Set the scene. Create instant atmosphere as soon as partygoers open the door. ”Usually candles, flowers and fairy lights do the trick.” Emma plays with textures, lights and hues for big impact. For a fun circus vibe, she makes bunting by using ribbons and putting up light chains. Hanging a piece of matching fabric enhances the mood and hides the clothes rack you don’t want seen. Make your hallway furniture a drop-off spot for presents and flowers. Store away what’s on top of your cabinet and put vases there for the flowers your guests bring.
”A party doesn’t have to be perfect. The most important thing is to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere.”
Emma Parkinson, interior designer
Shuffle stuff out of the way (and into the bedroom). What do you do with all the bags and jackets? Instead of the classic solution of piling them on the bed, Emma suggests a clothes rack for her guests’ outerwear that she normally uses for everyday clothes. ”This way you have some order and your guests can easily find their coats, too.”
Make room for more. By gathering chairs, stools, cushions and tables from around the flat, Emma forms a comfy lounge area. She creates a new table by stacking two wooden stools for a low-profile snacking table. Her favourite pouffe can be hung up when not in use. To encourage mingling and save space, she uses three-tier serving platters on side tables. ”Make it easy on yourself. Cut down on dishes by giving each guest a nametag for their glass.”
Groove to the music. Let songs waft in from any room with a movable music station. Use a side table with wheels and put wireless speakers hooked up to a smartphone or tablet on top, so everyone can easily access their favourite tunes.There’s a box for charging cables underneath in case would-be DJs need to power up. Rather than hire a DJ, Emma puts together her own playlist. ”Or you can create an open one that your friends can add to.”
Keep cool. Little flats often have little fridges. To chill drinks, Emma puts them in a laundry basket filled with ice. ”You can also use it to soak or collect your dirty glasses the day after.” This basket also allows people to serve themselves whenever they want, giving a more informal and homelike feeling.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.