With Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, people are starting to prepare their homes for the upcoming festivities. Whether it’s an ugly sweater party, Christmas day, New Year’s day, or just having the family over for the holidays, our homes become the welcome center to family members and friends. The main concern for every homeowner is not just the snacks, food, drinks, and decoration, but how to accommodate all of the guests, while making sure there is enough room for everybody. When you have a small space, a big, growing family, and cannot afford an addition or expansion, here are four simple tips on getting your home ready for all of the upcoming holiday festivities:
- Choose a “socialization room”. If possible, you should have a designated “socialization room”, apart from your dining room. It is preferable if your designated room is next to your dining room to allow easy back and forth flow. If there is a door separating both rooms, make sure to keep the door open so that your guests do not feel like they have to stay in the “socialization room”. If your dining room and living room are conjoined, make sure there is nothing blocking the path between the dining table and the living room; an open floor plan is important to maximize room space.
- Reorganize and eliminate unnecessary furniture. Remove any decorations that take up extra space such as chests, large art objects, lamps, etc. Any bulky and unnecessary furniture such as bookcases or coffee tables should be removed as well. If you rather leave the coffee table, make sure to leave at least 2 feet of distance between the table and any furniture or walking space. Doing so would allow your guest to have enough space to comfortably walk to and from their seat. Reorganize your chairs, sofas, and/or couches in a “U” shape to maximize your room space. Remember to keep at least three to five feet of space where people are going to be walking by. This will allow enough room for your guest to walk both ways in between spaces.
- Food: A great way to keep everyone happy. Ideally, you want to make sure food is not the cause of your problems. Tortilla chips and salsa/dips can cause people to constantly move back and forth between the socialization room and the appetizer table. It can also cause people to hover over the appetizer table in order to maintain conversation while snacking on chips and salsa. If you serve appetizers that are easy to enjoy and quick to pick up, such as mini sandwiches or individual skewers, your guests can sit down and enjoy a conversation, rather than getting up every five minutes for food or hover over the appetizer table. It is also recommended to keep all of the food separated from the socialization room and in one place. Placing the food in the middle of the socialization room can cause discomfort for your guest; anyone reaching for food would feel watched by everyone in the room.
When it comes to dinner time, it is a great idea to go for a “buffet” style of serving. Placing a table against a wall, at least three to five feet away from the dinner table or sitting area, will allow extra room for entertainment, give your guests the chance to socialize as they are walking up to serve their dinner, and keep all of your food in one place reducing walking “traffic flow”.
- Renovation is always an option. While additions and/or expansions can be a bit costly, basement renovations are a more affordable renovation that most homeowners are not aware of. Pergo floors are quick and easy to install, you can install yourself, and they look like real wood floors. Prior to installment, you can ensure that all of your build requirements are met by consulting an architectural designer. If required, your architectural designer can also provide you with any construction documents you may need to obtain permits. After a foam layer and moisture block is installed on your floor, you can start installing your Pergo flooring and quickly turn your basement into a great socializing area for all of your guests!
- Quick tips to keep in mind:
- Do not wait until the last minute to get everything done. Organize all of your furniture, prepare your socialization room, and decorate a few days ahead. That way, the day of the event, you will only have to worry about preparing the food and making sure everything is ready to welcome your guests.
- Do not place anything on your steps. Many homeowners tend to put decorations on their steps. Doing so puts the homeowner at risk of someone tripping over these decorations and falling on the steps. Especially if there are going to be kids or elders in the house.
- Keep cables and wires out of the way. With Christmas decorations all over the house, sometimes homeowners tend to let the cables laying around, crossing a hallway, or around a walking path. This can be very dangerous and easily cause someone to trip and fall. Make sure all wires and cables are out of all possible spaces where your guests could walk by.
- Have a designated kids room or area. Having kids running around the designated “socialization room” can interrupt conversations and possibly make it very uncomfortable for some of your guests. Not to mention, kids can also be very loud. What kid wants to stay and hang around with the adults anyways? Usually, all the kids get together and play while the adults get together and socialize. Having a separate “kids area”, away from your “socialization room”, but still close enough where parents can keep an eye on their kids, can help create a comfortable socialization environment for all of your guests.