Relaaaax. If you attend to some details that create great flow, you can be the host(ess) with the most(ess). These tips were inspired by Apartment Therapy’s posts on this topic.
1. Density. We like to be close enough to be forced to interact. How many people to invite depends on the square footage of the party space, and the type and mood of the party. Apt. Therapy has a handy (if confusing) chart to help you figure this out.
- Separate the fun. There are four cardinal points in your party space: entrance, bar, food, and music. Keep them separate. And be sure to have open space in between, preferably open to the entrance. Don’t be afraid to shift some furniture.
- Use “Party Feng Shui.” With the entrance at your back, the bar should be on the left, ideally visible from the entrance. The music should be opposite the entrance or the bar. If possible, windows should be on one side of your open space.
- Spread out interaction zones. The open space will help people to mix early in the party. If you have additional room, arrange separate zones for the extremes: intimate conversations and dancing. This allows your guests to gravitate to their comfort zone over the course of the evening.
3. Lighting. Lighting complements density and structure and, over the course of an evening, subtly signals where the party is heading. Light the different zones for their intended mood and use, and turn them down as the evening wears on.
4. Flow. Density, structure and lighting are all in service of flow (which is what we want the ch’i to do) but the host has to stay on top of it to keep it going:
- Introduce: Introduce people continuously
- Serve: Keep drinks and food flowing so no one has to find it
- Move: Keep yourself moving – don’t get stuck at your own party
- Re-arrange: Move the odd chair or coffee table whenever necessary
- Adjust: Change the scene over time, e.g. music up, lights down
Of course, you don’t have to host a party to feel the effects of good or bad flow. If your home or workspace doesn’t have the kind of flow that makes you (and guests) feel welcome and energized, give me a call (360-903-3659). I can help.