Calling all holiday party throwers! ‘Tis officially the season to host annual festivities, make memories… and fill those social feeds with snapshots of good times. With the help of IKEA®, we’re bringing you pro tips for a holiday soirée that’s simple to execute, lovely for guests, *and* crazy photogenic. Go ahead — stow these brilliant tricks up your sequined sleeves.

Build an Elegant Table — Using Simple Tableware


First up: the dinner table. The more subtle the colors on the tablescape, the more the color in the *food* will pop, making each dish look super appetizing. We like to layer simple, solid plates, like these VARDAGEN plates in dark gray and off-white. It gives each place setting depth, mimics fancy restaurant protocol, and means your guests can use a clean plate for the main course. Plus, these plates are so affordable that it’s a no-brainer to scoop up a few extras for unexpected guests. Bring in small pops of color with textiles and live seasonal garlands, like bay leaves or pine.

Top off each place setting with crisp white napkins, a little garland bouquet, and, if you fancy, a custom hand-lettered place card and ornament. Handmade place cards are a surefire way to make each guest feel special.

Pro Tip: Make the appetizer table and dining table one and the same by clearing away chairs until the main event. When it’s dinnertime, bring the chairs back in. Space saving, for the win!

For appetizers, make low-maintenance dishes like these easy-as-can-be fancy crostini, which are a cinch to eat sans utensils. They’re also pretty delightful to look at, no?

For the entrée, go with a unique dish with crowd-pleasing ingredients, like couscous and pomegranate stuffed artichokes, which, thanks to the oooey-gooey garlicky Parmesan topping, will definitely be well-received. Serve it up in an oven-safe tray, like this VARDAGEN oven dish, so you can keep it warm and toasty until the guests arrive.

Keep the Cocktail Bar Straightforward


We like to stick to a three-ingredient “house cocktail” that guests can customize to their liking — without feeling overwhelmed. Supply festive glassware (like IKEA® VINTER 2017 Champagne flutes), the ingredients, and a plate of pretty garnishes on a portable cart, such as this FÖRHÖJA kitchen cart. Limit tabletop clutter by housing backup ingredients on the shelves below.

We furnished our bar with a vibrant table runner, then topped that with the SMÅÄTA chopping board (there can and will be spilling, and a wood surface means easy clean-up). We added a few stray garlands to spruce it up — a trick that makes any surface photogenic with next to no effort.

Psst! Need cocktail inspo? Try Wild Blueberry Punch: 2 Tablespoons IKEA®DRYCK BLÅBÄR Blueberry Syrup, 1 ounce gin, and ginger ale. Oh, and a handful of fresh blueberries!

Make Wall Decor That Doubles As a Photo Backdrop

Party Trick Alert! Remember that tip about using a bar cart with wheels? Simply roll it to the side to transform the wall art above into a photo backdrop!

We tied more live fronds to fishing line, then scalloped them on the wall for a quick and elegant garland. We also adorned SILVERHÖJDEN frames with wire-wrapped bundles of bay leaves.

Roll away that bar cart and snap some photos with your party pals. Easy as 1-2-3!

See? You’re just a few tricks away from a post-worthy gathering.

That’s it today, folks! Cheers to party season :)

What are your go-to hosting tips? We want to hear! Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.

Production + Styling: Maddie Bachelder + Paris Fried

Photography: Kurt Andre

Design: Torii Burnett

Models: Alyssa Asadoorian, Simon Lutrin + Rebecca Fong