Time For A Dinnerware Refresh Shop Dinnerware Looks

Dinnerware

Serveware

Flatware

Bar + Glassware

Linens

Kitchen

Features

Brands

Great Values

Hosting 101: How to be the Perfect Host

Throwing a get-together goes beyond hosting people in your home; you're also serving as the architect to the party. It's an opportunity to showcase your style and personality. There's no singular way of doing it right--your success comes down to how much you and your guests enjoy themselves. To that end, here's some helpful tips to use as inspiration for your next soirée.

Aster Bar Cart

Ambience

This is all about your chosen aesthetic, a staple element in setting the mood. If you're striving for an upscale gathering, you'll probably want to bring out the finest of everything. On the other hand, if your goal is low-key and mellow, the surefire way to accomplish it is by making your home as relaxing and no-fuss as possible. Depending on what kind of tone you're trying to set, the ambiance portion might be just about tidying around your home, fluffing the couch cushions and popping on your favorite tunes.

The more refined and chic your style of hosting, the more energy you'll have to devote to planning. Are you serving multiple courses of finger food, entrées, drinks and other various assortments of goodies? If so, you can incorporate all the different styles of glassware and serving utensils you'll need into the room.

Above all, it's your job as a host to guarantee your guests' comfort and ensure there's enough room to fit everyone comfortably. Social gatherings are all about spontaneity and connecting with others, which makes the backdrop you create a vital part of the hosting combination.

Food

If it's a dinner party that you're hosting, plan the menu selection around a theme. A simple way to go about choosing your theme is to center it around a style of cuisine like Mediterranean, Mexican, Ethiopian, or even an eclectic option such as Asian-fusion.

Your theme can also be a sampler of different variations of a staple dish. Soup dinner parties, for instance, are a great way to try new spices, flavors and culinary delights. You can do this with all sorts of foods, ranging from hot dogs inspired by different cultures, chili blends, or a pizza party.

For interactive events and viewing parties, look no further than practical foods. Game nights with your nearest and dearest don't require much more than tasty snacks like crowd-favorite guacamole or chips and dip. For viewing parties, go all out with popcorn, nachos and pretzels and pass around bowls filled to the brim with comfort food while you watch a sports game, movie or TV show.

As a host, what food you'll serve is an even more personal choice in the grand scheme of planning. Beyond that, planning time to prepare and working around dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences should be top priorities. Is one of your guests a vegetarian? Does anyone have lactose intolerance or is someone unable to eat gluten? If someone you're inviting has any special need that interferes with how you want the food to play out, seek out alternatives in advance. There's always something for everyone.

The food you serve determines what serving accessories you'll need to have on standby. Do you want serving bowls for a communal eating experience or individual place settings? Do guests help themselves or will you also act as the buffer between the people you invite and the food? These questions should assist you in organizing what tools you'll need. west elm carries a wide array of serving ware that'll aid you in covering all of your bases so that you can sit back and relax during the event you worked so hard to put together.

Marble + Copper Dip Bowl

Drinks

The drinks you'll serve can be anything from creative alcoholic mixes to the creamiest, most delicious milkshakes. The importance of deciding in advance is that you can prep to make sure the drinks flow freely the entire time. Whether you intend to have a bar area open to everyone or plan to make batches of your concoction of choice to serve yourself, there's nothing more important than providing glassware that'll keep up.

For special occasions, a standard margarita glass or champagne flute is always timeless and tasteful. As a host, you can add an extra layer of enjoyment if you go with a funky design or whimsical embellishments that tie the room together. From solemn to wonderfully silly, the glassware you'll find on west elm will delight.

Remember to stock up on everything and, if you want to offer garnishes for the drinks, to have plenty on hand. The tip we gave about dietary restrictions also applies to your drink selections. You can never be too sure when it comes to what's safe for your guests to consume.

Games

There are plenty of traditional party games like Monopoly and Charades, but the fun doesn't have to stop there. Collective video games like dance competitions are a lovely way to liven things up and keep spirits high. If you have plenty of tabletop space, you can even up the ante with board games that'll spark the competitive streaks in your guests. Whichever option you end up going with, we can safely say that the verdict is in: everyone is in for a fun time.

If you didn't plan for a game night and don't have any games on hand, there are so many options for you to just wing it with a deck of cards or with outright imagination.

Making It Come Together

The decorations are up, all of the deliveries and pickups have been handled and now it's the moment of truth: your guests are about the arrive. The moment your first guest arrives and the doorbell chimes, it's time to retire from your roles as architect and event planner. If anything doesn't go according to plan, its ok. Most of all enjoy yourself - you've earned it!

Related Products
Abstract Brushstroke Dinner Plates (Set of 4)

Inspired by artwork made by our in-house design ...

Abstract Brushstroke Dinner Plates (Set of 4)

Inspired by artwork made by our in-house design team, our Abstract Brushstroke Plate's bold, painterly patterns are accented with real gold leafing that's treated for everyday use. Go ahead, glam up dinner—even if it's just takeout. 10.75"diam. x 1"h. Glazed porcelain in Pink/Gold. Set of 4. Imported.

Glassware Caddy

With room for 6 glasses and a handle ...

Glassware Caddy

With room for 6 glasses and a handle for easy transportation, our retro-inspired Glassware Caddy turns any cocktail setup into a movable feast. 11.25"w x 7.25"d x 9.25"h. Stainless steel in Brass finish. Accommodates 6 glasses. Coordinates with west elm's Outdoor Patterned Glassware (sold separately). Made in India.

Schott Zwiesel Pure Glassware Sets

For the serious sommelier or the casual sipper, ...

Schott Zwiesel Pure Glassware Sets

For the serious sommelier or the casual sipper, this sleek set of crystal glassware is designed to enhance the unique flavors of your favorite varietals. Its angular silhouette also ensures that you'll serve the perfect pour every time. Each glass is designed to be resistant to breakage, chipping and scratching—and ...