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4 secret design tricks to make your home perfect for entertaining

When it comes to entertaining, some people just seem to know how to do it right. But, their secret may be less about their amazing hosting abilities and more about having a home that’s ripe for entertaining. Believe it or not, the way you set up your yard or home’s interior can make the difference between a party that rocks and a party that flops!

Think you don’t have what it takes to make your home party central? By making a few simple adjustments, to what you already have, you can turn your home into a place where guests feel welcomed, relaxed, and able to enjoy every minute of your hospitality. 

fire pit in seating areaEntertaining home design for your outdoor space

Every outdoor party works better when people have spaces to chat, places to play, and beautiful things to look at. Follow our steps below, and you’ll have all three!

Create a space that invites conversation

Arrange outdoor furniture for cozy conversation and take full advantage of trees for shade or that sweet-smelling flowering bush for a colorful backdrop.

A fire pit is a natural centerpiece for your outdoor seating area, whether a custom-built one made from rock or brick or a small portable one that can be taken out when needed and packed away in the shed when it’s not (after it’s completely cooled down, that is). Place a few chairs around the fire pit for cozy fireside chats. 

Add an outdoor game area

Games are not just for kids, so whether you have children in your household or not, having a designated spot for backyard games will give your outdoor entertaining an added jolt of fun. If you have space, create a permanent bocce ball court, horseshoe pit, or set up a regulation net for volleyball or badminton.

If you don’t have unlimited space, pull out the games just for parties and designate a section of the yard for corn hole, spike ball, or water balloon tosses.

Put up a privacy fence

Do you love outdoor entertaining but don’t love the lack of privacy? Consider a privacy fence—whether store-bought or homemade. You can even DIY a privacy fence that showcases your green thumb, with an array of pots and holders for your favorite flowers, plants, or herbs. These fences instantly add privacy and style to your backyard space.

party in a small spaceInterior home design for parties

The biggest factor in creating a home interior that’s conducive to entertaining comes down to how you arrange your space. Keep in mind that what works for you and your family in your everyday life may not necessarily work when you’re entertaining.

  • If you’re expecting a small group, ensuring that the sofa and chairs are arranged for conversing may be all that’s needed to get your place entertaining ready. Making sure you have end tables conveniently located near seating for placement of cocktail and wine glasses will make the evening more pleasant for guests. Using a dimmer switch to lower lighting, or lighting a few candles for ambiance, will also help set the stage for entertaining. 
  • If, however, you’re having a large gathering, you may need to rethink the placement and number of furniture items in your living spaces. When using your dining table as a staging area for appetizers and charcuterie, having chairs around the table will be an unwelcome distraction. People tend to gravitate towards the food, and having access blocked by chairs—whether empty or filled with snacking guests—will make it difficult to access. Instead, pull the chairs away from the table and place them against the walls of the dining room so your guests can easily access your food and then find a chair to sit on while eating. 
  • When it comes to your living room, take a look and decide how many people can find comfortable seating in your living room the way it is normally arranged? Keep in mind that not everyone will be in the same location all at once—some may be in the kitchen, the dining room, standing up and chatting with others, etc. Furniture pieces like ottomans, sofa tables, and coffee tables work overtime during parties as improvised seating and placement for drinks or appetizer plates.
  • One of the most important—and simple—things you can do to get your living room party ready is to declutter. Before guests arrive, take a few minutes to pare down the number of tabletop photos, knickknacks, and vases to free up valuable table space. Your guests will appreciate having a place for drinks and plates so that they can have a free hand.

Becoming the host—or hostess—with the most is all about mastering the little things. Signature cocktails, that one special dessert everyone looks forward to having, and of course, a setting that encourages conversation, laughter, and most of all, fun!

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Renta
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kim has written for Bloomingdales, Movado, and various e-commerce wine sites. When she's not writing about wine and…
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