From hiring professional painting services to creating the right playlist, there’s a million little things that go into designing a house. You want your guests to not only feel welcome, but also have fun — so a bit of planning is naturally required. Don’t miss out on throwing the perfect party by reading the following ideas on how to set up.

Have an Open Floor Plan

An open floor plan is perfect for people who regularly host guests. This concept allows for a shared experience between different areas of the home. The kitchen, the dining room, and the living room can all come together welcoming eating, cooking, and conversations. It also means less crowding and isolation for guests. Everyone can be together in one room, but not so close together as to be feeling cramped and uncomfortable.

Maintain Some Level of Privacy

Not all guests will love the open floor plan though. It’s always a good idea to have at least one room detached from all of the commotion. Quieter or older guests may prefer rooms with some level of privacy. Even social guests may like this room to make a phone call or get some space. You could make this room a second living room, a den, or even a sunroom or porch.

Pay Attention to Paint Colors and Lighting

If you're working with an open floor plan, you’ll want to know which paint colors and lighting goes best with the concept. Having a focal point, as well as contrasting colors, is essential to making each of the rooms stand out but still feel connected. What’s more, each room deserves a paint color — including the hallway or even the peninsula that sits in between the kitchen and living room.

When working with a little area of space such as the hallway, feel free to choose a bold color. Bright or dramatic colors are perfect for an open floor plan when used sparingly. Larger spaces tend to benefit more from neutral colors, as these kinds of hues don’t overwhelm guests.

You’ll also need to pay attention to how lighting affects paint color, particularly for the interior painting of your home. The colors you choose can easily appear different under certain lights — both artificial and natural. For southern-facing windows (in the northern hemisphere) — or those that get the most natural light — choose darker colors. Pale or white colors often appear faded or dull when the sun comes in, darker colors will appear much brighter. For north-facing windows, choose warm, soft tones.

When it comes to artificial light, you’ll want to pay attention to the color temperature and CRI (color rendering index). The higher the CRI, the more accurate the bulb reflects the true color of the paint you choose.

Arrange Furniture Thoughtfully

Whether you choose an open floor plan or not, you’ll want to make sure you arrange furniture thoughtfully. The right furniture arrangement promotes good traffic flow between guests. The wrong furniture arrangement will do the opposite, spurring congestion and disorder. Your living space must be easily travelable by guests if you truly want to make your home good for hosting.

Avoid too much seating as this can crowd rooms and make it hard to walk around. Opt for a few good pieces of furniture, and try to give each room some seating. If you have an outdoor space, utilize that for most of the seating.

Consider Your Backyard Space

For your outdoor space, start with the doors that lead outside. Oversized sliding or french doors are perfect choices as they open up wide and expand your entertaining space. What’s more, these doors will provide better ventilation, giving airflow to a packed party.

Once through the doors, your backyard space gives way to a whole other room for the guests. Make sure to properly maintain your backyard by cleaning off patio furniture, sweeping decks, or pulling weeds. Add plants and flowers to make the space more visually appealing. You could also add some form of entertainment whether that be games like cornhole and horseshoes or something bigger like a swimming pool.

Create the Right Playlist

As part of the entertainment, prepare the right playlist for your guests. Music can make or break a party so think about what goes best with your crowd. If you’re throwing a summer party, some relaxing beach tunes may be best. If you’re throwing a formal, sit-down dinner party, stick to something more classy sounding.

If preparing a playlist alone intimidates you, don’t worry. There are apps available, such as Spotify, that allow you to create collaborative playlists with your guests. Simply send out a link to the playlist to your most trusted guests, and you're off the hook.

Generate the Perfect Temperature

Temperature is another matter to consider when throwing a party. Guests won’t like a home that is too hot or too cold. When deciding what temperature to make the home, just remember that the more bodies in a room, the warmer it will be. So if you’re planning on having a larger gathering, it’s best to lower the temperature a bit more than you usually would a few hours before they arrive.

Make Sure You Have Enough Food and Drinks

Food and drinks are essential to hosting guests — and the longer the party, the more you’ll need. Make sure to have enough food and drinks for the number of guests coming and for how long they’ll be there. It’s always better to have some leftovers than to run out. The general rule of thumb is to have one pound of food per adult, and half a pound per child.

It’s also a good idea to provide vegetarian and vegan options for guests — or allergy-specific options. For instance, if you know a guest with a food allergy or aversion is coming, provide an option or two for them as well.

Create Space For Cups, Plates, and Personal Belongings

With food and drink naturally come cups and plates. Remember to save some space for these items when setting up your home for the guests. Clear dining room and coffee tables so there’s plenty of room for eating. Make some space at the kitchen table for food, drinks, plates, and cups. Clear tables of anything valuables too, so nothing gets broken.

You should also expect your guests to come with some personal belongings, such as purses and jackets. Dedicate a room to store these items, so guests don’t have to carry them around and can easily locate them when ready to leave.

Clean Up Thoroughly

Lastly, clean up your home thoroughly before hosting a party. While you don’t need to do a full spring cleaning, you do want to make sure all bathrooms are clean, surfaces are dusted, floors are vacuumed, and that everything smells good. Bad odors or dirty tables and floors won’t be pleasing to you or your guests alike. Start cleaning a few days before the party to reduce the stress and spread out what needs to be done — but make sure to throw out the trash the day of.

Adhere to all these general rules of entertaining guests and you’ll be sure to have everyone talking about your parties.