Monday, November 23, 2015

Being the Perfect Hostess

David Peck dress {similar style} | Topshop necklace {here & here

It's that time of year. Whether you're hosting your friends or family for Thanksgiving, have the in-laws traveling in for Christmas, or are hosting your boyfriend/husband's best friend and his family for other holiday festivities, you are going to want to be the perfect hostess. From how to create the perfect tablescape, to making them feel at home, I've got you covered.

1. Create and atmosphere that's inviting. Whether it's moving around furniture to make it more conducive to entertaining, or making extra counter space in the guest bathroom, be sure to do your prep work before your guests arrive. There's nothing worse than having them arrive and being unprepared. If this happens, they'll end up feeling like they're imposing on your time and your space. Also, remember you are sharing your house, so even if it's people you know really well, or are just getting acquainted with, nothing is off limits (i.e., if there's something you don't want them to touch, see, or sit on, put it away beforehand). 

2. Make them feel at home. Think of the necessities that people need when staying somewhere. I often like to think about what amenities hotels provide when I'm preparing for a guest. Men are a little easier than women, as they don't require as much, but I'd rather have too much to offer my guests than too little. For example, I'm a bathrobe junkie, so I love having a bathrobe on hand when a guest comes into town. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and plenty of towels are must-have's too. Having a spare blow dryer is always great and extra blankets (for the bed and to cozy up with).  When in doubt, consider what you wish you had when you're at someone else's home. Even if you think you provided them with everything under the sun, make sure to check-in and see if there's anything else they need. At the end of the day, respect their privacy. I don't think anyone loves staying at other people's houses, so whether they want to do an activity alone, or decide to sleep in until 11am, be respectful. 

3. Do your homework. Do your guests have food allergies, is there something they do not eat, is there something they love to eat that you want to have on hand...all these are great things to know when hosting. Depending on the degree of closeness, you probably already know the answer to these questions. However, if your guests are newer friends or new to the family, there's nothing wrong with tactfully writing an email or having a simple phone call with them ahead of time. You can start by telling them how thrilled you are they are coming, and then go into what you're preparing for dinner, or what restaurants you're planning to dine at. This will make it easy to see whether or not there's things they like or don't like. Don't be embarrassed to ask either, but at the end of the day if you feel uncomfortable, make your significant other do the asking. That's what they're there for anyways, right!? haha. 

4. Create the perfect setting. Decorating the dining room table for an intimate dinner or for holidays with the family, is definitely one of my favorite things. I love decorating with the colors of the season and the holiday in mind. Whether it's silver and blue for Hanukkah or green and red for Christmas, it brings out the holiday cheer. For Thanksgiving/Fall, I used the colors of the season (that are actually very prominent in my home since Fall is my favorite time of year), which are cinnamon, evergreen. butter and burnt orange. For the tablescape above I used some of my favorite gold, round placemats from Macy's which I've linked here. They are perfect for the holiday season, or to spruce up any dinner year round. I topped it with a fall foliage themed napkin and napkin ring. These napkin rings I actually made last year using shower curtain rings, hemp, and painting fake leaves my favorite Fall colors. Gifting a set of 4-6 napkin rings would be a great treat to give your guest when they leave. Simple, easy, and a nice homemade touch. 

What are some of your hostessing tips? I would love to hear them. Also, if you have any questions on how to prep for the holidays, don't hesitate to ask! 

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