How to Throw a Great Housewarming Party

Buying a home is one of life’s most exciting moments. Whether this is your first purchase or you’re simply moving into a new place, signing those papers and being handed your keys is a feeling like no other. Moments like these are cause for celebration!

Like a honeymoon after a wedding, new homeownership calls for a housewarming party. A time where you can invite your friends over, have a great time, and create lasting memories as you “break in” the house for the first time. To help you plan the perfect party, we’ve rounded up a few ideas and key things you’ll need to keep the good time rolling.

Invitations

A housewarming party isn’t one of those times where you send out a big group text. This occasion calls for sending legitimate invitations, whether you want to customize them by hand or create them online. Dedicated invitations are easier for your guests to remember, and they’ll also help you keep better track of your RSVPs. Be sure to send your invites out at least two to three weeks in advance, and remember the following information:

  • Specific date and time
  • Address
  • Specific instructions (if you want your guests to bring anything, park somewhere specific, etc.)
  • Reminder to RSVP

House prep

It should go without saying that a housewarming party means your house should be presentable! With that said, house prep doesn’t simply mean cleaning the floors and emptying the trash (although you should do that too!). This is a chance to get creative and set up some additional decoration and props. As you spiff up the house, consider the following tasks, tips, and ideas:

  • Prep the bathroom (stock up on supplies and continually check things throughout the night)
  • Create plenty of seating (people are always looking for places to sit, so give them options)
  • Set out candles (great for both ambience and air freshening)
  • Put away fragile items (stop accidents before they have a chance to happen!)
  • Set up a guest book (fun for your guests and great for creating memories to look back on)

Food & Drinks

People love (and need) to eat. Unless you have options laid out on the table, your guests are going to get hungry, which will inevitably lead them to A) ask you for food, B) order food, or C) leave to get food. Now, you don’t have to have a full course meal setup, but a selection of appetizers and finger foods are usually perfect for keeping people happy and full. You can’t go wrong with a basic supply of chips and dips, but if you don’t mind cooking, check out these quick and easy recipes.

Speaking of edible happiness, to go along with your appetizers, you’ll want a selection of drinks! Housewarming parties are the perfect occasion to break out the margarita maker and whip up batch after batch of your favorite ‘rita recipe. Or, if you’d rather keep things a little more casual, pick up a few bottles of wine and make sure everyone has a tasteful glass. Whichever you decide, always make sure you have some non-alcoholic options available, too (water and/or iced tea usually go over well).

Entertainment

The house is clean, food and drinks are out on the table with color-coordinated plates and cups, and people are ready to walk in the front door. Once you get them inside, what’s the plan? In addition to house tours and the usual hangout, the best housewarming parties always have some sort of entertainment.

You’ll definitely want music playing and a solid party playlist, but keep a few good group games up your sleeve for when everyone’s ready to take the fun to the next level. Try to make sure the games aren’t too long or technical (for example, Monopoly would be a bad idea). The key is to keep them quick, easy, and funny. Here are a couple ideas:

  • Scavenger hunt (this is especially good because the house is new to everyone!)
  • Memory games (for example, put your guests in a room, give them 30-60 seconds to look around, then come out of the room and ask them trivia questions to see who has the best memory)

Conclusion

Throwing a party is the perfect way to get your friends and family together to celebrate a great achievement – homeownership. After all, a home is the biggest and most important investment you’ll make in life, so if you’re going to have any type of party, this is the one to have. By following the steps above, your celebration is guaranteed to be a hit.

 

**Cory Yeakel is a full-time writer and home improvement lover. When he’s not writing or working on his latest DIY project, you can find him in the kitchen working on new recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 

Happy Homeowners: The Powers Family

This new “Happy Homeowners Interview” features The Powers Family, who recently built their new home in Sarasota.  Read below to hear about Powers homebuilding journey with M/I Homes!

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M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Cindy Powers: This is my first M/I Home and there were several reasons for the choice. I first looked at a M/I Home in another neighborhood when I wasn’t quite ready to buy, but wanted to start looking around. Patrick was wonderful and treated me like a serious buyer and I immediately fell in love with everything about the home. Fast forward to a year later when I was ready and of course I went back. That neighborhood was full so I went to check out the new one they were working on and I’m SO glad I did! I worked with Patrick again and he was just as great the second time around.

M/I:  Are you happy with how your home turned out?

CP: Absolutely! The details really make all of the difference. My boss has a contractor’s license (not practicing) and came for a walk through before I signed the contract. I just knew he was going to be nit-picky but he just kept saying how well-built it was and how much he liked it.

M/I:  What is the name of your floorplan and what features of your home do you especially love?

CP:  My floorplan is the Andover II. I love how spacious it is–especially the layout from the kitchen to the living room. I also love the two huge closets in my bedroom and the spacious shower.

M/I:  Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes?  Did you get to pick out your homesite and the floorplan you wanted to build, or had the home already been started?

CP:  My home was pretty much finished the first time that I saw it, but I wouldn’t change a thing! The features and colors are just perfect. I even love the color of the outside!

M/I:  Do you have any fun memories from the buying / building process?

CP:  The whole process went super fast and I’m glad for that! It almost felt like a dream from when I wandered in to take a look to waking up every morning in my new home.

M/I:  Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

CP:  Yes, the quality. It is so much nicer than anything else that I had looked at in the area. M/I Homes made it easy to become a reality.

M/I: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

CP:  I really like the layout of the neighborhood and the fact that the beautiful pool just happens to be right in my backyard! The community is great—I love to walk and I am walking distance from several shops and restaurants. The interstate access is super convenient as well.

M/I:  Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

CP:  I would highly recommend M/I Homes due to their customer service as well as the fact that they handle everything for you! I didn’t have to search out a separate mortgage lender or closer; they even recommended a homeowner’s insurance agent that was just as wonderful. She already knew what they needed and took care of it all. The whole process was extremely smooth.

M/I:  What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

CP:  My favorite memory has been decorating the new space. It’s fun to bring the beautiful space to life.

M/I:  What is your favorite space in your new home?  Do you have any pictures of that space you would like to share?

CP:  I love how bright and airy the whole home is and I especially love the window in the bonus room, which is perfect for a reading nook. I don’t have pictures of that space yet because I am searching out the perfect comfy seating for that area.  When I find it I will most likely never leave!

M/I:  What was something that surprised you the most with building / moving into a new home?

CP:  I wouldn’t say it surprised me, but I love the fact that each and every thing is being used by me for the first time! Everything is so clean and shiny.

M/I:  Any additional items / stories you would like to share about your new home?

CP:  I just want to reiterate the customer service aspect. Patrick, our New Home Consultant, worked hard for me and was a joy to work with. When I did my walk-through with Al he was meticulous and thorough. From the beginning through move-in, everything went so smoothly.  Thank you M/I Homes!

 

** The Powers moved to Florida from Virginia in 2013 to enjoy the warm weather. Cindy works for an airport engineering firm in Lakewood Ranch and her favorite part of her job is flying to meetings in her boss’s Cessna. Her daughter is finishing up her junior year at the University of Central Florida with a 3.9 grade point average and is active in her sorority, Delta Zeta.  They enjoy visiting Universal Studios, watching movies, and going to the beach.

Designer-Approved Nightstand Styles to Take Your Bedroom from Drab to Fab

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One of the most necessary pieces of furniture in the bedroom is the nightstand — after all, it’s the first thing you see when you wake and the last thing you see before you sleep. Nightstands not only help anchor the style and feel of your bedroom, but they also serve a multitude of purposes. From handy storage of bedroom goods to a work surface for late-night inspiration, these pieces are fantastic for keeping your must-haves close. We’ve rounded up our favorite designer-approved nightstand styles that are sure to take your bedroom from drab to fab in no time.

The Basics

Gone are the days when nightstands had to match to a T. Nowadays, these bedroom essentials have little limits—after all, as one of the main design elements that anchor your bedroom space, they should show off your unique style. There are just a few basics that should be considered when choosing a nightstand:

  • Whether your bed is a low platform or raised high, your nightstand should be close to the height of your mattress to keep things within easy reach.
  • Make sure your table lamps are around shoulder height when sitting up in bed. This allows for sufficient light when reading or scrolling through the internet at night.
  • Evaluate your bedtime routine to determine how much surface area you’ll need in a nightstand. For instance, if you’re reading at night, your nightstand should have sufficient space for books, a cozy table lamp and reading glasses.

From there, the types and styles of nightstands to choose from are endless. Keep these basics at hand during your search and it’s bound to be effortless.

 Traditional Nightstand

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Traditional nightstands with built-in storage keep things nearby and tucked away for easy middle-of-the-night access. Drawers are handy for tools, gadgets, books and any miscellaneous items you’d like to have in reach but out of sight. These are also great options for those with limited space or that like keeping surfaces free of stacks of books and clutter.

Nesting Tables

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We love nesting tables as nightstands in the bedroom. Not only do they offer something different visually, they’re also extremely versatile—after all, is there anything better than having three tables in one? Nesting tables are wonderful for bedrooms that have multiple seating areas, like a master suite with a reading nook that needs a side table pulled out every once in a while. They are also great choices for those that like having a variation of surfaces to work with, as they create an instant tiered nightstand.

Dresser

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If space is tight, consider using a single low-profile dresser to serve double duty as a nightstand. Not only do they offer more bang for your buck when it comes to surface area, but they provide enough space for a pretty vignette or display of your favorite collection. Have enough space to work with? Choose two bedside dressers instead of nightstands for a dramatic effect.

Mismatched Nightstands

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More and more homeowners are starting to mix it up with varying nightstands. They’re the perfect piece of furniture for playing around with different styles and vintage finds.

If you want to keep things slightly cohesive, choose tables around the same height. This allows for matching lamps to stay at the same eye level. Choose ones with similar finishes and mix up the decor, or choose ones with radically different finishes and styles and keep the decor similar on both sides.

Unique Alternatives 

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There are a number of unique alternatives to traditional nightstands. After all, if it has a surface and a height that works for your space, it could be a fantastic option for a bedside table. Here are a few examples:

  • Stacked vintage trunks and antique bar carts offer a vintage option with a unique touch of texture and patina.
  • Secretary desks are unexpected nightstand choices, allowing a variety of surface heights and additional drawers for storage.
  • Tray tables add a functional surface big enough for a lamp and a few books.

No matter what the choice, stretching outside the typical nightstand choices can yield fantastic results no matter what your style. What nightstand styles have you been eyeing for your space?

 

**As an interior designer, Kerrie Kelly is an expert on beautiful, functional bedroom spaces. From choosing the right color palette to picking the best dresser, Kerrie provides plenty of helpful information. If you are looking for a dresser or chest of drawers for your bedroom, visit The Home Depot.

 

Happy Homeowners: The Hold Family

Our next Happy Homeowners interview brings us to the Hold family in Austin, Texas who purchased their new home in 2015.  Take a look and read about their experience building a new home with M/I Homes.

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M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Johnna Hold: This is our first home with M/I and it was an easy decision. We looked at as many builders in our area as possible and the second we stepped into the M/I Homes model we knew it was a perfect fit for us. The other builders were offering “upgrades” that M/I was offering as items that were already included in the base price. There was a clean and classic, yet modern feel to what was being offered.

M/I: Are you happy with how your new home turned out?

JH: We are so happy with our home! We have been in one year and not one day goes by that we aren’t thrilled with our choice of building with M/I Homes.

M/I: What is the name of your floorpan and what features of your home do you especially love?

JH: We chose the Callahan and could not love it more. We love the layout and the large rooms. When you walk in, the entryway is large and feels so welcoming.

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes?  Did you get to pick out your homesite and the floorplan you wanted to build, or had the home already been started?

JH: We had an incredible experience with the process from start until finish. We had several lots to choose from that could accommodate our plan and add-ons. We picked out everything from the site to the grout – it was fantastic!

M/I:  Do you have any fun memories from the buying / building process?

JH: We loved stopping by to see the process and watching it come to fruition. Our kids loved walking the slab and envisioning their rooms.

M/I: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

JH: When the floors were put in it felt like home and we wanted to move in right away!

M/I: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

JH: Our kids go to the school in the neighborhood and walk to and from school. They play in the street with friends and ride their bikes to the pool.

M/I: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

JH: Make sure you are getting the smartest fit for your family. Think “long run” when purchasing your home. We thought about how our kids would grow and mature and what would be a wise choice for the long haul in our new home.

M/I: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

JH: Our first Christmas in our new home is my favorite memory.  We are making new memories and starting new traditions. This Christmas we bought a real tree for the first time and it was a wonderful Christmas.

M/I: What is your favorite space in your new home?  Do you have any pictures of that space you would like to share?

JH: Our living room is our favorite gathering spot. It is where we all come together and relax.

M/I: What was something that surprised you the most with building / moving into a new home?

JH: Seeing everything from the ground up is a really neat experience. You have a whole different appreciation for your home. We also love being the original owners.

M/I: Any suggestions you would give to someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

JH: Go for it! We knew we wanted a third car garage and to convert a 1/2 bath into a full bath. Doing that on the front end is much more cost effective than doing it after. Make smart decisions that will add value to your home.  So often people pass up design options with the thought of “we will do it later”. You rarely get around to it – do it now!

 

**Johnna Hold is one of our wonderful homeowners in our Parkside at Mayfield Ranch community in Austin, Texas.  She has two children, William (12) and Anna (8) with her husband Will.  Will works in the Insurance Education and Johnna is a stay at home mom and home stager (can’t you tell from their beautiful decor?)

 

Happy Homeowners: The Reynolds Family

Our new Happy Homeowners interview brings us to the Reynolds family in Austin, Texas, who moved into their new M/I home earlier this year! Take a look at their thoughts about the process of buying their new home with M/I Homes!

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M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I home and what convinced you to choose M/I Homes over another builder?

Donna Reynolds: Yes, this is our first M/I home.  We looked for a house for 6 months and talked to (and looked at) every builder in the area.  This was going to be our forever home so we wanted to make sure it was the right one.  We were impressed with M/I Homes from the very beginning.  Our sales consultant, Ursula Whitworth, was willing to stay to talk to us the first evening we came to look at homes, even when it was time for her to go home.  She was very positive and confident about building of an M/I home and put together a packet for us with homes she thought we might be interested in.  We liked all of the extras that M/I Homes includes, which we learned many builders count as upgrades.

M/I: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

DR: Yes, we love it. We did not build our home from the beginning, but instead bought an inventory home.  It was exactly what we were looking for.

M/I: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

DR: We bought the Rockport.  We love the openness of the kitchen and living room.  I can be cooking in the kitchen and still watch TV.  We also love the fact that our boys’ bedrooms are in the front of the home and we are in the back.  The master bath is gorgeous and there is a lot of room in the closet.  We also love our bedroom.  It is very spacious and we love the bay window.

M/I: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes. Did you pick your lot and floor plan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

DR: When we initially looked at the house, it wasn’t finished.  That was in January and it was completed in April, so we couldn’t get an exact picture of what it would look like totally finished until then.  When we did, we realized it was the home of our dreams.  It had everything we wanted in a home.

M/I: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

DR: We loved the view from the large windows at the back of the house.  There is a rock wall that has a huge tree in a park across the street with a fountain, which is gorgeous. That is partly what sold my husband on the house.  He also has a beautiful view from his study and our bedroom which is in the back of the home as well.

M/I: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

DR: We absolutely love this neighborhood.  Everyone is very nice.  It is awesome to be one of the first families to move in, as we love seeing other families move into this awesome neighborhood.  We are proud to live in Palmera Ridge!

M/I: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

DR: If you’re looking for a new home in Austin, check with Ursula at the model home in Palmera Ridge. She is awesome.  You won’t feel pressured to buy and she is more than happy to answer questions you might have.  She will spend all the time you need to help you find the right home.

M/I: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

DR: We love sitting on our back porch and watching the stars at night.  For the 4th of July, we could see fireworks in all directions lighting up the night sky.  It was awesome.

Also, just being with family in the house, eating dinner and watching a movie or football with the boys.

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The Reynolds are ready for Halloween!

M/I: What is your favorite space in your new home?

DR: It is really hard to say.  We love the openness of the kitchen and living room area.  I can cook and watch TV at the same time. My husband loves his office.  I love the kitchen.  We truly just love it all!

M/I: What was something that surprised you the most with building a new home?

DR: We were very pleased with everyone we came in contact with who worked for M/I Homes.  From Ursula (the New Home Consultant we first met at the model home), to Kris Rowe (the closer on our home), to Scott Richter (who did a through walk-through before we closed on the home), everyone was extremely professional and helpful with any questions we had.  I can’t say enough good things about M/I Homes.  They are certainly top notch in our book and I would highly recommend them to anyone I know looking for a new home.

M/I:  Any suggestions you would give for someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

DR: Definitely consider M/I Homes in your home buying process.  We originally didn’t want to build and feel like we made the right decision with picking an inventory home.  We looked for six months for the right home and Palmera Ridge was the neighborhood we kept coming back to.  We looked at other quality builders but M/I Homes really was the one we were most impressed with.  We feel you get the most for your money with this builder.

Honestly, there is not a day that goes by that we don’t say “we love our home!”  We find ourselves wanting to come home each day and also on the weekends we end up just wanting to stay at home.  We are excited about the upcoming holidays and being able to entertain and have fun celebrating in our new home.  Thanks M/I Homes for making our dreams come true!

 

** Donna Reynolds is a M/I Homes homeowner in our Palmera Ridge community in Austin, Texas.  Her husband, Ron, and her boys enjoy watching football, eating dinner together as a family, and are excited for the holidays in their new home.

 

 

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