As the fall season approaches in full swing, many families and homeowners are thinking about the upcoming holiday seasons and are looking indoors to prepare in advance for gatherings with friends and family.
“Whether you’re planning to have a few family members over for Thanksgiving or are thinking ahead about that Halloween party or even Christmas, you can guarantee a successful event by planning ahead on a few details,” says Jennifer Reich, owner at Diggs & Dwellings, a premier furniture and lighting store in Sudbury, Ontario.
Many traditional dining tables come with extensions that we can put away until they're needed. Newer tables don’t need to be disassembled. Instead, the extension is already built in, which quickly turns a standard table into a space that will fit everyone in one space – if you have enough chairs.
“One of the biggest things people often overlook is the lack of seating. We’ll end up inviting 20 people, 10 of those will bring guests, and we only have 10 chairs at the table,” says Reich, “this is where we end up scrambling for lawn chairs, computer chairs, and stools to get everyone crammed into the dining room. Although it might seem cozy, it definitely does not function for great-aunt Rita who has to sit on the bean bag chair from your daughter’s bedroom.”
When choosing to add more dining furniture to your home, make sure you’re finding pieces that match the style and personality of your home. The function of your furniture should also be an important factor in your decision. If you have children coming, for example, having a high chair available will save you some stress. “A buffet or side table added to your dining space for guests to help themselves to dinner, desserts or coffee will also make more room for guests at the table.”
“You should also make sure there is enough seating throughout your house to accommodate the different people who arrive. Adding a few new chairs to your living room, even if they don’t match your overall furniture theme, such as a pop of colour in an otherwise grey-toned space, goes a long way,” says Reich, “it’s also beneficial to take a look at your tables and side tables in your living areas. Is there space for guests to put down their drink or phone?”
Plan for the unexpected
Planning for the unexpected is important to ensure that your party or gathering goes smoothly. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead of time:
- Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong with your original plans. For example, if you were hoping for a patio BBQ and you get a welcoming fall downpour instead, you want to make sure you have seating arrangements inside too.
- Put up a coat rack and a place for people to put their shoes when arriving at your home – this will prevent the unsightly pile of footwear that quickly accumulates when entertaining guests.
- Always have more food and drinks on hand than you think you’ll need.
- Have a game or activity prepared to keep people entertained if it gets too quiet or people start talking amongst themselves too much.
Even if you don’t expect to have anyone stay the night, plans can change, especially once the wine comes out. “If you have an old couch you are planning to donate anyway and don’t have a guest room, finding a pull-out sofa will provide sleeping space while providing more comfortable seating space,” says Reich.
Start planning for your next gathering here.