Simplicity is the name of the game with entertaining

My travels are taking me west….all the way west to Newfoundland for a long awaited visit with one of my best friends.

We have been planning for months and I am very excited to see her and visit till the wee hours of the morning. As she is sending me information and telling me about all the places we will see I am awestruck by her hospitality. Newfoundland is renowned for its open door policy and for its friendly people and laid-back atmosphere; I can’t wait!

How do you perceive yourself as a host/hostess? Are you willing to throw your doors open at any time? Do you always have a pantry full of foods ready to whip into delicious snacks and bottles of wine chilling in the fridge? Possibly not, although I do admire those who seem to have a panache for entertaining. I was chatting with a co-designer and she admitted that throwing parties and social events stress her out like crazy. I have seen this lady organize and succeed at multiple tasks at work yet putting on a birthday party is completely outside her comfort zone!

I think people feel that hospitality has to be a gigantic undertaking and it makes them anxious.

I know for me it is the condition of my home (clean enough?), the state of my pantry and the amount of time I have to complete these tasks before hand.

The extra pressure on me are those people who ‘want to see my house’ because I am a designer. I think they expect to walk into a wonderland of décor! Well, it is comfortable and beautiful but it is not from a magazine cover. The opposite are people who say they will never invite me over because they are embarrassed by their homes. This makes me laugh. We could be missing out on a wonderful afternoon of conversation and I’m a lot of fun to be around, trust me.

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to entertaining, we need to relax and unwind and focus on the reason we are entertaining. We are inviting people into our homes to either get to know them or to continue an already enjoyable relationship. To share food and laughter and to feed into each other’s lives as we learn about our friends and family.

This cannot be accomplished if we are running around panicking about everything being perfect in our homes. If you have people in for the evening and they never see you, what fun was that?

Plan simple food and prepare everything ahead of time. Give yourself a break and hire a housecleaner for a few hours to come in and spruce up your bathrooms and do your dusting and enjoy the extra time it allows. You can even hire wait staff to serve and clean up if you are having a large party which is a fantastic investment.

Your home is a safe haven for you, is it a retreat and respite for your friends and family? I don’t care how lavish my friend’s home is on the coast or how fancy her food is, I am just longing to sit in the corner of her couch with a glass of wine as we talk about old times.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com.

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