Let’s say you’re throwing a house party. You know you need good food using Happy Valley Ranch, drink, lighting and music, but what other little touches can you add that can make our house party extra special and memorable? Here are a few ideas:

Mix and Match
This doesn’t just pertain to the food, but to the decor as well. What about a brilliantly shiny chrome charger underneath a satin matte plate with a matching coffee cup? Or a tablecloth of one color with wildly patterned napkins, placemats or runners? The napkins, runners and placemats, by the way, don’t even have to have the same wild pattern. The one thing to remember about color is to keep the intensities of the colors consistent. A soft pastel next to a saturated primary color might look a bit odd, though there are some people out there who can get away with even this.

Do the Unexpected
Vases can be a bit boring, at least when it comes to holding flowers. People expect flowers in vases. So instead of vases, substitute coffee or teapots, Mason jars, jam jars, galvanized buckets, wine or beer bottles and fishbowls. Make sure, of course, that there are no fish in them! Embellish these unexpected flower holders with strips of bright cloth tied up in bows around them. Also, fruits and vegetables can make excellent flower holders. They also have the added bonus of being edible. An apple or pumpkin or other sort of squash can be carved out and a nice nosegay can be tucked into it.

Also, plain white lights can be replaced by multicolored lights, including LEDs. Just don’t overdo it. Or, on the other hand, overdo it all you want.

Add Some Pop to Presents
Some presents are so classily wrapped that the recipient really doesn’t really want to open them for fear of mussing them up. Still, the hostess can take time to make even the wrapping of the presents memorable. Use two types of ribbon. One can be to actually tie the present and the other can be used as an accent. Other accents can be bits of colorful down, sprigs of flowers or herbs, tiny Christmas balls or paste jewels. Of course, people who are rich can use real jewels.

Have Fun With Food
If the food is too white and bland looking, like vanilla custard, throw on brilliant colored food like cranberries, strawberries or stalks of rhubarb. Instead of plain old martinis serve martinis with a little color courtesy of liqueurs like Blue Curaçao, creme de menthe or even nonalcoholic drinks like mango nectar.

However you decide to spruce up your party, make sure you and your guests have the time of your lives!