Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

A Few Party Tricks from Apartment Therapy!

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This week we wrapped up our series on home makeovers with Apartment Therapy’s Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan by covering the final part of his Eight-Step Home Cure: throwing a party! In addition to presenting a fine opportunity to celebrate all your hard work, hosting a gathering will create a hard deadline for your redecorating and renovating to be completed. Here’s a timeline from Maxwell to make your housewarming bash a smashing success.

Several Days Before: Plan your music playlist and pick up any decorations or accessories you want to use, like tealights or tablecloths. Music and lighting will set the mood, so don’t leave these decisions to the last minute...or a self-appointed iPod DJ!

Two Days Before: Clean all the rooms that you’re opening up to guests and rearrange your furniture in the main rooms to make as many seating positions as possible.

One Day Before: Shop for all your groceries and drinks, and prepare as much food as possible now so you can be with your party guests and not in the kitchen. Many dips and spreads will store beautifully in the fridge overnight.

Hours Before the Party: Finish your food prep, and whatever else you do, be sure that the drinks station is set up before the first guest walks in the door. There’s nothing worse than a guest milling around without anything to eat or drink while the host remains in the kitchen! Mixing pitcher drinks like sangria is one way to make things easier on you and more festive for your guests, just don’t forget to offer an equally festive non-alcoholic drink. Two options are Tropical Ginger Punch and Punchy Cocktail.

As Guests Arrive: Set out the food in several spots throughout the room to encourage people to move around, but set up drinks in one area in or near the kitchen for easy restocking.

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