Party Planning With Style

Text by: Danielle Tosaya     Interiors by: Sarah Barnard

Dinner parties or other home gatherings can be remarkable when a keen eye for detail and that special finishing touch are involved. When first starting the party planning process, scope out the locations in the home that will be used for the event. What home accessories that you already have can be used for the event? How is the lighting? What needs to be done for the space to be fully utilized for this function? Consider rearranging furniture to create a fresh new look for the room and to possibly open up the space to accommodate guests.

For a Christmas party, your decorated Christmas tree can be used as a terrific backdrop. As most holiday accessories are collected over the years, using them to decorate your space is a nice personal touch and can be a conversation starter. Furniture can be rearranged around the tree to create a new lounge-like seating area for guests to occupy before or after dinner.

Small accessories used as accents are great for decorating any space and can help with the theme of your party. Here, a silver leafed sea shell and starfish can be used for a summertime, beach themed soiree. 

For the dinner table, centerpieces and table settings truly add to the ambiance of the room. In this modern dining room, the pink tinted china adds a pop of color and compliments the nature-inspired centerpiece. Additionally, a properly set table can impress guests while adding a certain dimension to the table as the glassware in the photo does. 

Lighting can play a huge role in the general atmosphere for your party. Here, a candlelit chandelier gives a cozy warmth to the room.  Consider having lit candles throughout the rest of the house to continue this warm feel for your party. Natural lighting can also be utilized for your event.  In this ocean view penthouse, the floor to ceiling windows are being fully displayed to light up this entertaining area. For your house, open up those curtains before the sun goes down to enhance any room.  


SARAH BARNARD is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and is recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecologyas a Building Biology Practitioner (BBP) and by the United States Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). She serves on the Santa Monica Conservancy’s board of directors and specializes in green interior design and historic preservation.
Sarah Barnard Design undertakes residential interior design projects, commercial spaces and even single rooms. She can help you with space planning, color counseling, kitchen and bath remodeling, historic preservation, and all aspects of green design and healthy living: organic, non-toxic, sustainable and fair trade materials, energy and resource conservation, air and water purification, natural furnishings and fabrics and much more!

Danielle Tosaya (guest blogger) is an Interior Design student at California State University of Northridge. She is a student member of ASID and is excited to see what the future after graduation holds. With a love for travel, she hopes to design spaces in other places of the United States, Europe and Asia and takes a particular interest in restaurants and hotels. Danielle enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.