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Whether you’ve lived in your house for years or are just moving into your first apartment, planning to entertain at home can be a big undertaking. You want your house or apartment to look its best and your guests to feel comfortable. You can cook and clean and still be left feeling like your space isn’t ready. But don’t panic! We’ve got you covered.
Our Freshome team has a very wide range of experience when it comes to entertaining at home. We all love home design and enjoy freshening up our spaces for guests, but we also know that breaking our backs to get ready for a party just isn’t worth it. So without further ado, here are our absolute essentials for when we entertain at home.
In the kitchen
Although guests won’t spend much time in the kitchen, most parties start there. Setting yourself up to cook without any issues makes hosting much easier. Here are a few kitchen items that our Freshome team leans on when we get ready to entertain at home.
Any chef worth their salt will tell you that their #1 must-have item is good knives. And we agree. When you entertain at home, the last thing you want is to end up with a tomato mush or behind-schedule bake because your knives weren’t up to the task. If you’re ready to upgrade your current set, this 3-piece one from Williams Sonoma is a favorite of ours.
Whether you’re roasting something in the oven all day or just frying up a quick appetizer, the right pans make all the difference. A good pan distributes heat evenly and helps your cooking along. The wrong pan can ruin a dish – and make cleanup a total headache. At Freshome, we agree that every kitchen needs a non-stick frying pan and a cast iron skillet. If you’re hunting for some for your own kitchen, Williams Sonoma has a Calpahlon Elite Nonstick Essential Pan that cooks like a dream and makes cleanup a breeze.
When designing your home, you probably think carefully about the type of lighting you’re going to install in the main rooms where you’ll entertain. But don’t skip your kitchen just because it might have less foot traffic during parties. Ample, comfortable lighting makes spending time in the kitchen prepping for a major luncheon or dinner party much less tiring.
In the living room
Unless you’re hosting a dinner party and plan to gather everyone around the dining table, the living room will probably be at the heart of your event. What makes the ideal living room for entertaining? At Freshome, we love all the design details like a gorgeous rug and an interesting coffee table, but we all agree that nothing is more important than seating. Here are a few key pieces of furniture we recommend.
A giant couch
What’s the one thing a living room absolutely has to have? A couch! And if you host people regularly, the bigger, the better. Sectionals are a favorite among our team. You can’t beat that versatility! Plus, they add structure to your space, helping you define it so your guests can understand the flow of the room at a glance. When measuring for a couch, remember that length isn’t the only thing that matters. Don’t forget depth for the comfort it adds. A deep couch, like the Lounge II from Crate & Barrel, invites everyone to kick back and relax.
An inviting chair
Not everyone wants to be squished together on the couch. Providing alternate seating helps all of your guests feel comfortable – and can make your space more welcoming. This oversized Newton Grand Armchair is a great example. It gives guests the chance to establish their own space and, when you’re not entertaining, is an ideal place to cozy up. Or, if you’re pressed for space but need additional seating, something more compact that still packs a style punch, like this Fabrizzi Mid-Century Modern Chair from Target, is a great option.
An accent loveseat or sofa
Are you sensing a trend? When you want to entertain at home, prepping your living room comes down to creating enough seating to host everyone comfortably. But don’t forget the design, either. That’s what makes accent furniture a slam dunk. It adds a pop to your room and creates a place for guests to plop down. We love velvet sofas and chairs, especially in rich jewel tones. You can grab a gorgeous one from West Elm; their Drake Sofa can be made-to-order in forest green velvet.
While prepping your kitchen and living room gets you off on the right foot, you certainly shouldn’t stop there when you plan to entertain. Here are a few more of our Freshome recommendations.
A comfortable space
This might seem broad, but it’s really key. In the throes of designing an entire home, it’s easy to get carried away with the way everything looks and forget about what it will be like to actually live in it. Creating comfy spaces isn’t just a plus for you and your family, either. It helps your guests relax when you have them over. A soft sofa, a cozy throw and inviting colors all help to create a room where you’ll want to entertain at home.
Plants and flowers
Plants are are a great addition to any room. Not only do they add texture and vibrancy to the room, they also clean the air. If you want to add some extra wow when getting ready to entertain at home, turn to potted plants and/or fresh flowers. Anywhere you feel needs an extra pop – whether that’s the center of your dining table or a small corner of the bathroom – plants can deliver.
How do you entertain at home?
All of us are still learning. We refine our party prep after every event we throw, so we’d love to hear about your entertaining essentials. What items do you stock to get yourself and your home or apartment ready for guests? Let us know in the comments!