I was so excited to get back to New York to decorate my little studio apartment for the holidays. I ended up flying back with an extra-large suitcase and duffel in order to fit all of the decorations I found at home.
Even though my apartment is quite snug, I love hosting, and my East Village location is a good starting point for nights out. If you live in a small space, don't be intimidated to have people over. If seating is limited, invest in a couple of floor cushions. Since my bedroom and living room are one and the same, I usually end up sitting on my bed to save seating for guests. This makes everything feel more relaxed and casual -- always a plus! Create a center area in your main room using your coffee table or ottoman to lay out snacks and napkins on, and set up a bar in your kitchen using a cart (check out this amazing bar cart from Target), or a tray like this one from West Elm.
My holiday cocktail of choice is ginger beer + whiskey (seriously delicious with just enough spice). I plan to use Hudson Baby Bourbon, a local whiskey, with Reed's Ginger Beer from Trader Joe's. Simply shake up (a classy shaker doesn't hurt ;) ) and add fresh ginger. Festive straws and napkins, like these from Anthropologie, will add decor to your snack and bar stations.
For food I’m going to pop over to Murray’s Cheese in West Village to pick up a sampling of cheeses to pair with Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers from Trader Joe's (addicting). I love these cheese knives from West Elm which will go great with the metallic print bar glasses. Add some olives and nuts to a pretty tiered stand, and you're set. Last but not least, I love giving Mast Brothers Chocolate bars as party favors. I am obsessed with the beautiful packaging, and right now there are seasonal flavors (and prints) at Whole Foods down the street.
All that’s left is to cue up the Rockin' Holidays Pandora playlist, turn on the twinkle lights, and light my favorite Diptyque candle. Oh and of course, the outfit. When hostessing, I like to throw on something comfortable so I can run around pouring more snacks into bowls and shaking up more drinks. A printed shift dress and a pair of low-heeled booties will do the trick!
Planning a holiday party of your own? Tell me your favorite hosting tips.