It’s that time of year again: the time of year for big games, awards shows, and soon there will be season and series finales. It’s the time of year when your family and friends all pile together to enjoy these events (as well as the occasional movie and game nights). You want to make sure that your home is as inviting as possible. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal:
The All Important Entertainment System
If you want to host game, awards, finale and movie nights, you’ll want to make sure that your entertainment system is up to par. You’ll want to have a top-of-the-line television set and a robust Internet connection for those movies that you decide to stream. You will also want to make sure that you have a good television package for live events. Many people like satellite TV better than cable for these types of events because you can often catch East Coast feeds and watch broadcasts live. Many TV packages also now come with On Demand menus and DVRs, which are helpful if you want to get everybody together but not everyone is available when the event is actually broadcast.
In addition to a good television and sound system setup, you should also invest in at least one gaming console. XBox One and the PS4 are our go-tos. If you can’t afford to buy one of them brand new, you can often find them (gently) used and at steep discounts in gaming stores and sometimes if you’re very lucky, in second-hand shops.
Another vital component to hosting success, particularly for televised and movie-based events, is having comfortable seating available for everyone who attends. You don’t want your guests to be relegated to uncomfortable metal folding chairs or your kids’ play table stools, do you? Sectional couches and corner sofas offer comfortable seating for a lot of people. It’s also good, if you can fit the furniture into your entertainment or living room, to have a comfortable and squashy loveseat and maybe an armchair. If space is limited, you can always have people sit on the floor, but keep a supply of big pillows for them to sit on to help them be more comfortable.
It’s also good to have seating that can easily be pushed out of the way to accommodate movement-based video gaming for the nights when you get together to play Rock Band or another game on the Kinect.
You’ll also want to make sure that people have enough stable surfaces on which to place snacks and drinks. You probably already have a couple of end tables in the space, but it’s also good to supply some folding trays to people who want or need them. Use child-sized trays to help keep people’s views unobstructed while you are all watching the broadcast.
If you’re having people over for game night, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got enough table space to accommodate the games you want to play and the players who are going to play them. For games that require a lot of space, you might think about keeping a large piece of particle board on hand to set on top of your table to expand the playing space. You could also set it on an ottoman and have everybody sit on those comfy pillows we mentioned earlier.
Finally, while we understand that most of these types of events are typically done as a potluck, you’ll still want to make sure that your guests have enough food to eat while they are hanging out and having fun. Part of this responsibility is making sure that you have something on hand for people whose diets are limited. Gluten-free and Paleo friends, for example, shouldn’t be responsible for bringing their own snacks! Have some treats on hand for these friends as well as for friends who might have allergies to dairy or who are vegetarian or vegan.
Basically you want to create an entertainment room that can be made comfortable for as many people as possible while still feeling homey to you when you aren’t hosting. These tips are a good start. What are some of your favorite tips for making your home more inviting?