Peter Fallico is the host of HGTV's Home To Flip, a show that follows Peter through buying, renovating, decorating and selling of a fixer upper. His passion for fixing up old houses and incorporating smart decorating ideas comes through on his television shows- and in real life.
I recently interviewed Peter at an old home he recently purchased to renovate. Looking around the house, its clear to see he has a lot of work ahead of him and its hard to believe he recently pulled off a fabulous holiday party for 40 people in this place, all with style and class. Peter gave me his thoughts on entertaining and decorating trends for holiday entertaining at home:
How are we entertaining differently than we did in the past?
I think we are all craving for formality, but because of less time and busier lifestyles we need to keep things simple. With the trends of larger, open kitchens we are seeing more casual holiday parties rather the using a formal dining room.
How do you entertain friends and family during the holidays?
- I held my annual holiday party in an old house which I've recently purchased to renovate. I created an entire evening using various areas of the house. I started off with drinks in the unfurnished living room, then an informal dinner around the old kitchen/dining area.
- I then moved all my guests into a cosy den for after dinner drinks and watched a funny holiday movie. I filled the old fireplace (not even sure if it works yet) with a dozen candles and laid a large antique Persian rug on the floor with lots of cushions.
- I used the dining table as a buffet table and placed it in the center of the dining area room and I had comfortable chairs and a large banquettes off in the corners for guests to lounge around. Next year, I will have a more formal holiday gathering to show off the new renovation and decoration if the house is finished on time -- fingers crossed.
What's your best entertaining/party stress-reliever tip?
- I am not a big cook so I always try to order in most of the meal. I might make some appetizers and a soup or salad, the rest comes from a local caterer.
- I try to enlist help, a friend or family member to help greet guests, take coats, help with serving up food, etc. I keep flower arrangements versitle and simple to be used after the party around other areas' simple lilies teamed with red branches or holy creates a clean, simple arrangement.
- I don't worry about trendy colours and themes for holiday decorating; I keep to white, silver, clear glass, crystal and fresh greens; they are all classics that never go out of style.
- A pre-lit artificial tree takes the hassle out of buying, setting up and maintaining a real tree.
Peter Fallico's best tips/ foolers for setting the mood?
Choose one scent from candles and room sprays and dabble them around the house. I like fresh green scents like pine, cedar and spruce.
I choose a type of music that sets the tone for different times of the party; classical as guests arrive, jazzier during mingling with drinks and then quieter while guests are eating. After dinner I show off my most recent collection of dance music to get my guest's spirits up and the dancing started.
I bring out all my silver, crystal and glass objects to create sparkly groupings for impact on buffet and coffee tables. No need in keeping it locked in a china cabinet, the holidays are the time to unleash small touches of collected luxury. For more holiday decorating ideas and tips visit www.hgtv.ca.
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