As the hectic holiday season approaches and our calendars continue to fill up with Friendsgiving dinners, cocktail parties, and girlfriend gift exchanges, the staff at Rank & Style has chatted quite a bit about what it takes to host a successful shindig. The two things we can all agree on? Making guests feel welcome and comfortable is key, and planning ahead will keep you stress-free. With that in mind, we gathered a roundup of the hosting essentials our staff always turns to so you can shop them stat, from charcuterie boards and straws fit for a stylish feast to sheet sets and sound machines perfect for the guest room. Whether you're prepping your home for a Christmas soirée or a weekend stay, the 10 editor-approved hosting essentials below will keep you both sane and stylish during party season. Scroll ahead to discover and shop our secrets to successful holiday hosting. Opening image: potterybarn.com
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November 6, 2019
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YIHONG Set of 8 Stainless Steel Metal Straws
STAFF SAYS: "My boyfriend and I are really into making cocktails for our guests. We bought these gold metal straws (8.5”) to add to collins glasses. With a simple garnish, the metal straws add a sophisticated touch to pre-dinner drinks. They are also environmentally-friendly, so it’s a win-win!"—Taylor Ohlenburger, Site Merchandising Associate
HELPFUL TIP: These metal straws are just as beautiful as they are functional—place them in a stylish glass and let them sit pretty on your bar cart.
Simply Charmed Crystal Magnetic Wine Glass Charms
STAFF SAYS: “We throw quite a few wine nights in my friend group, so to solve the 'Which glass is mine?' problem, glass markers are critical. These are some of my faves. I love that they’re magnetic, so they stay put and don’t fall in your wine (my pet peeve). Bonus, they look very chic.”—Meredith Rimmer, Managing Editor
LOVED FOR: Because they're magnetic, these charms are suitable for stemless glasses, too. Genius.
VGOODALL Mini Suitcase Party Favor Box
STAFF SAYS: “When hosting a holiday dinner, I like to include a table gift. It’s a fun way to kick off dinner, and the kids love it! These mini favor boxes are an adorable touch, especially if you have family traveling in for the holidays. Fill them with anything from chocolates to little toys for the young ones!”—Beth Zerdecki, Chief Product & Marketing Officer
WHY YOU NEED IT: These favor boxes can make any party look professionally-planned, and even for the arts-and-crafts challenged, they're a cinch to assemble—all it takes is three folds, a touch of twine, and a tag.
Adaptive Sound Technologies White Noise Sound Machine
STAFF SAYS: "First off, let me just say, I love my family. BUT, If you're anything like me, after all of that quality time, you are in dire need of a way to rest, relax, and recharge. With multiple sound and volume options as well as an auto-shutoff timer, this sound machine is a must for every host with overnight guests. There is a setting for every kind of sleeper, and the machine's sleek design fits in with any decor."—Maiya Evans, Marketing Assistant
WHY YOU NEED IT: Not only does this sound machine include far more features than most (Non-looping noises? Yes, please!), but it's also exceptionally affordable at just $50. We recommend buying two—one for yourself and one for the guest room.
West Elm Pure Black Ceramic Vases
STAFF SAYS: "Depending on the hostess's home aesthetic, I would personally love to find a sleek vase and fill it with beautiful flowers or foliage. I love this modern one from West Elm and the cool vibe it gives. Plants always make a home feel more cozy and warm!"—Taylor Reagan, Merchandising Assistant
HELPFUL TIP: In a range of stunning shapes and sizes, these black vases look fabulous when mixed and matched. Place a few of them on a bookcase and get ready for guests to compliment your #shelfie game all night long.
Chilewich Basketweave Woven Vinyl Placemat
STAFF SAYS: “I love my Chilewich placemats! They’re so versatile. Perfect for informal and formal dining, and they’re SO easy to clean and keep neat. I have a bright color, but the neutrals will work in any dining room or color scheme.”—Emily Carter, Digital Marketing Manager
LOVED FOR: Thanks to their large size and versatile color options, these placemats can accommodate any elaborate tablescape you have planned for the holidays. And no need to worry about spills and stains—they wipe clean in a cinch.
Pottery Barn Chateau Wood Cheese Board
STAFF SAYS: "My absolute secret weapon to a delicious get together? A perfectly curated charcuterie board! This Pottery Barn design is my go-to and is chic, classy, and super easy to decorate with whatever your heart desires (mine being all the cheeses)!"—Emma Manning, Digital Brand Manager
HELPFUL TIP: You can also make things official with a monogram—we're big fans of a simple initial or last name.
Crate&Barrel Camille Long Stem Wine Glasses
STAFF SAYS: “Beautiful wine glasses are a must for any get-together, and the Camille glasses from Crate & Barrel are my absolute favorite. Not only are they stunning, but they’re also quite sturdy and can easily withstand the occasional drop or ding.”—Kate Ferris, Staff Writer
FUN FACT: These are the exact same wine glasses Olivia Pope drinks from in Scandal. Who knew?
California Design Den Cotton Sheet Set
STAFF SAYS: "Sleep is always a challenge when staying somewhere other than your cozy bed at home. I bought these sheets for myself during Prime Day, and they are amazing for the price. They are 100% cotton, so they are breathable, but the sateen weave makes them softer than most cotton options. The price point makes them ideal for guest beds, and there are plenty of color options to match your guest room decor!"—Taylor Ohlenburger, Site Merchandising Associate
WHY YOU NEED IT: Comfortable bedding can make or break your guest's stay, so ultra-soft sheets are a must—but that doesn't mean you have to splurge. This affordable set rings up under $40, and it has over 6,500 rave reviews on Amazon that prove it's worth the hype.
La Compagnie de Provence Savon de Marseille Liquid Soap
STAFF SAYS: "When it comes to hosting, I always make sure to have my favorite hand soap properly placed in our guest bath. This is my absolute favorite, and the beautiful packaging is the icing on top."—Jamie Chandlee, CEO
FUN FACT: You can use this soothing soap as a body wash, too. Buy two, so you can stock your shower and your sink.
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