With the holiday season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to slow down and reconnect with friends and family. Celebrated in lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving – or better yet, in addition to it – Friendsgiving is a time to catch up with those who matter most. A less formal affair, this holiday is a time to flex your creative muscles and experiment with new traditions and recipes. Whether you’re hosting for the first time or just looking for ways to fine-tune your abilities, this checklist will serve as your comprehensive guide for throwing a seamless Friendsgiving your guests will never forget.
Create a festive first impression for guests with seasonal wreaths, florals, urns and lanterns. Why not a holiday-themed doormat, too? As the sun sets earlier during this time of the year, functional lighting along walkways will help guide guests to your front door.
Check out our Picture-Perfect Porch blog for ideas to last throughout the entire season.
Make room in the coat closet and be sure to have extra hangers on hand. A bench positioned inside the front door offers a spot for removing shoes and boots comfortably. A boot tray will keep moisture and dirt off your floors during those cooler fall days.
It may be just a cheese and cracker platter project, but even non-cooks are apt to don an apron at least once during the holidays. Take stock of cooking essentials such as mixing bowls, casserole dishes, cutting boards and (sharp) knives. Free up workspace for prepping food. Clean out the fridge so there’s plenty of room for storing leftovers. Make the kitchen guest-friendly by designating a space for coffee and tea preparation and set out baskets of snacks. Add holiday cheer with seasonal decor and festive dish towels.
Stock the Bar
A bar cart or cabinet is a complementary furniture piece that provides storage while doubling as an aesthetic vehicle for displaying your liquor collection and glassware. The perfect “everything in its place” piece, it also stores tools, ice buckets and other barware. Simply invite your guests to serve themselves while you attend to other tasks.
Now’s the time to update window coverings from lightweight to more substantial fabrics and richer colors that complement the season. Change out pillow covers to cozier fabrics like velvet or faux fur. Arrange throws on furniture or in a nearby basket.
The fireplace becomes a focal point. Ensure that it’s in working order and a screen is in place. Even gas fireplaces can benefit from an aesthetic upgrade with a screen. Don’t forget the mantel! Arrange candles and seasonal accents and, if placed high enough for safety, include a seasonal wreath, too.
Maybe it’s time to invest in a timeless piece of furniture – a sectional sofa that comfortably accommodates a crowd or a swivel glider for optimum television viewing. With its many configurations, modular furniture is intentionally designed for mixing and matching based on your needs.
Reorganize bookcases. Declutter and leave space between books and decorative accessories. Trade out everyday accessories for seasonal accents. When you give items room to breathe, every piece has room to sing. A table or ottoman with built-in storage can hold games for down-time moments (yes, even during the holidays).
Take stock of dinnerware, glassware and serveware. A buffet or sideboard provides stylish storage for dining pieces as well as napkins, candles, coasters, seasonal items and table decorations.
Drape chairs with faux fur throws for a cozy touch or a festive swag to elevate your event. Update the space with an area rug (no stains!). Consider your dining table a canvas. Create a holiday tablescape that can remain on your dining room table throughout the season, whether the table is set or in repose.
Often neglected during the rest of the year, the guest room becomes a hub during the holidays. Transform it into a five-star oasis with a few simple tricks. Apply the layer principle to the guest bed with a foundation of luxurious sheets topped with a fluffy duvet or comforter. Arrange pillows in various sizes, placing larger pillows at the back, followed by sleeping pillows and then an accent pillow (or three). Finish with a throw. Feel free to mix and match palettes and patterns.
Thoughtful touches go a long way to making guests feel pampered. Place a water carafe on each nightstand, along with a few books or magazines and a notepad with your WiFi password. Arrange fresh flowers on a dresser, along with a scented candle. Tuck amenities such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and hand cream into a basket. Don’t forget extra hangers, pillows and blankets for the closet.
Good lighting increases comfort and can make a small bedroom feel bigger or a larger room cozier. Bedside lamps offer ambience, provide lighting for reading and can be controlled independently. Use them to make a decorative statement with color, shape and size.
Make the space feel warm, welcoming, and why not a bit unexpected, too?
Experiment with bolder colors and patterns. Look for unexpected design elements – artwork, an ornate mirror, a lighting fixture. Add a plant for long-lasting freshness. Let a small stool hold bath towels. Scented diffusers add to the ambience. Baskets for toiletries are always in style.
No room need be neglected, even your backyard! Think of it as an extension of your home and even consider hosting your event alfresco. For more tips on how to create and host the perfect outdoor event, check out our Alfresco Friendsgiving post.