Aug 26, 2013

Place settings: check! Floral arrangements: done! Canapés: disappearing quickly!

Hosting your guests for a holiday dinner party or afternoon soirée can feel a little overwhelming, especially when given little time to prepare (we've all been treated to a surprise familial visit or two). Thankfully, the experts presenting at the Calgary and Vancouver Home + Design Shows know a thing or two about readying your home for stylish and welcoming get-together, impromptu or otherwise. Whether you have hours or minutes to stage your abode, we've compiled their six best tips for prepping your home for company.

Jennifer Scott, founder and one-half of interior design duo A Good Chick To Know, is a pro at handling spur-of-the-moment soirées.  

1. Music
There’s no better way than music to set the tone for a gathering. Find the right playlist for your intended evening, whether you’re having a few girlfriends over for wine and gossip, or hosting the whole clan for an afternoon BBQ.

2. Ambient lighting
Kill the overhead lights and put match to candle! Softer lighting creates a more relaxed, inviting environment.

3. Hide your daily items
Tuck away magazines and toss the laundry back into the bedroom! Tidying everyday clutter allows guests full access to your furniture, makes the space feel instantly cleaner and lets your design concept shine.

See A Good Chick to Know live at the VancouverHome + Design Show on Saturday Oct. 19 at 6PM and Sunday Oct. 20 at 1PM. 

Jillian Harris, celebrity designer and co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver, likes to add a dash of natural colour to make guests feel right at home.

4. Flowers
Pop out to the garden or pick up a cheery bouquet from the corner store to instantly brighten and freshen your space.

See Jillian Harris and her co-host Todd Talbot live at the Calgary Home + Design Show on Friday Sept. 20 at 7PM and Saturday Sept. 21 at 3PM & 7PM, and at the Vancouver Home + Design Show on Friday Oct. 18 at 7PM and Saturday Oct. 19 at PM & 7PM

Christine Friend, the Friendly Decorator, recommends two ways to impress house guests.

5. Polish
If you have time, give your chrome fixtures and glass surfaces a quick polish,  removing any evidence of sticky fingers and making your home sparkle!

6. Set the table
Whether readying for a sit-down meal or grab-and-go grazing, setting the table accordingly makes guests feel taken care of. Plus, a welcoming spread diverts attention from other potentially messy areas.

See Christine Friend live at the Vancouver Home + Design Show on Friday Oct. 18 at 3PM, Saturday Oct. 19 at 12PM and Sunday Oct. 20 at 3PM.

Make these entertaining tricks part of your party prepping routine and impress your guests with a home that is warm, inviting and ready for anything.

Which of these tips will you use the next time you entertain?

Get more home entertaining advice at the Calgary and Vancouver Home + Design Shows! Purchase your tickets online for Calgary and Vancouver today and save $3 on regular adult admission.