In Focus

How to prepare your home for unforgettable entertaining

Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

December 2023

As we breathe a collective sigh of relief at the end of another cold winter, it is time to turn our attention to preparing the home and garden for a season of festive entertaining. In this article, we look at the essential preparations that will surprise and delight your family and friends at your next event.

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A tidy space is inviting and comfortable for guests so it’s time to banish those cobwebs and make your windows shine. Start by cleaning and decluttering the communal areas of your home. However, don’t get side-tracked in deep cleaning the garage shed or rearranging your kitchen pantry – keep it to the areas that you know your guests will be situated in, or you’ll end up with more to clean than you started with!

Downlights can be harsh and clinical. We want to evoke a luxurious, elevated mood, so it’s time to consider layered lighting. An investment in soft, warm lighting can create a cosy atmosphere in any room. Candles, fairy lights, floor or wall lamps add a touch of ambience inside and out and unique or structural lamps spark conversation. Learn from the best and read more about lighting with Interior Designer, Zoe Murphy here.

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Summer flora makes for a beautiful home décor centrepiece, either picked from your garden or sourced at your local farmer’s market. Floral arrangements are a personal choice, but a large bunch of single-variant flowers or foliage can make a big impact. Rustic textures are trending for 2024, with the rise of organic modern style. A beautiful standout vase will pull the whole look together.

The organised host has music playing on arrival, so impress your guests with a curated playlist of new and old classics. Make sure the volume is at a level that allows for easy conversation.

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Think ahead, do you have adequate seating for all your guests? If required, you borrow an extra set of outdoor chairs from friend, or hire furniture locally. It is also a good idea to arrange your furniture to create conversational groupings, and include a mixture of seating options – bar, table, and lounging. We love this Mood Daybed from Cosh Living.

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Set up a designated area for cocktails, mocktails or caffeination. We love this modern classic bar cart from West Elm. Consider dietary restrictions and preferences when planning the menu and make sure you have enough food and drinks for your number of guests. Handwritten menus and place cards will elevate your event to new heights. Read our tips on how to set a tablescape befitting the summer entertaining season from Chef and Stylist, Tori Falzon.

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Make your gathering one to remember with the addition of the sense that holds the most memory. Use candles, essential oil diffusers, or fresh flowers to infuse beautiful scents throughout your home.

We love Fig Tree from Scent Australia and the gorgeous Loewe scented candles. Whether it’s a candle, diffuser or a tray of freshly baked cookies, the sense of smell is not to be forgotten when curating your magical moments at home.

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The best parties include lots of fun and laughter. Make sure to have classic board games on hand, or take it outside with a game of Bocce. Get your guests included with a DIY food station or an activity that encourages conversation.

Your preparation is complete and the day is here! A relaxed host sets the right atmosphere for the entire day so once everything is set up, take a moment to relax and enjoy the company of your guests.

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