Be our guest: Easy entertaining tips for your new home

After finishing a build or renovation, there’s nothing like throwing open the doors and welcoming friends and family into your new home. Entertaining for the first time is a momentous occasion, so mark it with a celebratory toast, good food and rotating house tours to show off your new pride and joy. Read on for easy entertaining tips and housewarming party ideas to suit every home and family.

The Garden Party

If it’s spring or summer and space permits, make entertaining at home an alfresco affair. Keep it casual with a backyard barbecue, or create a more elegant soiree strewn with bunting and fairy lights. Either is a great option for families and children, and will keep muddy feet and sticky fingers off your new interiors.

The menu: Simplicity is key. Put together a buffet with barbecued meats, vegies and salads, or set up make-your-own food stations for burgers or tacos, complemented by a lemonade stand. Alternatively, your housewarming party is a great excuse to invest in – or hire – an outdoor pizza oven.


The decor: Bring the inside out and set up comfy seating spots for guests, or provide picnic rugs and cushions – plus blankets for when the temperature drops.

Don’t forget: Sunscreen, mosquito repellent, garden games.


The Cocktail Party

Entertaining at home for the first time? Your guests might not want to turn up empty handed, so ask them to bring their favourite beverage or liquor, along with a cocktail recipe. Spend the evening mixing and sampling these concoctions, while simultaneously stocking your bar cart.

A word of warning: you may want to leave the red wine in its rack tonight, especially if you have a white couch or freshly laid carpet.

The menu: Serve your drinks with bite-sized snacks – think prawns on toast, blue cheese tarts and gourmet sausage rolls.

The decor: Non-scented candles will generate atmosphere without overpowering food aromas. Rearrange your furniture so there’s plenty of room for guests to mingle, with a few seating options available, too.

Don’t forget: Ice (make like a mixologist and use giant ice-cube trays), bar tools and a bar cart.

The Dinner Party

Book a babysitter and throw a classic three-course dinner party, with fine food, flowing wine and good conversation. That said, you could also put on a more relaxed and homey dinner, with an easy barbecue menu and a separate kids’ table. Above all, your housewarming is about gathering the people you love, showcasing your new home, and making memories together.


The menu: You can go all out and get your party catered, but cooking for a crowd could be part of the fun – especially if you’re christening your new kitchen. Choose dishes that you can make or prep in advance, such as marinated salmon, seasonal salads and baked lemon cheesecake.

The decor: Luxe linen will elevate any space, so invest in a new tablecloth, then scatter with vases of flowers. And remember to think beyond the dining room – make sure your bathroom or powder room is stocked with fresh hand towels and a scented candle.

Don’t forget: An apron, quality condiments for the table, and your best crockery.

First-time entertainer’s guide

Christening your new home? There are no rules, but these easy entertaining tips will help you become a host with the most…

  1. DO create a playlist – it sets the mood for the occasion.

  2. DON’T be shy to show off your new home – you’ve worked hard and your guests will be excited to take a tour.

  3. DO opt for seasonal dishes and fresh produce.

  4. DON’T attempt a new recipe for the first time.

  5. DO serve dessert. Sweets will always go down a treat at the end of the night.

  6. DON’T apologise for the food – you’re the only one noticing any imperfections.

  7. DO keep drinks flowing. But provide non-alcoholic options, too.

  8. DON’T spend the whole party in the kitchen. Sit down, socialise with your guests, take in the moment, and make sure you snap some photos.

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