Jul 182014

It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

You tell your last guest goodbye. You feel amazing. The party was a success.

Billy Butchkavitz designed event

Billy Butchkavitz designed event

You start putting everything back in its place. You take the dishes to the kitchen. There are glasses here and there, and quite a bit of food left over that you need to store in the fridge. You are super tired and there’s still plenty to do.

But it doesn’t matter because everyone had a great time and you are feeling like the younger, local version of Martha Stewart.

You did your homework. You spent time planning who to invite and it paid off. People were engaging in conversation with minimal effort on your part. Most importantly, you were having a wonderful time. You were so good at planning that even though you were busy coordinating food and drinks, you still had time to have a fun time with everyone.

And people were smiling and laughing in every corner of your house.

You also spent quite some time planning food and drinks. It was worth it. The hors d’oeuvres were deliciously perfect one-bite party starters. You knew they were irresistible when you saw one of your guests putting two more on her plate after trying the first one. Another of your friends asked you for the recipe, of course they were really yummy.

Your home looked beautiful.

As you put the last of the food away and start to get ready for a much deserved rest you think about the next party you’ll throw. This one was so good that even though you are exhausted you can’t wait to do it again. You feel like the Wonder Woman of hosting.

Would an event planner have done it differently?

They definitely wouldn’t have invited such a perfect crowd, so kudos to you.

Regarding food, timing, and ambiance; they probably would have done a thing or two differently. After all, they went to school to learn about it and they plan parties almost every weekend.

Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to have hired a professional event planner for your wedding and hopefully you were thrilled with the result. You most likely have seen pictures of spaces transformed for a party by a celebrity event planner.

And you were secretly jealous of their talent.

It is amazing how event planners transform a bare bones boring space into a magical room. They strategically combine flowers, lighting, and table arrangements to create spaces that leave you without words. Even when you look at pictures of these spaces you start to sense the emotion they set out to create.

Whether it be romantic, traditional, or hip and modern they craft the mood their customers want in their party. Sometimes they bring custom sculptures or they drape fabric from the ceiling to create a tent cocoon-like space. They even create rooms within rooms by separating parts of the venue and producing a more intimate space within the larger room. They truly transform a room into a spectacular experience.

But you are not about to hire an event planner for your next casual gathering at home.

Unless you have Gwen Stefani’s party budget, you will most likely not spend thousands of dollars in flowers, candles, and furniture rental for your next small party at your home. You’ll probably put that money into your kids’ 529K plan.

So how can you have an event-planner-approved home the next time you decide to throw a party?

Follow the advice of these well-seasoned entertainers.

Steven Duggan, the event planner for Adele, Elton John, and many others suggests, “Avoid spaces that are too large as well, the event can look really empty. Use every corner to make the best of your area. Invite as many guests as you can, it creates a great atmosphere. Pay attention to detail too – try and pay attention to your space from every possible angle.”

Cassandra Lavalle, the face behind the fabulously successful coco+kelley blog, suggests, “Ever notice how guests love to gather in the kitchen? To disperse the crowd, place a bar somewhere in the corner of your living room and rearrange furniture to create a few different conversation spots.”

Preston Bailey the chosen event planner for Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, and Jennifer Hudson recommends,Carefully placed scented candles are a must for all events. Preferable at the entrance, always in bathrooms.”

Colin Cowie, party planner of choice for celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian, says about parties at home, “Good lighting is a must. Not too bright; use dimmers. There’s no such thing as too many candles. Votives, pillars, tapers—use them everywhere.”

David Beahm, whose customers have included Catherine Zeta-Jones, Victoria’s Secret, and Louis Vuitton and who is known for his lavish flower designs says, “Oftentimes, the overall feeling of an event doesn’t come from the grand design elements, but from the many little ones. A number of those ‘small particulars’ can be implemented on your tabletop.”

Celebrity event planner Jes Gordon, who has worked with Bono, Martha Stewart, and Sarah Jessica Parker, recommends, “Don’t provide seats for everyone!” It may sound counter intuitive, but less seating will result in more mingling and socializing for your guests. That’s what we all look forward to, don’t we?

David Stark, renowned New York event producer and author, says, “Stick your candles in the freezer for a couple of days prior to using them. The freezing will eliminate most of the messy dripped wax all over your furniture.”

So, the guest list and menu is still up to you, but now you have some insight on dos and don’ts for the décor. Will you be buying more candles? Will you stick them in the freezer? I’ll definitely try that one.

Do you have a favorite tip for home party decorating? Share it in the comments!