With the weather finally showing its true Chicago winter colors, the thought of staying in and hosting a New Year's Eve gathering among friends and/or family is starting to look pretty darn good, in our opinion. But if you want to get a little more creative than a veggie tray and noise makers, check out these easy yet creative and cool party ideas from Tom Kehoe of Kehoe Designs. Cheers to 2016!
New Years GLOW
Start with a Gold Disco ball instead of your traditional chandelier. Use gold beaded drapes at the entrance...you need to have a secret password to get in. Incorporate a black, white, and gold Mylar color scheme with lots of gold confetti to dance in the new year! Take-away gift: Vintage vinyl.
Backyard Star Gaze
Cover lounge furniture with faux furs and down blankets and pass out hand warmers and signature trooper flap hats. Line up tall patio heaters, as well as large fire pits. Make champagne available, as well as delicious fireside foods and trays of hot toddies and whiskey. Astronomy lovers can track the night’s stars with telescopes and photograph the sky at the stroke of midnight. Take-away gift: Keepsake picture book of the night’s stars.
Safe, Sensitive, and Sane
This home party idea is mellow and reflective—a smaller, meaningful, personable, social soirée with kind and important people in your life. Give it a softer side—think warm and cozy—that's very relaxed. Lots of fresh smelling candles, thoughtful cocktails, and petite bites are so Zen to start the new year right. A fun extra for the evening is to have a fortune-teller. This party theme could also integrate the deep question, "What do you want give up and let go of?" Write down your answer and “let it go” right there in the middle of the room in a large metal bowl or fireplace (if you have one). Throw your “let it go” message into the fire and see it disappear. Once you “let it go,” write your new beginning in your keepsake journal. Take-away gift: A small personalized journal to record your goals for 2016.
Tip: To find the suggested items mentioned, look to places such as your local party store, Cost Plus World Market, an outdoor store like Jayson Home and Garden, or a vintage or antique shop for that fun-yet-inconsistent look. It's also not a bad idea to check out the home/holiday clearance section of your favorite department store or home goods emporium such as Restoration Hardware or Crate and Barrel.