofas, and lots of laughter doesn’t always bring out our chill sides. What are your tips for throwing good indoor soiree and avoiding a panic attack? Here are a few tips we’ve gathered along the way…• Put breakables out of danger zones.
Oct 19, 2009
The Rule for Guests: How Many? How Long?
Summer’s the prime time for visiting friends and for them to visit you. But, as my grandmother used to say when my family would visit her, she was happy to see us come and she was happy to see us go. It wasn’t that she was inhospitable; she loved having us over. It was that she understood the rule of visiting. There’s a rule about how long guests should stay that she often quoted…Fish and guests, she liked to stay, smell after three days.
Jul 14, 2009
5 Excuses To Invite People Over
It’s been one of my resolutions (literally for years) to invite people over more often. And for some reason it just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I’ve got tons of excuses: I’m tired, the place is dirty, I haven’t hung artwork yet, work is busy, etc. But the bottom line is that I feel so much happier when I get a chance to entertain.
May 5, 2009
Being Comfortable In Someone Else’s Home
Have you ever had this situation? A friend comes over to your house. Maybe you go in the other room to put something away and when you come out, before you’ve even said anything, your friend has made themselves at home; they’re opening a bottle of wine, they’re surfing the net on your computer, they’re rummaging through your DVDs, they’re making playlists on your ITunes. How do you feel when this happens?
Apr 23, 2009
Host An “As Seen On TV” Gift Exchange This Holiday Season
If you’ve ever wondered if The Clapper works as great as the commercial is or if the ShamWow! really can clean up all of that water then consider hosting a White Elephant gift exchange holiday party this year with a fun twist – As Seen On TV products. Check out party details after the jump.RULES FOR THE WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE:1) Ask your guests to bring a wrapped and unlabeled As Seen on TV gift.
Dec 9, 2008
How To: Politely Get Guests To Leave
We’ve all been there before–hosting a party and for one reason or another, strangers are the only ones left. Or worse, our friends keep starting new conversations (even though they know we have a 7am wake up call) but are still partying like it’s New Year’s Eve. Don’t get us wrong, we’re pretty sure we’ve overstayed our welcome a few times.
Nov 21, 2008
Dressing the Table: 10 Best Placemats
Our sister site, AT Chicago, took a survey, and it turns out that more of you prefer a placemat to a tablecloth. We hunted high and low. Here are our favorite placemats for any holiday table.Domestic Affairs Rectangle Placemat, $32Felt Antoinette Placemat, $38 (set of 6)Dwell Placemats, $24 tiki placemats, $4.95Publique Living Popmat Paper Placemat, $24 (pack of 10)World Map Paper Placemats, $34Matte Stephens Placemats by Modern Twist, $15.
Nov 17, 2008
10 Cheap and Easy Ideas for Decorating the Table
If you’re having people over this month, no doubt you’ve spent a good amount of time considering the guest list and what you plan to cook. You’ve probably started cleaning in advance and have a lot of details you’d like to take care of. Don’t forget to have fun dressing the table and making it festive and inviting for guests. Don’t worry we don’t like a formal fussy table, but planning out what you want to do ahead of time will make it easy and fun.
Nov 11, 2008
The Pros of Living in a Studio Apartment
We talk a lot about the subject of how to decorate studio apartments here on AT. Oftentimes, we give tips on how to make up for the fact that you are living in such a small space. But rather than view your teeny space as something negative that you have to design around, why not celebrate the studio!
Oct 30, 2008
How To…Make a Couch, Bed, and Guest Room Fit In a Small Space
Here’s a problem that most of us have faced at some point or another: How do you fit in a bed, a big couch, and a guest room in an apartment? We’ve touched on it a bit before when we were lamenting on our lack of a guest bedroom, but here’s an innovative solution from Danish textile designer/potter Antero Kjaer: a couch/bed made with two twin mattresses, hooks, and foam.
Mar 17, 2008
How To: Set Up a Bar for a Party
One way to feel more like a guest at your own party is to leave (some of) the bartending duties to the guests themselves.It’s nice to get each arriving guest their first cocktail or refreshment, show them where to find the food, make an introduction or two and then turn them loose on a self-serve bar for subsequent drinks.Here is a quick how-to on setting up a well stocked self-serve bar:Where?Out of the main “flow” of the party.
Dec 17, 2007
The Stress Free Plan: How To Clean House for a Party
Hosting a holiday party is a great motivator to do a good cleaning, but there is no reason to stress out and try to do everything at the last minute.
Dec 3, 2007