The holiday season is upon us, and more likely than not, we have plans to entertain friends and family in our home. While our thoughts many dance from nutcrackers to ribbons to punch bowls, but it’s easy to overlook one important question - is my home conducive to sociable gatherings and lively conversation?
Fortunately, we know of a few home design factors that you can consider to make sure your holiday fȇtes are a success.
Great gatherings are made up of great conversations, and a home’s interior can influence them positively or negatively. A well thought out home makes guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Feeling welcomed and invited into a space goes well beyond being handed a spirited beverage, but extends into the home’s atmosphere, and we’re not talking about holiday decorations. (Although we love a good dose of seasonal cheer, too!) For example, a living room can smartly accommodate eight to ten people comfortably regardless of its size if it’s properly planned. It’s all about finding a layout and furniture pieces that suit the space and your needs. Providing plenty of comfortable seating encourages friends to linger and conversation to flow. Likewise, having small chairs tucked in around the house give people the opportunity to pull a seat up to the conversation. However, if your sofa is too far away from your lounge chairs conversation will be stifled because people will avoid shouting across the room. The same is true if the space is too crowded with furniture creating a cluttered atmosphere that’s hard to navigate and will put people on edge.
Another great tip for thinking about your furniture arrangements is to think about creating small intimate conversation areas aside from your main gathering spaces. Maybe there are two chairs tucked in the window with a little pull up table for holding drinks and a dish of chocolate treats. This will encourage two friends to sit down together, away from the party crowd, and enjoy an intimate conversation.
The space in which we live our lives greatly influence our thoughts and behaviors, so when we’re trying to encourage a warm and congenial atmosphere it’s important to take our surroundings into consideration. There is maybe no more important element in a space than lighting. A room with perfect light levels can be the difference between people settling in and enjoying themselves or calling the night short. We prefer lamp light to overhead lighting in almost all occasions. If you have a beautiful light fixture displayed over your dining table or kitchen island then it’s important to install a dimmer so the light output is a low glow rather than a bright light suitable for work surfaces. Don’t forget about candle light, either! Candles provide a warm dancing light perfect for tucking in around conversation groups or placing in the centerpiece on your dining table.
The holidays are a special time to share with family and friends and often our homes are backdrop for our most precious and fond memories. By keeping a few simple considerations in mind about our home’s layout and atmosphere we can guarantee another successful gathering with memories that will last a lifetime.