16 May, 2018

Celebrating Graduates – Party at Home


By Lisa Peck, ASID
We are celebrating graduates! As graduation approaches many friends and family members are rushing to install new light fixtures, do quick gardening projects and create the perfect ambience for an open house. It’s the season of summer entertaining. If you have a graduate this year…we can do nothing to help except offer moral support and perhaps help you bake dessert. For those of you who have a teen who will graduate next year or the year after, may we urge you to save yourself quite a bit of stress and set an intention to do projects that will get your home entertaining ready over the next 7-9 months so you can approach graduation focused on having fun the last few months of your child’s school career and not stressing about wrapping up a lower level remodel or a garden project.
Celebrating Graduates-Party at Home

The Size of the Crowd

When you are considering what project to tackle to make your home graduation open house ready think first about how many people you intend to invite? Can you fit them all inside your home or will you need to use the porch, deck, or garden as the party venue? Once you have determined the size of the party you intend to have you can determine how big or limited your project can be.
Celebrating Graduates-Lower Level partyCelebrating Graduates-garden party

The Space

Once you know the size of crowd. We suggest you consider where you want to entertain. If you are thinking of an indoor party free of pollen and any worries about the weather, identify the space you will use for your party and look around. What do you need to do to the space, so you are house proud? It might be as simple as a coat of paint and a few pillows or a larger project. We often are asked to remodel a lower level with the intention of using it for the large graduation party. If you are imaging an outdoor party with the casual vibe of a garden party take a look at both your yard and the adjacent spaces.  After you’ve determined the type of project you are going to do we suggest you write a list of all the improvements you want to make. Here’s an example list of a porch/garden and a lower level project.
Porch and Garden                                                                           Lower Level
Floor to remain                                                                                 Replace flooring
Paint walls and ceiling                                                                    Redesign wet bar
Replace ceiling fan                                                                           New lighting plan and light fixtures
New furnishings on porch and patio                                         Design new wet bar and media wall
Clean barbeque and replace tools                                             New furnishings throughout
New rug on porch                                                                            New ping pong table
Replace privacy fence                                                                    Buy new barware
Plant bright annuals                                                                        New wall and ceiling finishes
Trim and shape shrubs and trees

The Ambience

Once you’ve done the large project you can enjoy your newly designed space for the party and the years beyond but before you plan your open house you might consider a few final touches that will create a party ambience in your space. Consider adding party type elements that everyone will love to share.
Party Lights can bring a fun vibe to an evening party.
Celebrating Graduates-garden party lighting
These paper flowers are fun and create an Instagram moment for today’s teens.
Celebrating Graduates-garden party floral wall
Or think about a photo booth as a great Party accessory.
However you imagine graduation celebrations we recommend you start planning a year in advance!