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Follow these simple tips for getting your house party ready.
- Keep in mind that everything adds to the atmosphere of a party so think about the music, lighting, fragrances and the items you will need to decorate the house. Once the basics have been done spend a little thought on creating the right mood for your party. On the day of the party, time must be set aside for preparing your home to create the ambience you want for the party because no matter how delicious the food is, if the house is untidy or full of odours people will not feel very comfortable.
- The first thing is to clean the house. In India dusting is very important. It is best to do this in the evening a couple of hours before the guests are expected so that it doesn’t settle again.
- The entire house must be tidied but some rooms will naturally need greater attention than others. The living rooms and one designated bathroom are the main focus.
- Check that all the lamps are working and the lampshades are dusted. Change fused bulbs. There should be no loose wires on the floor. Ceiling light shades should be clean.
- Check ACs fans heaters and place remote controls in easily accessible places.
- Check fans and doors for noise. Oil them if they are squeaking.
- Check that all the wall pieces and paintings are straight.
- Check the curtain rings and /or blinds. Stitch the rings if missing. See that the drawstrings of the blinds are moving smoothly.
- Check for mosquitoes and flies. Use repellants
- Re-arrange the seating if necessary to see that no one is left sitting alone without someone to talk to.
- After arranging the furniture it’s good to walk around to check that the arrangement provides space for free movement of people, so that there is movement space and sitting space alternating comfortably.
- For a Cocktail party open up the room space by removing coffee tables/centre tables or small seats to create free movement. These can be placed in corners for keeping snacks or for sitting.
- Every guest should have access to a table or some space where they can rest their glass and reach the snacks without much effort. This could be an end table, a coffee table or even a shelf close by.
- Clear tables of unnecessary clutter so that they can be used for placing snacks and paper napkins that are in easy reach of all guests.
- Remember to plump the cushions on the chairs to freshen them.
- What can be done if there is an ugly stain on your upholstery? There are imaginative ways of dealing with that. You can drape a throw, a shawl or an interesting piece of fabric coordinated with your colour scheme so that not only would it cover your stain it would add interest to the décor of your room.
- These would depend on the occasion.
- Buntings and balloons are associated with birthdays or anniversaries.
- Alpana with flowers or coloured powders are popular for Indian festivals.
- Theme parties need their special decorations. Look up our Theme Parties for tips.
- If you plan to have music, select it in advance and keep it handy. DO NOT make it too loud. No one wants to shout over music.
- Choose music suitable for the evening.
- Classical music or vintage songs in the background are appropriate for older people or a specific theme, dance music for a dance party and something light for a casual get together.
- Theme parties would also need the music of the planned theme.
- Try out the lights in your entertainment area beforehand so that you get a sense of the mood you want to create. Sometimes you may want a brighter ambience, say for a formal party, or dim colored corner lights if you plan a dance party, or medium lights for a casual get-together.
- Candles soften the glare of electric lights and look festive but must be placed in places where they do not get in the way or burn any one. However, in India they should not be used in summer unless the rooms are properly cooled as they would make the room even warmer.
- Flower arrangements and potted plants add colour,warmth and freshness. If fresh flowers are not available dried arrangements can be used to add interest to the room.
- Large arrangements are best in corners while small arrangements look nice as table centre pieces.
- Keep a few empty vases ready just in case someone brings you flowers. And think of a place where you can put them out. The person who has brought them will be delighted and flowers are always welcome.
- A soft fragrance placed in fragrance dispensers adds to the mood you are trying to create. The aroma of mogra or khus is perfect for a summer evening just as cinnamon and orange add warmth to a room in winter. But remember no fragrance is better than too much as it gives people a headache and makes the room claustrophobic.
- Light your fragrance dispensers just before your guests come. And keep lighted candles and dispenser in such places where they can’t be accidentally knocked over.
- Designate one bathroom of the house for the guests.
- Remove all personal clothes and cosmetics.
- Place liquid soaps in dispensers to enable each user to get fresh soap.
- A basket or tray with little hand towels should be placed alongside so that each guest can get a clean towel.
- A container for the used towels must be kept at a convenient place.
- A box of tissues is handy. In fact sometimes people prefer to wipe off greasy hands or a runny nose with tissue before washing their hands.
- A small flower arrangement or potted plant, an aroma candle or a bowl of potpourri add colour, look pretty and most importantly, absorb odours!
These preparations don’t take a great deal of time but they will make your guests feel welcome and set the base for a great party.