Whether you’re gearing up for the big game, caught up in the whirlwind of award show season, or just excited for the Puppy Bowl, this is a popular time of year for viewing parties. Preparing your space for a television-centric party can be a bit different from a regular get-together. Instead of circulating around and being able to spread out over more of the space, everyone is going to be centered in one room and focused in one place. But don’t stress out! We’ve got hints for assembling the perfect party zone.
While most of the attention should be on the living space, since that’s where the main event will be taking place, it’s important not to neglect the entryway. Make sure your entryway is well organized so guests can easily store coats, boots, or other outerwear and quickly pass through and get to the main party area. If you don’t have a traditional entryway you can still provide storage for guests by purchasing a coat rack and some baskets. If you live in an area that may be hit by snow before your party, consider investing in a vinyl floor covering to put down. It’ll stand up to any snow or mud that gets tracked in and can easily be cleaned later.
If your party is centered around a television event (like the Super Bowl, an awards show, or even just your favorite must-see show) the furniture directly around the TV is going to be the center of attention. Even if you have a wall-mounted television you’ll want a media console underneath to house any cable boxes or speakers, and to help hide power cords. Fortunately there are a bunch of options and it’s easy to find the perfect fit for your decor.
Seating is one of the most important aspects of any party. If necessary, rearrange your seating layout to make sure everyone has a good view of the TV. While having intimate chair groupings for conversation is usually a plus, when the reason for the party is on the television, everyone should be facing the same direction. Just make sure you keep some open walkways to allow traffic to smoothly flow through the room. Throw pillows and blankets are great accessories, but considering putting them away for the party to clear up couch space and maximize seating. If you have more guests coming than you do regular seating space relocate seats and ottomans from other rooms – even some side tables can pull double duty as bonus seating. If all else fails you can always take the pillows you removed from the sofa and set up some casual seating on the floor.
Unless you have a super open floor plan and can easily see and hear the TV from the kitchen try to serve all the food and beverages in the same room as the television. You don’t want your guests getting up to grab a snack or refill their drink and miss something important. A slim sideboard or credenza can serve (no pun intended) as an ideal snack station while you can’t beat a bar cart for drinks.
Nesting tables are probably a host’s best friend. They’re easily nestled together when not needed but can quickly add surface area when entertaining. You want to make sure that each seating area has access to a table so guests can put down their food and drinks. You can also use any extra tables as a serving station to help cut down on backup at the main table. If you have a central coffee table try to keep it placed at least sixteen inches in front of the sofa to prevent banged shins and spilled drinks.
Along every step of the way the key thing to keep in mind is flow. While people won’t be walking around as much as at other parties, you still want to make sure everyone can easily navigate the room when they do have to move. Lastly, the most important part of any party…have fun! Once the party starts, stop stressing and enjoy watching along with your guests.