Ask Design Mom: Housewarming Party

January 12, 2007

Hey DM Friends, I just received an email from JaredandColleen and I need your best ideas:

We just moved and I want to throw a housewarming party that is simple and that I can invite a large number of people to. I would like to provide simple foods, have some kind of theme, figure out a cute invite, and make it memorable and fun. Any insight you might have would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Design Mom answer:

First of all, Congratulations on the new digs! I’ve got a few ideas for your party, maybe just seeds of ideas, but hopefully they can get the conversation going. The first theme-ish thought that comes to mind is something along the lines of Real Estate.

Maybe a sign outside that looks like a For Sale sign or Open House sign but has more of a welcome-to-the-housewarming-party message. The invitation could look like one of those flyers that hang in the bins on the actual real estate signs. Maybe give out good looking or interesting or funny key chains as a party favor — as in for new house keys. Key lime pie?

Other ideas to think about:
-Definitely have a beautiful Guest Book. Use it at the party, but then keep it around for future events and houseguests. The gorgeous ones pictured above are by Kolo.
-Everyone will want a house tour. Since you’re thinking of lots of guests and may be busy hostessing, you could provide a do-it-yourself tour — a pretty card for each guest that includes the house plan and helpful or interesting notes about the rooms or the architecture.
-If you’ve done lots of home improvements to your new place, showcasing before and after shots would be awesome. You could have before and after photos in each room. Or maybe a corkboard collage with photos and fabrics swatches and paint samples and inspiration photos you’ve collected from magazines.
-Put home related coffee table books in key spots. Books about remodeling or decorating. Or books about the town you just moved to.
-A mini-size measuring tape (think handbag size) would be another good favor. Homeowners have to measure as they shop. Will this couch fit? Are these window shades long enough?
-Invites could have a blueprint feel, or be made with scans of actual blueprints in the background.
-I haven’t completely formed the idea yet but something with cardboard boxes and packing tape. . .

That’s a start. I hope the comments overflow with ideas.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous January 12, 2007 at 8:28 am

OMG, those are great ideas…and that’s why we come to you!


2 Anonymous January 12, 2007 at 9:39 am

Great ideas… :)


3 pillingfamily January 12, 2007 at 11:25 am

love the blueprint idea.


4 Anonymous January 12, 2007 at 2:25 pm

those are all great ideas! the key theme could go a long way!


5 Anonymous January 12, 2007 at 6:55 pm

great ideas. i am always looking for inventive ways to inspire myself and my guest. i love this.


6 Anonymous January 13, 2007 at 1:23 am

GREAT to throw a party for the new place. How about a “New Kids on the Block” theme. Keep things basic. You don’t want to be trying to hard.


7 Anonymous January 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm

Ooooh, I am soooo inspired by all these suggestions! I wanna throw a party now :o) The guestbook is a GREAT way to form a connection with new neighbors and I have another tip.

Since you’re new, ask for local favorites by posting a large printed map of the area, maybe on a corkboard. Guests could stick a #’d thumbtack on the map and on a blank area on the side describe: restaurants, shopping, parks, kids activities, beauty salons, furniture shops, best gas station, a funny place, library, their house, etc.


8 laurie January 13, 2007 at 10:16 pm

an alternate direction you could go with the theme would be to play off the “warming” part of housewarming.

either go with an antonym (housechillin’ party) and make blender drinks be the feature, serve iced wedding cookies, gazpacho, popsicles in grownup flavors (lavender lemonade, tamarind, pomegranate, etc.), and so on.

or go headlong into the “warming” part, and serve soup, chili, spicy stuff, hot toddies, fondue, get a firepit and make s’mores, and so on.

or go with a variation on warming, like house-toasting (serve champagne, everyone could prepare a toast?) or house-roasting, etc.

myself, i’ve always wanted to have a housechillin’ party. that’s why that direction is the most thought out!

congrats on your move. good luck with the party. let us konw what you do!


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