The season of entertaining is among us and now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to add warmth to our homes (before it’s the day before the party and it’s too late!) Adding warmth to your entertaining space isn’t just about turning up the thermostat. Although a comfortable temperature is important, focusing your attention on a few other details is more likely to wow your guests. Here are a few ideas to add warmth to your space that appeal to all 5 senses; sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.
Sense of Sight
Of all the senses, sight is the sense that we hope you agree Urban Barn specializes in! From tabletop settings to warm, rich colours in pillows and throws, you’ll find no lack of ideas that appeal to the sense of sight while taking a stroll through your local Urban Barn store.
Thinking outside of the box, even a material that can sometimes be thought of as “cold” such as leather furniture can add an element of warmth to your home when the colour is right.
Sense of Smell
Few things speak to the season of entertaining like the smells that come from the kitchen this time of the year. Whether the smell is of shortbread baking or apple cider simmering on the stovetop, smell can really mark the season in our heads.
Before guests arrive, create a fragrant brew on the stovetop. By adding common household ingredients like vanilla, orange peel or cinnamon sticks, you can create your own custom brew that will fill the air with an amazing smell that will keep your guests hungry.
For a more subtle approach, decorate your mantle or dining table with real tree boughs. The smell will be subtle but will add a familiar holiday warmth that your guests will love.
Sense of Hearing
An evening of entertaining without some background sound can be as uncomfortable as eating spaghetti with your partner in silence… trying so hard not to slurp those noodles!
Music has a way of tuning out the noises we sometimes don’t want to hear but more importantly, helps you to achieve the perfect mood for your party of 10 (or 2!)
Classic Christmas carols can help to create a traditional vibe. Contemporary tunes can be refreshing change for guests who have been over-exposed to the holiday classics. I like to avoid music with too much bass and with just the right tempo (not too slow, not too fast.) My top pick for the season (without even hearing it yet) is Adele’s upcoming new album ‘25’. If this album is anything like her other music, you can’t go wrong! The release date is set for November 20th so mark your calendars!
Sense of Taste
We don’t recommend trying to taste any of the products in store but can make a few edible suggestions!
This season, try your favorite recipes with a twist. Instead of making your classic apple pie in a standard crust, try using filo pastry to make personal sized danishes. They’ll feel lighter than a standard slice of pie and makes for a great presentation.
Try waking up your guest’s taste buds with unexpected flavors at the holiday table. Break the holiday mold and serve your guests a totally non-traditional holiday menu. After a while, the traditional holiday favorites will all blend together in our minds. Make sure your guests remember your meal as something different.
Tip: Try all of your recipes ahead of time! It should cut the stress at least in half.
Sense of Touch
From natural fibers like wool to man-made materials, all products that make their way to Urban Barn stores go through a very strict “touch and feel” test.
Keep your guests comfortable this entertaining season with soft, cozy textures. We can’t control the weather outside but we can control the warmth inside by making the right accessory choices for the season. Warm faux fur texture is a classic for adding texture and warmth and for waking up the sense of touch.
Upholstery fabrics (part of our custom furniture program and in stock collections) come in many soft touch choices. High quality, velvet-like fabrics provide an ultra-soft, inviting, and seasonless look while soft fabrics with defined textures add a designer look and add texture to your entertaining spaces.