We've all done it. We've procrastinated on a number of house projects and 1 week before we're hosting a big party we decide we need to get them all done ASAP! Needless to say, a party is one sure-fire way to stress your relationship out with all of your "honey do" lists but it's one quick way to get your house together! That being said, you definitely need to prioritize. There are things guests will notice and there are things people won't even care about so you can number that list based on order of importance!
Obviously flow matters in a space. Flow is created by a number of things but one easy way to create flow is a good furniture layout and coordinating color scheme. When each room is a different color, it makes the space feel choppy and leaves guests feeling like they're in a disjointed space. A common neutral color throughout common areas will keep the eye flowing without lots of visual breaks. Make sure the furniture is laid out in a way that guests can easily maneuver around and traffic patterns are obvious and they'll instinctively have a relaxing experience in your home.
Even if your guests aren't clean freaks, clutter is going to bother them. When parties are happening, more people than normal are in a space so the more unnecessary items surrounding them, the harder it will be for them to interact with each other which will make the space much less comfortable. Definitely minimize what you've got set out for decoration. All those little tabletop figurines and collectibles should probably be put away. Not only are they visually messy but they're more likely to get broken!
Art and photography is what your guests will immediately be drawn to in your home. Whether it's family pictures or other interesting art pieces, those wall hangings immediately become conversation pieces. Not to mention, it tells guests a little bit about their host which may be a good thing! Make sure your art is hung at an appropriate level so guests can see it easily!
Of course, everyone knows that smells are a HUGE factor for guests. When entering a new space, the first thing that truly registers before anything they can see is the smell of the space. Whether it's fresh and light for a daytime event or something more earthy and cozy for an evening shindig, make sure the smell is inviting. Take out your trash, vacuum your sofa and rug, and light a candle. They'll remember that smell. We promise!
Finally, the number one thing guests will notice in your home is the lighting. Does your home feel dark and cave-like or is it bright and airy? A dark space seems more private so guests may feel uncomfortable in that setting. Natural light releases endorphins, though, so they will instantly feel at ease in a home with lots of windows. Soft, diffused natural light is best. It makes the transition from outdoors to inside the smoothest and guests won't feel the need to re-settle.
Notice that we didn't say you need to have the most well-decorated space in order for guests to feel comfortable in your home! It's more about the functionality of the space with a little bit of nature. Hopefully this will help you for your next holiday party! There's nothing better than a comfortable home!