* Throw out leftovers from the fridge. You need to make space for drinks, chasers and dessert, and, most importantly, for ice.
* Don’t give your guests fridge access, or you might spend the night cleaning up a mess of glass and spilled beer. Get a drinks tub, fill it with ice, and shove in the beer bottles and chasers.
* The size of your living room should determine the size of your guest list. This is the focus area. Having a table (preferably the dining table) as the centre of attraction looks neat. Use flowers, candles, and place a few coffee table books.
* Place snacks on platters or cake stands. Decorate like it’s a feast.
* Use acrylic glasses. They look pretty, and are unbreakable.
* Use your crystal glasses only for wine (wine in plastic glasses looks cheap).
* Use martini glasses to serve a starter and small mason jars to serve salads.
* Take glass jars and vases in different sizes and fill them with candy, fruits or papier mâché flowers.
* Use fairy lights. They can transform any space.
* Light a scented candle to keep away smells and give the toilet great lighting.
The bar area
* Keep all the alcohol, chasers and ice on the bar (even if it’s a makeshift one). Use a chalk board with a stand and write down the five cocktails you’ve learnt to make.
* Light candles and place them in candle holders on the bar.
* If using plastic glasses, scribble names on them, Starbucks style. No more mixed up glasses.
The smoking zone
* Crack a small window open in one room only. If you have a balcony, make that the smoking zone.
- By Anjori Alagh, director and merchandiser, houseproud.in