Another year is winding down, and in a few days almost everyone around the world will be celebrating the turn of the new year. There will be parties and socials, sparkles and sequins, and many gatherings of families and friends. Beyond New Year’s celebrations, I’ve always loved throwing soirees and hosting gatherings. I’ve even been known to throw some amazing kids parties! For me, hosting is a personal passion. There’s something about creating an event that fosters a good time and vibe with loved ones. And if you’re like me, you want to consider your home design to ensure you have the right interior elements to accommodate the ultimate social event. Here are a few things to consider for optimizing your home design for proper social hosting.

Spruce Up The Kitchen

Much of the entertaining and hosting I do in my home starts in my kitchen. It’s the heart of every home that I’ve owned. In my mind food and beverages bring people together and help to facilitate camaraderie and conversation. If you need a starting place for optimizing your home design for hosting guests and friends, I would start in this space and with a few specific suggestions.

There’s one primary word to consider as you begin thinking about hosting an event in your home: capacity. Do you have all you need to comfortably receive the number of guests you’re looking to invite? Better yet, can the appliances you have accommodate the event you want to throw? If they don’t—and you want to regularly have events in your home—you may want to consider some appliance upgrades.

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I say that from experience, specifically with my refrigerator. One of the things I absolutely love about the new refrigerator in my new dream beach home is the customization available for it. The Jenn-Air appliance can be designed with 1, 2 or 3 columns and a myriad of configurations for freezer and refrigeration needs. If you begin hosting regularly, you need to be sure both your refrigerator and freezer have the space you need for food and beverages. Chances are you will need to replenish more frequently than you would if you only cater to just you and your family.

Speaking of freezing, many people don’t realize how much people partake in beverages during the average social event. And, there’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a lukewarm beverage when you’re parched. Ice is a small element at a party, but there’s a noticeable difference when it isn’t available during an event—TRUST ME! I had an ice maker installed on my rooftop deck for that very reason. I never want an event I throw to be jeopardized because beverages cannot be enjoyed by my guests. Some may consider an ice maker a luxury; I say it’s a great option for optimizing your home design for hosting.

Ample Surface Space

While seating is super important for entertaining, it is equally important to make sure you have enough surface space in your home for hosting a social event. I’ve found people highly underestimate the space they need when they have a number of guests over. People will always want places to congregate that don’t require sitting or retiring themselves to a table.

My family has always enjoyed gathering around counter areas like kitchen islands. Why? My guess is they always have places to put drinks and appetizer plates down while conversing or socializing. And, countertops and islands are larger and don’t confine people to smaller, more quaint tables. Those can be reserved for people who prefer private or more intimate conversations. I’m a fan of occasional tables for the same reason. If you serve food while hosting your event, realize that people may not want to hold a plate in one hand and their drink in another the entire time. Optimizing your home design when it comes to being a good host may mean something as simple as providing more space for your guests.

Providing ample surface space may also mean considering details like catering trays for your events. When you bring in staff to assist with private parties, it would be a good idea to consider what your caterer may need in terms of space. Refrigeration options like the aforementioned appliances are always good, but other options may not be designed to accommodate catering trays similarly. Always remember: if you take care of your caterer, they will take care of you!


Lighting sets the mood and tone in a space and should be a high consideration for optimizing your home design for hosting amazing events. Incorporating smart bulbs is an inexpensive way to bring dynamic aesthetics to your home. Many of these bulb options can sense and interact automatically with their environments or other users—even other technology. Plus, they can be controlled via voice commands or accessed remotely via a phone or other device, so accessibility won’t necessarily require an electrician or other professional. Investing in smart lights can help you control the energy throughout your event. You can start with brighter lights and adjust them as the party progresses. The options are pretty limitless!


When it comes to your decor, I know as an interior designer the impact it can have on all visitors to your home. As a host of a multitude of home gatherings, I can tell you nothing creates more conversation among guests than using your decor to make your space feel personal and to tell a story your guests are interested in knowing or hearing about. Incorporate personal decor in the entryway. Place personal photos on console tables. Hang unique art on the walls. These will almost always spark guests’ interests and give them a feel for who you are in your space. These will give your space personality—YOUR personality. There will never be a greater representation of the host in the home. Never negate the storytelling power of your decor. Trust me.

The New Year will be exciting, but as with other holidays, it will come and go. Your home and opportunities to entertain guests will happen throughout the next 365 days and beyond. Consider these suggestions for optimizing your home design for hosting great events in your home, and you’ll be the reason—and your home the destination—why people want to enjoy their next night out!

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