By Krista Ehret
Moving into a new home is an exciting milestone and definitely one that I believe should be celebrated with friends and family. For those of us who enjoy entertaining, it's like a christening of all the upcoming events and memories that will take place in your new abode. Whether your first condo or your forever home, here are some tips for creating a special housewarming party that's sure to kick off many happy years.
Give Yourself Time to Nest.
Even for the most organized mover, getting settled into a new house can take some time. Walking into a disaster zone of half unpacked boxes, bare walls and missing kitchen wares is not the first impression you want to create. Give yourself a month or so before the big reveal.
Be the Host, Not the Chef.
The heart of most homes is the kitchen. While I am a huge advocate of preparing homemade meals, this is not the time
to showcase your culinary skills with an elaborate dinner. I suggest serving small bites that are pre-made versus a full sit-down meal. It keeps the atmosphere light and allows you guests will want a tour. Having everything prepped ahead of time keeps your kitchen from being messy during the party. Think elegant, but simple, cocktail party fare: charcuterie, shrimp cocktail, sliders, crab or spinach dip and some bite-size desserts. Champagne is a fun addition to the bar since this is a celebration. Break out your nice platters, ice bucket and glassware to really showcase the kitchen that you've so been coveting.
Let the House Speak for Itself.
The point of this event is to welcome loved ones into your new home for the first time. While Pinterest would love for you to prep for your party by decking out your new space with pineapples and welcome wagons, keep things simple and showcase the character of the house itself. Make the front door and entry as welcoming as possible with a nice wreath, welcome mat, planters with flowers and lanterns. The foyer or immediate
living space should be lit with comfortable ambiance (think lamps versus bright, overhead lighting) and should include
a scented candle and fresh flowers. The kitchen or dining area will speak for itself with the food and drinks. Remember that guests will want to see literally every space (coat closet... anyone?), so make sure things are tidy. Place nice guest towels in the half bath, seasonal candles or essential oil diffusers in several rooms, and fresh flowers wherever you have a good spot for them.
Invite the Neighbors.
If you want to make the most out of your new location, you should really get to know those around you. By inviting your new neighbors, you become approachable and even if they don't attend, they will admire the fact that you reached out, as they are probably just as curious about who the newbies are as you are about them. Making the first interaction in a group setting makes for an easy (non-awkward) get to know you session.