One of the best features of owning your own piece of real estate in Australia or New Zealand is inviting other people over to share in the experience. Whether you are having friends over for some evening cocktails or hosting this year’s family Christmas, you’re getting the chance to show off your home and let your guests relax in a comfortable, sociable atmosphere.
Here are a few tips, big and small, you can take advantage of to make the most of the experience.
1) Open up the space
Open plan living is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. This architectural style breaks down the barriers between guests both literally and figuratively, letting conversation flow equally between everyone.
However, even the largest living room in the world isn’t much use if it’s cluttered up with various bits of furniture. While you definitely want enough seating for everyone, there is a certain art to ensuring that you get the best of both worlds: space and comfort. For example, try investing in a rounded coffee or dining table rather than a rectangular one to add some soft curves to your decor and ensure your guests are spending less time dodging sharp corners.
One factor that you also have to remember that it is more about the illusion of space than the reality. Floor to ceiling windows take advantage of natural light, while also giving your guests a beautiful view of the outside world, making the room seem larger than it is. Better yet, investigate your options in bay windows to give your living room a little more space, some architectural flair as well as the chance to install window seating.
2) Comfort is king
You want your guests to be comfortable in both mind and body. Softer fabric choices like velvet for your sofas offer a luxurious experience for your guests, while light, calm shades of colour will stimulate a similarly relaxed atmosphere.
Speaking of colour, you might be surprised to know that we won’t advise you to go for the popular cool shades of blue and lilac to stimulate calmness. Colour psychologist Angela Wright, author of The Beginners Guide to Colour Psychology, describes how colour shades don’t actually matter all that much.
“What defines whether a colour is stimulating or soothing is not the colour, it’s the intensity,” she said.
“A strong bright colour will stimulate, and a colour with low saturation will soothe.”
So feel free to paint or wallpaper your social living room however you like: just be sure that you keep it lightly saturated.
3) Fill in the blanks
Music and parties, parties and music. They go hand in hand, and for good reason. They fill in any awkward silences, create something for guests to bond over and help keep the gathering upbeat. You can take advantage of this in a number of ways.
Try investing in a home media centre to turn your television into a speaker set. You could also take it to the next level with an integrated surround system that keeps the beats flowing whether your guests are in the living room or have ventured out to the garden. One particularly innovative system developed by MIT even allowed people to influence the music through the way they mixed their cocktails! Talk about drinking deep from the well of creativity.
Why not give one of these tips a go when you next invite friends and family over? There’s nothing quite like a good party to show off the best your piece of real estate can offer, but you have to be careful – you might find yourself becoming the go-to venue for the next gathering!