During the holidays, it can be hard to know where to seek design and food inspiration when planning a New Years Eve party. Should you choose timeless or festive decor, extravagant or budget friendly food? We decided to ask the experts in entertaining to send us some tips and tricks on throwing a fabulous party.
Q: Can you have a party on a budget?
Danielle: Yes, you just have to pick wisely
Fabio: Absolutely. It’s going to be more expensive if you buy things pre made. The biggest way to save money is to cook most of the items yourself.
Q: Danielle, do you shop at multiple stores or just one to find the best deals for a holiday party?
A: I am an avid shopper and nothing thrills me more than finding a great deal. I definitely look around when putting together a holiday cocktail party scheme. I think the best looks combines big box stores with smaller stores. Some of my favorite stores are West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and Macy’s. These are places to get the items that you need a lot of such as; dishes, glassware, candles and etc. Then I love to do some thrift store and boutique shopping for one of a kind items- think vintage candle holders, silver serving platters, and crystal decanters. This is a great way to mix in items with some history. In minutes you take the scheme from everyday to exceptional.
Q: Chef Fabio how far in advance should people start cooking for the party?
A: Don’t prepare anything in advance except for your shopping list. You should make everything fresh on the day of your party for the best quality.
Q: But Fabio some people might want to make some of their party items in advance. Do you have any dishes that you recommend?
A: Cooking does not take a long time it’s normally the preparation that takes awhile. During the week you can shop for the ingredients and have everything ready so you can cook when you get home. If people want to start something a week in advance I would recommend making a soup.
Q: Thanks Fabio, I know it killed you to answer that questions
A: Believe me, your food will taste better if you prepare it right before your guest arrive.
Q: If you only have $25 to spend on a decor or food item what should you buy?
Danielle: Candles are the item that gives you the most bang for your buck. They are an inexpensive way to create drama and impact. Think about using colors in one color throughout a space. Picture a room that features all white or all gold candles… simply gorgeous!
Fabio: I always recommend buying meat and ingredients to make pasta. Whether it’s fish, chicken, or steak meat can go a long way.
Q: Danielle do you have a recommendation for making your holiday decor look more expensive?
A: I am the queen of finding expensive looking items for less. Metallics decorative accessories are both readily accessible and affordable. They are available at the big box stores and large discount stores such as Home Goods. The idea is to build collections of items in similar finishes. Think about an assortment of silver candle holders- think new and vintage together- with all white candles. The key here is to mix them up in terms of size, shape and price. It is the repetition of such items that brings a rich look to the holidays.
Q: Danielle, should people decorate the entire dining room or just the dinner table
A: The table is certainly the belle of the ball in holiday decorating. However, there are some simple ways to create greater impact around the perimeter of the room. Use metallic ribbon to hang wreaths in windows for an elegant look. Run garlands over door openings to create framed entryways with some punch. Use silver dusted pinecones and tea lights on other table surfaces for a layered look that carries your color scheme through the rest of the room. When decorating layering and repetition are key.
Special thanks to Fabio & Danielle for taking time out of their busy schedule to put together a go-to-guide for throwing a fabulous holiday party. We can’t wait to see what they put together tomorrow!
Fabio & Danielle also stepped up to take the Small Sacrifices Count 6 Day Challenge. Small Sacrifices Count looks at how each of our small sacrifices can really make a big impact in helping those less fortunate.
Chef Fabio gave up buying his favorite chai latte for 6 days & Designer Danielle Colding giving up going out to eat for the challenge.
We would like to encourage all of our Miss A readers to take the Small Sacrifices Count challenge and see what a difference you can really make in the new year.
For more information please visit the Small Sacrifices Count