For Your Fete de Noel

As you may have noticed, around these parts we like to celebrate. Is somebody running their first marathon? We'll make tee shirts. Did your kid loose another tooth? Let's all have cookies. So just imagine what the holiday season does to our party throwing souls. For those of you nearby, we hope you enjoyed our recent holiday events. (We loved seeing you! Weren't those ginger cookies delicious?)

And for those of you both near and far, we pulled together a few quick tips to take any of your upcoming fete from fun to unforgettably festive.

Setting the mood with lighting is an easy and effective way to  set your party up for success.

SET THE MOOD Just as we frequently discuss when designing a room, one trick that will set your party up for success is lighting. The pros know that soft lighting is the ultimate goal, creating a relaxed atmosphere and a slight air of mystery. We're not asking you to serve your guests in the dark, but try turning off overhead lights (or at least turn down the dimmer!) and utilize table lamps and, of course, candles. Holiday parties have the added benefit of twinkle lights, which have a reputation for being an automatic mood setter!

Pick a few statement making touches for your party and let those make the impact.

MAKE IT EASY Many times the Achilles heel of a good party starts with an over complicated plan. Choose a unifying theme for the décor and then examine whether each piece you want to bring in enhances that theme, or is just excess. Let a few statement making touches have a bigger impact, rather than feeling like every surface of your home needs to be decked out. Use a similar mindset when planning the menu: one extravagant, crowd pleasing dish, and then let the sides play second fiddle.

ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES, AND LET THE PUNCH ROLL For our final bit of advice, we borrowed a story from a decorating and entertaining hero, the magician Miles Redd. “It was springtime in New York and we were so excited for some nice weather, and we had set up this beautiful table outside,” says Miles. “I had gone upstairs to take a shower and within minutes it turned into thunderous storms. So the only other place I can host a large group is in my bathroom. We just moved everything upstairs.”

The most memorable parties always involve a certain degree of spontaneity.

While most people would be mortified to host guests in their bathroom, we admire the spirit of Miles’ story – sometimes even the best laid plans get thrown awry, but why should that ruin the party? A good hostess has the ability to be flexible, and to lead the mood of an event with their own attitude. Approach obstacles with light heartedness, and remember the unexpected moments sometimes create the best memories.

kathryn | alice lane home collection

[photos from Eddie Ross, Lonny Mag, Lifestyle Mirror]