Ditching the overpriced, out on the town countdown drama for an intimate New Year’s Eve party in with your besties or maybe just your honey? Join the club! We think sticking to home and hearth is so much more fun than battling crowds at a ritzy club. It’s time to start a new trend! Welcome 2016 by indulging your inner #jomo-seeking (Joy of Missing Out) self with stylish pair Glenn Peloso and Jamie Alexander’s top ten tips to ringing in 2016 with style, good vibes, and maybe even a few new memories in the making.
How to Throw the Best New Year’s Eve Party. At home.
Know your audience: From food and festive cocktails to activities and the soundtrack to the big night, be sure to have a sense of your guests’ preferences, tastes, dislikes and aversions to ensure maximum enjoyment for all! The best hosts are thoughtful ones—be sure you’ve got at least one something special to please each each guest at some point throughout the evening.
Your signature sip: Greet your guests with your favourite cocktail as they arrive. The ingredients or colour of your signature beverage can serve to inspire the theme of the night. Glen’s favourite cocktail is a Hibiscus Martini (pictured with the stunning s hand-hammered black and gold barware available at Real Canadian Superstore and Jamie has been known to enjoy a Rose Kennedy or two. Be sure to have a non-alcoholic version available for non-drinkers and designated drivers. Cheers to whatever tempts your taste buds!
Sounds of the season: Music is sensorial—and memorable. Make like Ryan Seacrest and consider a play list of 2015’s top 100 songs so everyone can take a 365 day trip down memory lane. Once the clock strikes midnight, however, it’s Auld Lang Syne all the way. We’re traditional like that.
Raise the bar: Any spot in your home can be turned into a self-serve bar. A kitchen island, sideboard, or part of a dining table beautifully lends itself to displaying your barware. Whatever you choose, a well-stocked bar, complete with pretty and affordable stem and glassware like these ones from PC Home, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options, will be met with thirsty enthusiasm. The idea is to make your guests do the work and your life as Chief Executive Mixologist as easy as pouring a chilled glass of prosecco.
Time to dine: When planning, decide how you’d like the food to be served. What would you and your guests enjoy more? A seated dinner at a formal dining table with lively conversation or grazing stations throughout your home for maximum mingling. Either choice means lots of fun, depending on your guests and how you create the vibe throughout the rest of the evening. Try presenting and serving different dishes in unexpected ways (we’re loving little individual casserole dishes, for example). Just be sure to have a sense of what your guests would be more comfortable with—and go for it.
Sparkle on: Just because Santa’s big day is now just a distant memory on Instagram, there’s no reason why the season’s sparkle can’t live on until January 1st. Repurpose décor accessories in mixed metals of shimmering gold and silver, as well as reflective elements of glass, mirror and chrome in unexpected ways. For example, we love to place a single ornament at each of the place settings of a set dining table . Write each guest’s name on a little card and affix it to the ornament’s string to act as place card. Guests can then take the ornaments home as a keepsake. Ornaments, swag and sprays also make big impact when displayed in tall glasses vases and champagne buckets.
Fan the flames: Candles create instant mood and ambiance. Nothing says celebration quite like the magical of candlelight. Display in casual clusters at all different heights or poised in classic candlesticks. Remember to go easy on the scent so as to not overwhelm the senses.
Linen lowdown: Fabric cocktail and dinner napkins might be timeless and elegant, but they’re also time consuming. If you don’t have time to wash, iron and press (or pick them up from the dry cleaner), consider beautiful paper napkins to add interest to the big event. PS: clean-up will be a cinch!
Powder room perfection: Your décor shouldn’t stop at the powder room door. Be sure to continue the evening’s theme into this small space for maximum impact. Go beyond the look and feel to incorporate a few ideas your guests will surely appreciate such as a stack of single-use fabric hand towels (with an accompanying basket for the used ones). As well, consider having an essentials kit with tissue, hand cream, stain sticks, breath mints, hair pins, hair spray, and more. Your guests will remember and appreciate this little touch!
Sharing is caring: Resolutions are so predictable, and rarely relevant after February 1st. Instead of asking your guests to share what they resolve to do in the year ahead, invite your guests to share something they are proud to have accomplished in 2015, or a sincere wish for someone else in the year ahead. Making it more about gratitude and appreciation, and less about hitting the gym is always in style!
Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander are award-winning designers and co-owners of Peloso Alexander Interiors, a design firm dedicated to bringing beautiful spaces to life.