A housewarming party is your time to bask in compliments and delightful "oohs" and "aahs" as your guests celebrate your new possession. Your house is the "guest of honor." Getting the guest of honor ready for its grand unveiling takes a little bit of planning, but your guests should have a ball of a time if you take the time to make your party shine.
Craft a homemade invitation. Have an artist or friend draw a sketch of your new house or cut out a mailbox-shape from colored paper to use for the invitation. Tie a yellow ribbon around your invitation as a symbol of a welcome home.
Everyone will want a tour of your new house and not everyone shows up at the same time. Decide if you or someone else will give the tours. If you're giving tours, have someone be the host to greet arriving guests and show them to the food and drinks.
Provide your guests with a floor plan of your home. Label each room with its name and any interesting details you'd like to show off. Leave a tablet in each room to let your guests jot down their thoughts about the room.
Decorate lightly so your guests can see the personality of the house and how you've furnished it. Guests are more interested in seeing your new home than wanting to look at decorations. Some low-key decorations include: a few balloons, a welcome banner, burning candles and some fresh flowers.
Place colorful hand towels and a new dish of fragrant soap in the bathrooms. Tie yellow ribbons of welcome on the doors, chairs, tables, and other items inside the house, and even on the trees, mailbox and lamp post outside.
Put out a guestbook and encourage everyone to leave you wisdom, suggestions and encouragement.
Food and drink are essential but keep them portable so that people can mill around. Finger foods are best and have several food stations in different areas of the house to encourage people to explore.
The four ideal finger foods are dips (sour cream dips, salsas, guacamole); chips (potato chips, tortilla chips, pita chips, toast); stacked things (miniature sandwiches, pizzas, quesadillas); and speared things (marinated veggies on toothpicks, kabobs).
Keep plenty of wine, beer soda and water on hand.
A few activities will allow guests who may not know each to mingle.
You could plan a dedication ceremony with a ribbon cutting.
Get the group to plan how to rearrange or decorate a room based on the host's unique tastes. Choose a room that you hate. Have your guests guess the former owner's ages, occupations and interests and why they decorated it that way.
If you've made changes or renovations, be sure to include before and after pictures for your tours.
Have a wine tasting event in the kitchen.
- Remember to cater to kids by having a separate area for videos and crafts.
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images