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Humans are social creatures. We crave relationships with others to build connections, feel secure, and get more enjoyment out of life. Relying on others for companionship and community is a crucial aspect of life, playing a significant role in our mental and emotional health. This is why we love to gather with friends and family even if there is no occasion for the event.

When you own a home, the possibilities for hosting events in your space open up quickly. You now have enough indoor space and possibly a yard for people to spread out and enjoy each other’s company, play some games, eat food, or engage in conversation. Being a host is an important role as you are responsible for not only planning the event but for making sure everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves while in your home.

Some people are born to host others in their homes, while others may face a bit of a learning curve. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being a successful host, here are a few tips that could turn you into a master.

A Kitchen that is Built for Hosting

If you plan to have other people in your home regularly, then you probably plan to feed them in some way. For this reason, your kitchen needs to be set up in a way that can serve two purposes…gathering and cooking. Although you might think your kitchen just needs to be functional, people love to check out a beautiful kitchen, and with the right setup, it can be additional space for people to connect.

Make sure that you have the right appliances and design to meet both of these needs. Visual appeal matters, and if you plan to cook a lot, then you may want to invest in a range hood. This feature can help remove smells from your kitchen during the cooking process so that others can enjoy the space even after a long day of food prep without lingering odors driving them away. You could invest in clean, white marble countertops that will brighten the space and make it more welcoming. Also, an island with stools nearby can encourage more connection for your guests. With the right kitchen setup, you are well on your way to being a master host.

Warm Outdoor Spaces

In this case, “warm” refers to the feeling rather than the temperature. Outdoor spaces are growing in popularity and there are many ways to create a comfortable setting for your guests who want to experience the fresh air. A nice stone patio with comfy furniture and string lights is the perfect spot for relaxing and conversing. You could also build a deck off the back of your house with the help of professional deck builders to extend your home into the yard and make more space for connection. A firepit in the backyard is never a bad idea, especially if you like to host late-night events in the spring, summer, or early fall. The more gathering spaces you can create inside and outside your home, the more welcoming your social events will be.

Don’t Overwork Yourself During the Event

Hosting is mostly about preparation. Once the guests arrive, your responsibilities should disappear quickly. One of the biggest mistakes that hosts make is trying to control every aspect of the event. This leads them to continue to work while the event is happening. For one thing, people are probably here because they want to spend time with you. If you are so busy cleaning up or running little errands around the house, you will miss out on this quality time.

Secondly, you are unlikely to enjoy the time if you are so busy making sure everything is perfect. Forget the dishes and any accumulated trash while the event happens, you can clean up later. Allow yourself to enjoy the time with your friends and family because they want your company as well. Finish all the necessary preparations ahead of time so you can sit back and relax once guests arrive.

A Rigid Schedule is a Mistake

Some hosts may be tempted to plan out every minute of the event so that their guests stay entertained. Maybe they are worried about people becoming bored. In the right settings, such as a children’s birthday party, this is perfectly fine. In fact, you NEED a schedule for an event like that. But for an evening with adults, don’t feel like you need to have everything planned out for your guests. Most of the time, people just want to BE with each other. No agenda and no interruptions. While you can have some planned games or activities for people to participate in, don’t go overboard and fill up the entire time.

Hosting is All About Preparation and Presence

These two concepts should be your top priorities if you want to become a master host. Preparation can mean anything from how you design your home in support of connection to what food you will cook and how it will be laid out. Presence refers to how you should act once the party gets going. Greet your guests, push your hosting duties to the back burner, and enjoy your time with friends and family. With the right balance of preparation before the event and presence during it, you will have created a wonderful event that your guests will remember.