What a year. As 2023 draws to a close, we’re busy prepping to host an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party. As much as we love a night out, there’s something much more fun about throwing a get-together at home to ring in a new year. Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by their favourite people? Sounds ideal to us. Plus, it’s an excuse to decorate, which is arguably half the fun of party planning.
In this guide we’re covering all the essentials that go into creating the best New Year’s Eve party - from planning the invites right the way through to breakfast setup the morning after. Whether you’re a seasoned party host or a first-time entertainer, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to gain some serious hosting brownie points.
Party planning essentials
New Year’s parties are all about hanging out with your favourite people, so now’s the time to let everyone know about your get-together. Invite your best friends, family, neighbours, whoever you like, it’s your night. Think about how many people you can fit in your place comfortably - nobody wants to be squeezed in too tight.
Food and drink
Consider what type of party you want to put on. Is it more of an intimate dinner party affair with a few friends around the dining table or an all-out big bash with plus 1s? This will help you plan out your food and drink situation. It’s a good idea to provide some snacks and light bites for any early arriving guests. Use a sideboard or your dining table to lay out a simple spread that guests can help themselves to.
Lastly, and most importantly, your music. It’s not a party without it, so choose your playlists in advance. If everyone’s got different music tastes, set up a shared playlist your guests can drop their favourite tracks into ahead of your New Year’s Eve do. Get set up with some good speakers, and get ready to dance into the New Year. Great stuff.
Decorating for New Year’s Eve
We’re always a bit sad to put the Christmas decor away, but we’re soon cheered up by continuing the festive spirit with New Year’s decorations. Transforming your place into party mode is arguably one of the most fun parts of planning a gathering at home. Get stocked up on balloons, streamers and garlands to decorate your place, not forgetting hallways and entrances.
If you’re hosting a dinner party style New Year’s, there’s loads of fun to be had with tablescaping. Try adding metallic elements to your centrepiece, with tall, colourful candles and bold tablecloth colours. Retro interiors have been on the up this year, and with it, glitter balls are back. Create dazzling displays with mirrored decor like this, or go subtle with glittery and metallic accents.
Stylish seating setups
Most home hosting is done in the living room, so you’ll want to make sure there’s enough seating for your guests to hang out and watch the countdown. Modular sofas are a great option for those who love to have friends and family over as they allow you to change up the configuration. Add or remove modules to create more floor space, or make a new seat for guests who want to sit down for a bit.Image: @lauraelizabethklein
If you don’t have a modular sofa, consider where you can create extra seating to accommodate everyone. Make use of ottomans, stools, armchairs and even extra dining chairs. Doing fireworks in the garden? Make sure you’ve got comfortable outdoor seats to hand for guests who want to sit back and relax while they enjoy the show.
Bar and beverage area
Just like your food setup, the best way to do drinks at a New Year’s Eve party is self-serve. Design a mini home bar in an area of your room that’s easily accessible, so you can focus on having fun with your favourite people. Stock up your at-home bar with glassware or recyclable cups, plenty of ice, drinks (if you’re providing them), and any garnishes like lemons and limes.
Keep the morning-after clean-up to a minimum by putting your recycling bin somewhere nearby. If you’re into cocktail-making or you want something to do with your friends this New Year’s, why not create a signature cocktail? Ring in the New Year with a personalised drink, and create a cocktail-making station for your signature beverage.
New Year’s Eve parties aren’t just for the countdown moments, they’re also for catch-ups. Seeing friends you’ve not seen in a while is made even better when you can have them stay over. If you’re on sleepover-hosting duty, it’s time to get your spare room set up. Prep your best friend’s bedroom before your party starts, so they can take themselves off to snooze whenever they want to.
If you’re short on space, consider using a sofa bed or chair bed for New Year’s hosting, and add a mattress topper for extra comfort. Top off your snoozing spot with layers of duvets, throw blankets and soft cushions to give your overnight guests the best sleep ever.