Ideas for Warm and Cozy Gatherings with Friends

I'm an introvert, yet I also love nothing more than having a few good friends over to my house for a cozy gathering: to me, this feels so much more comfortable and fun than going out. But with little time to plan, and knowing that herds of children will soon inevitably be running around the house causing chaos (e.g., drowning out the carefully chosen soundtrack with dinosaur roars, injuring one another, and/or breaking stuff) it's hard to find the line between what will make our party feel special...and what's just more trouble than it's worth. So I was delighted to find Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring's new book out, Decorate for a Party, which recently hit the shelves. Here, take a peek...

 Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

Especially as the weather turns chillier, I find myself craving more time spent cozying up indoors with good friends and family. Even if it's just uncorking a good bottle of red wine and making a pot of grandma's bolognese on a windy Sunday afternoon, the combination of warmth, good food and drinks, and the pleasant hum of conversation is enough to make any old week feel special. 

Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

I love that the book is filled with ideas that are easy and budget-friendly, yet feel special. Like giving plain black balloons a sophisticated twist with gold stickers, or setting out a bunch of fresh green garnishes at a DIY cocktail bar. I can do that! 

 Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

Some of the warm-weather ideas I'm bookmarking for next year include dressing up plain kraft paper lunch boxes with pretty fabric scraps at a "forest and family" picnic party, giant paper flowers, and an adorably embellished piñata. 

 Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring

But I also find myself drawn to some of the more elaborate party ideas, which has me dreaming of starting a new monthly tradition with girlfriends...a tea and cake club, perhaps? Or wine and craft night? Just a little time carved out, without children to worry about, when we can enjoy the little things that make life sweet: good friends and good (uninterrupted!) conversation. 

p.s.: I also wrote about Decorate for a Party on Houzz, where you can see a few more shots from the book along with tips & excerpts.