The holidays are just ahead and we often succumb to "Party Panic". We THINK it would be great to have friends over - something casual - a little food, great conversation - you know easy.
THEN WE LOOK AT PINTEREST, or HOUZZ, or just about any internet website for menus, easy décor ideas, and WHOA ! My kitchen is a nightmare, the family room looks like 1973 and what am I going to do in one week ?!?!?!?!
So - slow down and take a deep breath. Entertaining tends to be much more casual these days. Quirky is good - eclectic doesn't just describe your grandmother anymore - pick a theme - any theme - that will give you focus.
Don't try to change your entire environment. Pick where, specifically you want your guests to land. Draw them there - make that one spot enticing. The rest will disappear. Don't try to light up the whole room - bring candles to one table and dim the rest. Add a great piece of pottery with a colorful appetizer and splurge on plum colored wine glasses - ( psst - HomeGoods or Pier1 Imports).
There are tons of adult card games that are great for starting conversations and keeping the evening moving without even moving. No one wants to leave the table when they haven't heard the deep, dark secrets of their opposing team ! You can float around bringing in appetizers and dessert - fill the glasses, etc - and this way people aren't roaming all over the house to discover your deep, dark secret laundry room.
Oh, splurge on a nice hand towel and candle for the bathroom - they might venture there.
Happy Holiday - relax, enjoy, be well.