Thursday, December 2, 2010

House Restoration and Holiday parties: Yes it's Possible!

About this time every year I get lots of emails from people asking me if it is even possible to have holiday parties or guests over while in the middle of house restoration?

The answer is of course YES. You just have to be practical and pick your projects and plan your party realistically. First of all just how far along are you. If you have walls and heat you are probably OK. If you are early in the process and the walls are not finished don't fret. You can cover your walls with hanging fabric or even tape up some gift wrap and bows on the wall.

Embrace your situation. If you are not that far along, plan your Holiday party with a construction theme. I've done holiday gift baskets put in Hardhats for guests. And I've done fine china and silver on a door placed on saw horses.
Even simple pre-made foods and snacks will look elegant placed on silver. Amazing what plywood on sawhorses looks like when property draped?

Actually planning a party may be your best motivation for finishing that front parlor or dining room. The dining room pictured here went from Plain white box to deep red formal dining in 4 Days! We used Red Damask tablecloth stretched on walls, a little embossed wallpaper, some paint and even though the room wasn't "finished" with the right food and lots of booze, nobody cared!
Yes that is plastic in the background leading to a gutted kitchen! Right before this party we through another table cloth over the doorway and it blended in just fine. YES you can throw a holiday party without a Kitchen!

But I don't have 'working kitchen' is the most common lament I hear.. doesn't matter I say. A typical "renovators kitchen" will work fine. A microwave, electric skillet and crock pot will get the job done. Do not be afraid to buy "prepared" foods. The restaurant service outlets have everything you need precooked and pre-prepared. In some cases you can order complete precooked holiday dinners from your local deli, grocery or even Boston Market. just add your guests, unbox the good china and silver for an evening and you are ready.
Yes some doorways were not done and this house had along way to go but we had lots of before pictures on display in another room along with blueprints of our yet to be completed renovations.

Just because you are restoring doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the comforts of the holidays. It just means being creative, set realistic goals and have realistic sized gathering.

1 comment:

St Charles said...

Paul absolutely Charming! :)