It's the beginning of May, so it’s time to think about . . . high school graduation? Yes, I know Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away, but you have plenty of time to find your mom that perfect gift. What you may not have time to do is update your house for a graduation party unless you get started right away.
I am a firm believer that a house doesn’t get cleaned, really cleaned, unless you have company coming over. And that goes doubly so, when you have a party. All of the sudden, walls are being painted, pictures are being hung, shelves are de-cluttered and photographs find frames.
Oh, and what about the stacks of stuff? You know, the piles of magazines, books, mail, sports equipment, games, toys and x-box accessories? You want to dig deeper? How about the kitchen cabinets with all their extra platters and bowls? More? What about under the bathroom vanity where 50 travel-size shampoo bottles and teeny soaps reside, "just in case"?
I know, I know, too much stuff. I’ll tackle pitching and purging in another article. Today we need to focus on getting your house ready for a graduation party or just ready for another season and a relaxing summer.
As a former caterer, I know a thing or two about throwing a party. There are guidelines galore about seating and place settings and how much food to make and how much to buy. Will you need a bartender and servers? And what about a DJ?
Here’s what you really need to think about – is my home ready to host a party? If you have the slightest inclination about redecorating a room, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT! You would be amazed at how long it takes to get fabric, furniture, lighting and accessories when you are under a time constraint. Depending on where you buy your furniture, it could take 4 – 12 weeks to be delivered. Fabric can take 1-3 weeks to come in, plus another two weeks to make a slipcover or drapery.
If you want to have real options for your home, start putting together a plan to design one or two rooms in your house. Better yet, enlist a friend to help or hire an interior designer.
If you think your party is going to be outside (and hopefully the weather will cooperate) then you need only decide if your kitchen is party-ready. You won’t have enough time for a full-remodel, but you can certainly move items around your cabinets to make them accessible and put away or donate cooking supplies that won’t be used. Can anyone say acorn-shaped muffin tin? (I have one.)
Another quickie face lift is to change out your cabinet pulls. It’s amazing what a difference this can make. Since you have the time, but maybe not the budget for a kitchen overhaul, consider painting your cabinets. If you are tired of your red oak cabinet fronts, a fresh coat of milky white paint or a foggy gray may just give your kitchen the lift it needs.
Does your powder room/half-bath need a little sprucing up? I was able to update a powder room in two weeks and that included ordering tile, toilet, sink, light fixture, wallpaper and new bathroom accessories. These rooms are easy and relatively inexpensive to update.
If a high school or college graduation is years off, then relax and redecorate at your leisure. Of course, you can always start thinking about Thanksgiving and who will be staying with you . . .
Holly Joe is the owner of Holly Joe Interiors, LLC, a full-service interior design firm. To see a sampling of her work, please visit www.hollyjoeinteriors.com.