4 Quick Ways to Make Your Home Party-Ready

By Cristina Cleveland


Most of the time I want my home to be a place where I can relax and recharge from my day, but on the occasion that I host a dinner party or drinks I want the mood to be the complete opposite – spirited with a sense of excitement! Since I live in a loft that’s asking a lot of one space, but there are a few quick changes that can help set the tone even when I’m short on time. Keep reading for 4 quick ways to get your home party-ready, and I’d love to know: if you only have one hour to prep your home, what do you make sure to do before your guests arrive?

*pictured: the apartment of Nicole Cohen of Sketch 42


1. Set up a home bar

While it would be lovely to have a vintage bar cart, it’s definitely not necessary. You can set up a home bar on any table, console, or even a bookshelf by simply gathering your drinks and glassware in one spot. I’m a sucker for well-designed packaging so I like to keep the prettiest bottles, like the Lillet, St Germain and Vermouth, up front. Pretty decanters, vintage glassware and a tray like this marble DIY will make your collection look more festive.

2. DIY your floral arrangement

You don’t have to drop a pretty penny on formal floral arrangements, but a few well placed plants may be the missing piece as you prepare your home for entertaining. Branches like these maple vine branches can take up a lot of space visually without costing as much as a large floral arrangement. Get creative and fill a vase with what you already have in your home or garden, like rosemary, fruits or even branches from your Christmas tree (I did this for my dining table and it has lasted for weeks!).

3. Create a vignette

Whether you’re planning a cozy game night or a cocktail party, you don’t have to redecorate the entire living room. Instead focus on putting together a vignette on a dining, coffee or console table to create a focal point. If you’re hosting a glamorous New Year’s party, think anything mirrored, gold or brass, and black and white prints. I love this photo of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow at Truman Capote’s famed Black and White Ball because it sets the tone of an evening when anything can happen.

4. Dim the lights

If you have dimmers, now is the time to use them. Low lighting completely changes the mood of a room. If you don’t have dimmers, no worries, just use as few overhead lights as you can and rely on lamps wherever possible. Candles and string lights are an easy way to alter the mood, and since it’s the holiday season you likely have both within reach!