Let’s face it, we all get Christmas party envy. The invitation arrives, you drool and then clear your calendar. There are lots of reasons that parties fall under the “can’t be missed” column: great guest list, incredible house, and top it off with valet parking and sumptuous food, and it’s a surefire hit. That pretty much describes the holiday parties thrown by Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp of R. Higgins Interiors.
They always assemble a fun, eclectic group of friends and clients with a tone and look that makes you feel beautiful, even if you’re having a bad hair day. Yet when I look at what makes this party so special, it’s Roger and Ann’s creativity and sense of style that I love the most. Elegant parties do indeed have an element of simplicity that can duplicated and personalized for your own holiday gatherings. Just step outside, look around and you’ll find exactly what you need to add a special twist to your own holiday party decor.
Gather magnolias, holly and red berries to make your mantels and staircases gorgeous. It’s fun to take found objects in your home and drape a garland or wreath around them. Even clustering candles together or lining your walkway with luminaries creates a dramatic statement.
Grouping your collectibles and adding a touch of greenery completes the picture. If you take a minute, Pinterest offers a complete how-to guide on pretty much anything you can imagine. With a quick search, you’ll find how to create a festive centerpiece, arrange a cheese tray that wows or whip up a specialty drink with creative embellishments.
At Roger and Ann’s holiday gathering, I always get a bazillion great ideas, many of which I’ve scooped for my personal holiday decor. Today, they’ve graciously offered to share some of their ideas with our readers.
Roger and Ann’s party tips :
- Turn on every light in the house (of course, low lighting in key areas) and put candles everywhere. Small groupings of candles make a holiday setting lovely.
- Bring the outside in, meaning use greenery throughout your house. Cut magnolia, boxwoods, nandina and other winter trees. Use wreaths and garlands throughout the house to embellish bookcases, powder rooms and the bar.
- Groupings of similar items create a great look — a large basket of pinecones, a bowl of ornaments, grouping of poinsettias and collections of family heirlooms, like antique ornaments, angels or vintage Santas.
- Learn how to make bows! There are so many lovely ribbons available, and bows can embellish your staircases, lamps, armoires and more.
- A simple food table is always better. Select four to five items that you know your guests will enjoy. Fewer items with lots of quantity offer an interesting look. Use your family china or silver or both to add a personal touch.
- If you plan to have a tent, move your furniture outside. It’s fun to create small seating arrangements for guests to gather and converse.
- Champagne or a specialty drink is festive, fun and can be less expensive than a completely stocked bar. If you opt for a full bar, use fun glasses to set the tone.
- Come up with a clever gift to hand to your guests as they leave. It can be a specialty cookie, chocolates or even something homemade by the hosts.
- Don’t forget to add some bling to your outfit.
- Most important, enjoy the party! By preplanning your party, it will allow you to relax and enjoy your guests.
Photographer: Ray Palumbo
Ready to plan your own holiday soirée? Check out the SB Guide for great resources for your next gathering.