These days, if we aren’t spending our time connecting with friends on social media, we’re entertaining them at home. For house hunters who are social butterflies, finding a home that’s perfect for hosting events is high on a wish list. Take Joe and Alison, for example. They hosted their wedding in the backyard of their cozy, new home in Los Angeles. The happy couple are one of the couples we’re featuring as part of our Be Brave video series. These inspirational series are spotlighting real first-time buyers who overcame their fears to become homeowners.

Joe and Alison blazed their own trail when they used their savings and bought their house first, then got married at their new picturesque home, complete with a white picket fence. To create an entertaining space at their new home, Joe and his father-in-law built a bar, deck and patio. The couple were thrilled with their results!

If you’ve recently bought a home and you’re trying to decide on some improvements that will create a warm and inviting environment for your many friends, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Entertaining Features

Whether you’re entertaining for sports fans or having a dinner party, it’s important to ensure that your house has good traffic flow. Good flow can be created by opening up walls or creatively arranging your furniture. Designate a main gathering place both indoors and outdoors, if you have generous yard space. If you’re looking to roll out the red carpet for friends and family, homes with open space and ample furniture are ideal to accommodate a group of people.

Be sure to provide a fair amount of lighting in the rooms most commonly used. A well-designed home can also make the work of entertaining a little easier by offering convenient storage like good-sized closets and plenty of space for food preparation. Perfect entertaining spaces also have serving zones equipped with built-ins or tables in proximity to the mingling area.

Another consideration is the location of the bathroom. Do your guests have to trek through your master bedroom to access it? If so, that’s not the best floor plan for parties. Hopefully you have a fair amount of parking for your guests, too. This makes visiting less stressful for them.

Enhancing with Decorations

Joe and Alison fell in love with their new home because of its warm ambiance and inviting layout. They enhanced those areas with comfy seating and artsy décor throughout. They also used plenty of greenery and plants to give their home a relaxing vibe inside and out.

Like this hip couple, try to use artwork, wall hangings and wall decals to give the rooms in your home style and character. Your hosting space should be a comfortable place to have one-on-one conversations for an intimate setting.

They used decorative rugs on their home’s hardwood floors to create a cozy environment. Although it may be a pricey upgrade, contemporary hardwood floors or laminate flooring are preferred over wall-to-wall carpet, especially if you often have house guests. When it comes to cleaning and spills, carpet makes a lot more work for homeowners than hardwood floors.

Be on the Lookout

So whether you’re house hunting or you’ve recently purchased a home, be mindful of house features and potential enhancements if you plan to entertain guests often. Unlike other home buyers and owners, you may put more value on a finished basement, a functional backyard or an open floor plan.

After Joe and Alison bought their home and refinanced, they were able to save more money and apply it toward much-needed upgrades. The completed projects opened their eyes to new possibilities and alleviated some fears. They realized the importance of investing in their family’s future. Getting married at their home and surrounded by friends and family was a dream come true.

Hosting friends and family at your cozy home will allow you to capture your happy memories through the years and make your home a popular destination for holidays, birthdays and just-because gatherings. #BeBrave.

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