We love a good New Year’s Eve party. Of all the celebrations in the world, this is one of our favourites because it is so sexy. It’s when we say farewell to the year we’ve had, all the good and the bad, and celebrate the promise of even better times ahead. And then there’s the gathering of loved ones, the popping of champagne, the kiss at midnight and the cheesy yet always unavoidable group rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
To usher in 2015, we are going with a smouldering palette of deep green that is earthy, fresh and all heart, and a purple so deeply passionate, topped with smoke and ash for that touch of film noir mystery and sensuality. Good food and drinks are obvious, but the key in throwing a good party is in the mood. We’re setting it right with festive touches here and there, mixing and matching new pieces with the old.
Stick with us and we’ll show you some tips and tricks. Any good host knows that party planning takes a lot of work, but it is well worth the trouble when the end result is a glorious soiree your guests will be posting on Instagram and Facebook till kingdom come. #timeofmylife #bestnightever #hello2015
5pm: Dressup the Living Room
After the menu, how you dress your living room is the next most important thing. This is the staging area, where you receive and welcome your guests, and where the tone of the night is set. Play up the ambience with lighting and candles and fragrant flowers like lilies or jasmines. Cosy blankets and funky throw cushions can give your couch a new look — we put the sofa in party mode with sequinned and faux-leather cushion covers. An easy party lighting trick? Get a big clear jar and fill it with LED Christmas lights.
Get the look
On the coffee table: Smoky grey Calla wine glass (RM12.90), green Milia double wall tumblers (RM16), Artland Simplicity wine and beverage chiller (RM59.90) and Felly green acrylic tray (RM29.90) from Aino Furnishing. Brown (RM190) and white (RM110) tealight holders from Janine. BB clear vase (RM89) filled with clear, champagne, purple and pink crystal balls (RM26 each) from iwannagohome.
On the sofa: Cushion covers in green sequins (RM59.90) and faux leather (RM59.90), blanket with glittery threads (RM199) from H&M Home.
On the side table: Caffco candle holder with wooden stand (RM29.90) filled with Christmas LED lights (RM19.90) from Aino Furnishing.
6pm: Final Touches in the powder room
This will be one of the most popular rooms in your house tonight so pay attention to details before the first guest arrives. Quirky and ornate objects will give them something to talk about. Take out the pretty handtowels for the occasion, and leave little jars filled with cotton buds and other useful items for makeup touch-ups for the ladies, eau de toilettes for him and her, hand lotion and other thoughtful accoutrements to keep your guests rewwwwfreshed and the party going strong. Flowers and candles are nice touches too.
Get the look
On the counter: Three matching Art Deco metal containers with candles (RM83 each) from Kare. Round silver studded glass container (RM49.90) and vase (RM39.90) from H&M Home.
On the sink: Decorative bottles in red (RM39, 100ml) and purple (RM19, 40cm) from Kare. Owl shaped jar in purple (RM24.90) from H&M Home.
On the rack: Printed hand towel (RM39.90) from H&M Home.
7pm: Cocktail hour
Setting up the bar feels like a most difficult task but it is actually quite simple. Creative cocktails doesn’t mean stocking up 12 brands of expensive vodka and different coloured liqueurs. Entertaining guru Martha Stewart says that all you need for a party is a half-dozen base spirits and a few mixers. That’s enough to serve some classics as well as come up with your own signature cocktail. Your home bar should have six or eight of each of these three basic types: a short glass, a tall glass, and a stem. And since we’re ringing in the New Year, make sure there’s plenty of champagne flutes too.
Get the look
From left: Yumi champagne flute with polka dot etching (RM9.90) from Aino Furnishing. Cartouche champagne flute (RM380 per pair), Chateau whisky tumbler (RM250 per pair) and Wicker wine glass (RM380 per pair) from Royal Selangor. Martini glass (RM338) from Janine. Chateau whisky decanter (RM600) from Royal Selangor. Long bowl with pebbles motif (RM239) from Kare.
8.30pm: Dinner Time
Get creative at the table — here is where you inject some fun and flair with decorative elements. The food and drinks may be the main stars of the night, but their stage has to be set right. Mix and match old with new, colours and prints. Think of alternative centrepieces — here we’ve used noisemakers and crystal balls in a jar — and play with colour and texture, especially when it comes to your plates.
Get the look
Centrepiece: BB clear vase (RM89) and coloured crystal balls (RM26) from iwannagohome.
Glassware: Isabella champagne flute (RM19.90), smoky grey Calla wine glass (RM12.90), Milia double wall tumbler (RM19) and Calla tumbler (RM7.90) from Aino Furnishing.
Dining: Ornate cutlery set (RM199 for a set of 24 with a quilted holder) from iwannagohome. Linen napkin (RM51 each) from Janine. Artway side plate (RM9.90) and dinner plate (RM18.90), and Formosa round tray in willow white as charger plate (RM39) from Aino Furnishing. Grey Chilewich mini basket-weave placemat (RM54.90) from Gudang. Marble print Conscious tablecloth in organic cotton (RM59.90) from H&M Home.
10pm: Dessert & Disco
It is time to ease into the night with a little bit of a boogie and some sweet treats and coffee as countdown is still one hour, 59 minutes and 50 seconds away. Create a cosy nook of sweets and cakes as well as a fresh pot of coffee and tea so friends can help themselves and you’re left free to mingle or dance.
Get the look
Artland stacking cake stands (RM259.90 for a set of 3) from Aino Furnishing. Noritake tea set (RM7,400 for a 47-piece dinner and tea set) from Parkson. Architect-made bird figurines in oak (RM335) and smoked oak (RM280) from Gudang.
11.55pm: Countdown alert
Let’s face it — New Year’s Eve is about watching for midnight and making sure the New Year doesn’t sneak up on us. Find a place that’s central to where your guests will be and create a gorgeous conversation piece for your party: a tower of clocks of different shapes and colours, bedecked with shiny baubles. Make sure you synchronise them all so that when midnight strikes, you can have their various sounding alarms help you literally ring in 2015. An added bonus? It’s also visually interesting.
Get the look
Clocks (clockwise from bottom left): Marine Master in antique brass (RM650) from Janine. Lamp post clock with base (RM349) from iwannagohome. Marine Master in nickel (RM595) from Janine. Versailles white clock (RM129), Scooter Light clock in red (RM229), Pop Numbers in blue (RM59) and Flow antique table clock (RM69) from Kare.
This article first appeared in The Edge haven, on Issue #70 December 2014 + January 2015.