Hosting an open house may just be the best way to celebrate the holidays with friends. By nature, the open house is a casual occasion that offers plenty of festivity and none of the stress surrounding a set schedule. Friends and family can arrive at their leisure within a wide-open timeframe – key in the busy month of December when everyone has full schedules. All it takes is a little decorating, hot and cool beverages to choose from, a few simple snacks – and a clever way to encourage the spirit of giving, plenty of warm wishes and lots of fun throughout the day.Watch our video with Susanna Salk - a Pottery Barn Style Expert - on how to decorate for the occasion.
Set a festive mood right at your front door so guests get into the holiday spirit before they even come inside. Use our Malta Lanterns to line your walkway, hang a live wreath on your front door, and hang our Twig Lighting in windows or on shrubs.
Make your Christmas tree the focal point of your decorating indoors. In the area where adults will gather, choose a design for your tree that’s unified in palette and theme, like our Woodland Tree, Classic Tree or Peace Tree. If there’s a separate room where children will gather, consider setting up a second tree with handmade ornaments, plus a craft table where kids can make more decorations.
Infuse every room in your home – including the kitchen and bath – with warmth simply by lighting PB Pillar Candles. Add a little faux snow or tiny jinglebell vase filler for an inexpensive way to bring a lot of cheer to entryway tables, mantels and sideboards – anywhere you want to add playful decoration. Wrap garlands of greenery – either fresh or faux – around banisters, and drape them over doorways.
Use your dining table to create a beautiful buffet. To minimize effort during your party, set out hors d’oeuvres that do well at room temperature. A cheese and charcuterie board with simple accompaniments like Marcona almonds, dried figs and sliced baguette will require nothing more than an occasional refresh. Mini quiches or savory pastries can be heated in batches a few times during the day. Keep prep work to a minimum by ordering award-winning hors d’oeuvres from our favorite gourmet specialty store, Williams-Sonoma, at williams-sonoma.com.
Create a fully functioning bar in a corner of your kitchen or on a portable home bar like our Modine Bar. Keep ice on hand for cool cocktails, and an electric kettle for preparing hot ones. Keep drink prep simple by designating two or three official cocktails for the day. Have recipes printed and framed next to your bar area so anyone can try their hand at mixing.
Create a music playlist ahead of time that will help set the mood during the party – or borrow from ours! A mix of classic and contemporary, serious and humorous holiday tunes will be ideal for guests of all generations.
Bar Tools and Glassware – Have the proper tools on hand for a variety of mixed drinks. Our Antique Bar Collection includes a cocktail shaker, bar utensils and other essentials. Stock up on our PB Classic Martini Glasses, along with the incredibly resilient Schott Zwiesel crystal Double Old-Fashioneds, Highballs and Champagne Glasses, so you can confidently accommodate most any chilled drink request. For the hot holiday drinks, keep plenty of Great White or Reindeer Mugs on hand.
Plates and Napkins – Have stacks of our festive Graphic Reindeer Appetizer Plates set next to your buffet. Mistletoe Napkins are not only a nice touch that guests will notice and appreciate, they’re more environmentally friendly than paper napkins because you can use them for years to come.
Serveware – Our Montana Cake Stand is ideal for serving cake and cookies, but also hors d’oeuvres. It lifts finger food up off the table, offering visual interest and creating extra room. Add a little sparkle to the table with our Mirror Tray or silver serving trays from our Hotel and Barona Collections. Hot grown-up drinks look great in our Great White Mugs. For kids’ cocoa – we recommend Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate prepared stovetop – serve in our festive Reindeer Glass Mugs.