We all buy homes for different reasons and we actually use them quite differently as well. For some, a home is their respite. A place to get away from the world and leave the stress behind. For others, the door is always open and anyone is welcome to drop by at any time. Some treat it like an investment and barely live in it. And some personalize every square inch. For me, I like for my friends and family to feel welcome in my space anytime. I used to think that my house had to look perfect in order to invite people in – not anymore. I want my life to be about relationships and my home is a place to facilitate that. So, let’s party!
I am throwing a birthday bash this weekend. (Not my birthday – I’ll warn you so you have plenty of time to prepare!) At first I thought I would have it catered – much easier. But with so many ideas of parties I want to have in the future and not an unlimited budget, I am going with Plan B. Will it be perfect? Probably not. But, will we have fun? Absolutely. My point is, you don’t have to plan for months, spend a fortune, and have the interior decorator come over to have a party. Who are you inviting? People you know, that like you, that you have fun with. If you have some snacks, drinks, music, and an eclectic group of guests, it will be a hit! Don’t stress out over the fact that you didn’t get that room painted or you still have the stove with the broken knob. Chances are, no one will notice the things you see. They are coming to have a good time, not to judge your house (and if they are, maybe you need different friends).
So, how do you prepare for a party? Large parties may take a little more preparation so let’s talk about a normal, 12-25 person party:
- Food: It doesn’t have to be fancy. Get toppings and have everyone make their own pizzas, or tacos. You can grill pre-made burgers or have pizzas delivered about an hour into the party. Set out some snack foods like chips, dips and veggies. Be sure to think about refrigeration or heat.
- Drinks: If you are serving alcohol, keep it simple. You don’t need to “please” everyone. Have a signature drink you can make up ahead of time or just have a couple options. Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on hand. The great thing about bottles or cans is that they can be saved if they aren’t consumed – and you are halfway ready for your next party!
- Music: With all the inexpensive options for wireless music these days, you can have music in every room of the house and outside too. Don’t turn it up too loud. You want people to be able to talk to their new friends, not shout over “Stranglehold”.
- Games: Have a few games laying around. Whether it’s an outdoor party where you can have corn hole, or an inside bash where a board game or cards would be appropriate, games bring people together. They are an easy way to entertain and your guests can mingle in a relaxed way.
- Movies: You may consider having a movie on. If you have some shy guests or a lot of people that don’t know each other, it gives them something to look at when they aren’t good conversationalists and it also gives them something to talk about. Just keep the volume low or have it off completely and use the subtitle option.
You can certainly get more elaborate. Parties can be themed. You can cater wonderful food, have a bartender, or a band. You can even hire an event planner to handle all the details for you. The main point is, have fun. No matter your budget or how much your house is worth – none of it matters if you don’t enjoy it. Your guests can sense your stress. When it comes time to open the doors, be a guest in your own home. Let’s party!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.