Food & Drink

HandsDown Fave Entertaining Must-Haves

August 8, 2022

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Whether you’re gearing up to host your first shindig or it just feels like a lifetime since you organized your last, I think we can all agree that a refresher course is in order. Beyond the basics of plates, napkins and a solid playlist—we’ve compiled a list of recommendations from our network of real-life hosts that we hope will add ambiance, ignite inspo and help you emcee an exciting and energetic evening for your crew.

For some pre-party interior ideas to impress the incoming

Leanne Ford Interiors

Recommended by Maya, who says: Everything Leanne does is chef’s kiss— my decor inspiration spirit animal.

For room brightening, conversation starting wall candy

Wallpaper from Chasing Paper 
Recommended by Jessica, who says: This stick on wallpaper can change the entire look of a room! It’s so easy to use and cheers me up every time I see it.

For some serious (wireless) sound

Sonos One SL WiFi Speaker
Recommended by Yoni, who says: I like playing music throughout the house and this is the best way to do it. Such rich sound, no wires needed other than plugs and the sonos app is slick and compatible with Alexa.

For keeping your powder room fresh (without flame or Febreze)

P.F. Candle Co. Amber & Moss Reed Diffuser
Recommended by Sonia, who says: Best diffuser everrrrr. I fell in love with this brand because of their candles, the fragrances are earthy and not too sweet. But I’m lazy and don’t want to light candles all the time, so I replaced them all with this diffuser. People always comment how amazing our bathroom smells!

For when you need the bottle open in three seconds flat

The Rabbit Vertical Corkscrew
Listed by Cassidy, who recommends it: ‘Cause opening a bottle of wine is hard and you deserve to relax.

For keeping that bottle perfectly chilled the whole time

Vinglacé The Original Wine Chiller
Recommended by Amanda, who says: Beautiful and sleek – keeps that rosé COLD for the entire time it takes to drink the bottle. No sweat rings on the table either. It’s amazing.

For the perfect (color-coded) vino vessel

Estelle Glassware
Recommended by Sydney, who says: They’re so beautiful! Handmade in Poland. Nordstrom just picked them up as a vendor – so you can get select styles there too.

For a game night classic, without the 3 hour commitment

Monopoly Deal
Recommended by Rebecca, who says: This is my family’s most recent game-obsession. We can play five rounds in a night. Each round is quick, but we are no less competitive when playing!

And Alex, who says: All the joys of monopoly but the game takes 20-30 min!

For an obsessed-over espresso machine to keep partiers perky when the rosé runs out

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel

Recommended by Emily, who says: Love this espresso machine. Experienced, top-quality espresso making for the novice. Can never go back to pour-overs or pods after using this.
And Lauren, who says: I bought this espresso machine when I had my second child! It’s a game changer. Fresh, hot coffee whenever you need it. I usually skip the frothed milk but that does make for a special treat. I love this because I can make a single cup of coffee!
AND Alyssa, who says: Coffee lovers, hear me out… after a couple of months, this thing pays for itself. I love the convenience of this machine and the quality of the shots (coming from an ex-barista). And it’s gorgeous just to look at 😉

For turning the coffee table into the perfect place to pontificate post-party

Flikr Mini Fire Pit
Recommended by Tiffany, who says: There’s just something about fire, right? This little guy is a favorite at our house. I’ve served toast-able apps alongside it, used it to create cozy warmth while reading in winter, and enjoyed it on the porch during summer evenings. Great gift, too.

Now that you’re prepared to unleash your inner party animal, all that’s left to do is lean back and raise a glass to yourself for putting it all together and another glass (why not?) to the good times and good company that await. Is there something truly excellent that we missed? Add your favorite party starter to your own list or comment below to share your soirée suggestions.