Nothing beats a fun night in with your closest friends and family. From epic housewarmings to casual dinner parties, hosting guests in your home is an art form. As any host will tell you, even the simplest gatherings require ample planning and preparation to run smoothly. But if your space doesn’t function well, entertaining guests at home can feel stressful and frustrating.

If you love to entertain and you’re building a new LifeStyle home, you can create a perfect home entertainment setup from the start. If not, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your existing home perfect for entertaining as well.

1.Design a Welcoming Entryway
When you’re entertaining guests at home, your entryway is often your guests’ first impression. Naturally, you want that first impression to be a good one, so making your space feel as inviting as possible is a top priority. To make your guest feel more comfortable, consider adding these items to the entryway of your home:

  • Ample hooks for jackets and purses
  • Plants or flowers to liven the mood
  • Some type of seating for guests to remove shoes if requested — a bench works well
  • A rug that ties the colors of your room together

2.Get Creative with Tables and Seating
If seating and surfaces are in short supply, you’ll have to get creative. Try buying some extra throw pillows to use as boho-inspired seats on the floor. Alternatively, you can invest in a few ottomans that can double as tables or seating as needed. Extra folding chairs are easy to store away in a closet and can be dressed up with a comfy pillow or throw blanket. Bar carts are a great investment and will provide you with a portable table for serving drinks and food wherever you are in the house.

3.Don’t Forget About Lighting
Lighting can make or break the mood. If your home is equipped with nothing but harsh overhead fluorescents, it might be time for an upgrade. Add an interesting lamp, and dress up tables and entryways with string lights. Always opt for warm-colored bulbs to create a cozy and relaxing environment. If you’re going for a dimly lit vibe, try using candles instead of light bulbs wherever it’s safe to do so.

4.Utilize Your Kitchen Island
When entertaining guests at home, your kitchen island will be your best friend. If you’re hosting a dinner party or serving any type of food, the island will act both as your prep station and your buffet table. If your kitchen is large enough, you might want to have your guests sit around the island as well.

5.Consider the Kitchen Triangle Rule
The kitchen triangle rule refers to the distance between your stove, sink, and fridge. In an efficient kitchen, these three areas will connect in a triangle shape so you can easily access each of the workstations. While some designers have strayed from this traditional layout, it’s still important to set your kitchen up in a way that provides you with easy-to-access workstations.

6.Create Cozy Outdoor Spaces
In Florida, fall and winter weather is lovely for hosting guests outdoors. A covered porch will provide protection from the elements and give your guests a comfortable spot to relax.

7.Prepare a Guest Bed
You never know when one of your guests will need to spend the night. Have clean bedding on hand and invest in a decent guest bed setup. If you don’t have a spare room right now, look for a pull-out sofa or even a high-quality air mattress that you’ve blown up ahead of time.

8.Party Preparation Tips to Consider
Once you’ve got your home set up for entertaining guests, the planning and prep work can truly begin. Here are some tips to keep in mind so your next house party goes off without a hitch:

  • Create a signature cocktail with minimal ingredients and prepare it ahead of time.
  • Have a designated bar area where guests can help themselves.
  • Don’t aim to cook a full dinner — the last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen all night. Most people will be happy with snacks and charcuterie.
  • Be spontaneous. You can plan activities all you want, but if the whole room wants to play a board game or jump in the pool, don’t be afraid to go with the flow.
  • Don’t forget about smells and sounds. Light a few candles and play some low-volume music to set the vibe.

Having a home that functions well for entertaining is essential for those who love to host. At LifeStyle Homes, we know your home is supposed to be your happy place. That’s why we aim to build houses with your lifestyle in mind. As a local Florida home builder, LifeStyle Homes understands your neighborhood and needs. To learn more, contact LifeStyle Homes today.