The housewarming party is a centuries-old tradition believed to have begun during the Middle Ages. Stories as to its origins vary, but many believe the rite to have been initiated in France. Others credit Russia with its inception. Neighbors would arrive at those early parties bearing enough firewood to light every fireplace in the house. In addition to elevating the physical temperature of a space, the belief was that the light and warmth would ward off evil spirits that might have taken up residence even in a newly built home.
These days, even in the chilliest of Northern California winters, the warming function of the party has taken a backseat. It’s all about welcoming old and new friends to your new home and showing off some of its best features. Of course, the presence of friends can provide for a spiritual warming, displacing the stark chill of a newly constructed interior with an inviting radiance.
When it comes to planning your housewarming, area party professionals advise letting the energy of your house inform the flavor of the celebration.
Shannon McAlister, owner of event company Tin and Twine is, as it happens, just about to move into a new construction home herself. Visions of her own housewarming fete are just starting to take shape. But she is in no rush to set a date.
According to McAlister, you shouldn’t feel pressured to hold a party within a month or two of moving in.
“I’d say anywhere between a three- and six-month time frame is a good time to throw your party,” she advises. “That way, you’re moved in, you have your furniture, your decor, your pictures are hung. It feels more like your house. Then you’re able to feel settled (enough to) show off your fabulous new home.”
The rage for themed parties these days might prove another source of pressure. McAlister recommends letting your own personality — combined with the best-loved features of your new house — determine the tone of the celebration.
“Really pick out what about your home is the highlight, and how you see guests gathering. If you have a really cool backyard with a pool and outdoor seating, throw a barbecue. If you have an open concept kitchen, you can host a cocktail hour or brunch.” If you have a formal dining area that really delights you, she suggests, you should feel free to organize a sit-down dinner.
And even if themed fetes are your personal norm, you should still allow the colors, flavors and textures of your interior to dictate the mood of the occasion.
“If your house has an urban rustic (feel), then you could go for a more rustic theme. If it’s more modern, you might want to keep the tone of the party simple and fresh.”
Once you have a date in mind, she suggests reaching out to friends and family to make sure that day is convenient before sending out invitations.
As to the guest list, McAlister recommends lending an eye toward the capacity of your interior and/or exterior rooms. On the other hand, if you expect your guests to arrive in waves, i.e., friends with young children earlier and co-workers to come later during the party’s stated hours, plan accordingly. You will want to take care, for example, to have plenty of food, drink and ice on hand to keep pace with the ebb and flow of your guests.
And while you’ll certainly want to include close friends and family on the list, McAlister suggests welcoming in at least a few new acquaintances.
“It’s not a bad idea to invite a few … neighbors,” she instructs. It’s one way of “letting them know you’re having this event. It might go a little late, it might be a little loud, and there might be (extra) people parking on the street.”
Your housewarming party is just that, your own event. It should reflect your tastes and sensibilities, and highlight what you love most about your newly decorated space. Just as you curated your design and decor selections, you should curate all matters relating to the celebration. The pure passion you’ve poured into planning such an event is bound to infect your guests, helping to ensure a successful occasion.
Published at Fri, 26 Jan 2018 16:00:27 +0000