Ten, nine, eight – wait! Before you get your guests around to celebrate New Year’s Eve, make sure your home is at its decorative best. Use these New Year party ideas to create a fun space filled with delicious food, perfect for saying goodbye to last year and welcoming in the new.
Whether you’re inviting just your closest friends and family over for a thoughtful dinner and some champagne, or throwing a disco-ready bash for the neighbourhood, there’s inspiration aplenty.
New Year Party ideas
From room decor revamps, to moreish nibbles, tricks for getting ahead and backdrops for extra wow-factor, use these as inspiration for creating the best NYE vibe around.
1. Set the scene
The festivities don’t begin when you open the door – make sure you set the vibe right from the off with a decorated exterior. You may still have leftover decs from your Christmas party ideas, but you can alter them if they’re looking a little weary, or you just want a change.
Take down any overtly Christmas pieces, and stick to more simple, pretty pieces. Lengths of white, weatherproof lights or a full garland of seasonal foliage create an effective and sophisticated look without too much cost or effort.
2. Keep an eye on the details
Decorations in unexpected spots in – or outside of! – the home never fail to bring a smile. Look for unused ready-made hangers, like door knockers, cupboard handles and light fittings (so long as you can confirm they don’t overheat).
Use these spots to layer on baubles that never made it onto your tree, or that you’ve removed from branches that are starting to wilt. Sprigs of eucalyptus and rosemary are a lovely touch, too, as they will add an aromatic element to your decor.
3. Add sparkle to walls
Plain white walls are the perfect spot to create a disco-inspired backdrop just made for a New Years party. To allow other decorations in the home to shine through and not clash, simply attach a curtain of white fairy lights to the top of the wall. Use existing picture hooks or Command Strips to keep it in place.
If you have the space, add photobooth-style props on a sideboard or in a basket nearby so guests can use this space as the go-to Insta-background moment.
4. Present an impressive but easy display
Whether you’re hosting a dinner, or just offering some canapés, by putting some extra consideration into your presentation you can take the most simple offerings and turn it into something extra special.
On a rustic wooden board, or a gleaming gold platter if you prefer glam touches, create a cheese wreath. Simply arrange cheese in a wreath shape and tuck in grapes, figs, chutneys and crackers in any gaps for a full cheeseboard array.
Create leaf crackers like these for extra style. Just use a pastry cutter to make shapes from tortilla wraps and bake in the oven. Keep an eye as they can burn easily.
5. Make festive party pails
Send guests home happy with small decorated pails filled with sweet treats or mini toiletries. You can use basic buckets, and then add a little extra glitz for that New Year party touch.
Sprayed paint in a metallic shade, and use masking tape to paint on stripes. Alternatively, stencil on stars or keep it simple with small dot stickers. Arrange the pails in a pretty display in your hall to ensure no one misses out.
6. Decorate with wreaths
Wreaths are a quintessential winter party element, and New Year’s Eve is no exception.
To mix things up from Christmas, set aside the firs and holly berries, and choose a relaxed a elegant design of dried twigs and seed heads. If you’re making your own, faux is the way to go as it can take a lot of practise to weave in delicate dried pieces like these.
7. Prepare party nibbles
Make hosting as easy on yourself as possible by making some quick and easy nibbles that everyone will live – even picky eater kids.
These tomato, cheese and pesto tartlets are made in less than an hour, so an ideal option for a last-minute nibble.
To make 24 of these, heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. On a floured work surface, roll 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry into 2 rectangles. Cut out 24 rounds using a 7.5cm cutter. Prick the rounds all over the centres with a fork. Arrange on the baking trays and flash-freeze for 10 mins.
Next, dab the centre of each pastry round with 1/2tsp pesto and sprinkle with 80g Manchego, dividing evenly. Slice 8 small tomatoes into rounds, and place on top, then brush with oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Bake, rotating the 2 trays halfway through, until pastry is golden brown, about 30 mins. Keep an eye on the tarts as the dough rises. Cool completely on the sheets on a wire rack and serve with chopped chives
8. Make a room pop
Create a fun party for the grown-ups with decorations that will bring the nostalgia out in your guests. Make sure there is plenty of room for people to mingle by clearing the room of large pieces of furniture leaving just a sleek table with stylish chairs is all you need in this funky atmosphere.
Jazz up plain whites wall with random geometric luxe triangles to and continue the glitzy gold theme with a table display of gleaming candle sticks, sparkling crystal pineapples. Then, fill the remainder of the room with ‘old school’ party balloons.
9. Curate your cocktail cabinet
Before you detox your home for the New Year, treat yourself and your guests to a sophisticated tipple during the party season by creating a calm cocktail lounge vibe. Start with an exotic backdrop of opulent trellis wallpaper then go Gatsby style with a statement piece cocktail cabinet.
Continue the decadent theme with a display of gold pineapples and adorn the top with curious and fascinating bird shaped candlesticks. The ornate deco patterns and embellishments get us in the mood for fun and party games.
10. Make some music
There’s nothing like a New Years party to make you want to gather round a piano and sing. Whether it’s a slightly tispy rendition of Auld Lang Syne, or you’re getting the party started with some singalongs, make a feature of the music.
Decorate the top of a piano with a light up star, or a few cool mirror balls. Similarly, you could decorate above a guitar or, if you’re more of a Bluetooth person, your sound system.
11. Get ahead
There’s so much to do when hosting a party that anything you can do to get ahead and make your life that bit simpler is welcomed with open arms. Make a Bake Off worthy showstopper, but on your own timeline. With this Rose Pavlova Wreath, you can actually make the meringue up to two days in advance.
Heat oven to 150C/Gas 2. Draw a 23cm circle on a sheet of baking paper and place on a baking tray pencil side down. Whisk 6 egg whites and a pinch of salt in a mixer to soft peaks, then gradually add 300g sugar. Whisk in 2tsp rosewater and 1tsp white wine vinegar, then fold in 1tsp cornflour.
Place heaped dessert spoonfuls of meringue around the circle to form a ring. Reduce the oven to 120C/ Gas 1/2, and bake until crisp but not coloured (1-11/2 hours). Turn off the heat and cool in the oven for 4 hrs.
For the praline, dissolve 100g caster sugar in 2tbsp water in a pan over a medium heat. Do not stir. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and bring to a boil until golden. Caramel burns easily, so watch it carefully. Lay 50g toasted and chopped pistachios over a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Pour the caramel over the nuts and leave to cool and set. Break into shards.
To serve, whip 600ml double cream with 25g icing sugar and 1tsp rosewater. Pipe the cream mix around the meringue and crown with praline and physalis.
12. Put on the Ritz
Chose gold for a luxurious New Years Eve dining table theme. Keep the look consistent with candle sticks, cutlery to glassware and crackers. The opulent tone pairs easily with a dramatic colour like peacock blue. Accessorise with yellow hued fairy lights to make the metal sparkle which will in turn throw a vintage ambience around the room.
13. Set up a bar
Turn kitchen storage into a drinks station. A pretty kitchen dresser filled with favourite festive tipples, sparkling glass and cocktail accessories makes an enticing bar area, while a scattering of baubles adds to the celebratory New Year party mood. The cranberry-coloured glass, silver details and white china feel super festive, while tealights add a warm and welcoming glow for guests.
14. Light your living room
Transform your living room into a blissful social lounge with plenty of gentle mood lighting. Enhance a Nordic blue and linen scheme with a rustic twig planter set centrally in the room and drape with fairy lights and silver ornaments. Then complement with LED lit fir garlands entwined with pine cones and arranged on sideboards. Finally set a pretty display of candle light in hurricane lamps on a low coffee table for an atmospheric and ambient finish.
15. Feast the senses
Create a beautiful buffet that is rich in both food and colour. Turn your cheese table into sensational display by presenting the varieties on wooden boards, cake stands and stylish glass domes set at different levels. Offset the fine cheese with an abundance of seasonal fruits in rich jewel purple tones.
Transform the offering into a work of art by echoing the colours with a dramatic wreath mounted above filled with dried flowers in rich crimson tones. Add a vintage ambience with silver candlesticks and votives.
16. Rustic retreat
Use country motifs for a cosy woodland feel. For a winter cabin get-together dress a dining table with tactile fabrics in earthy tones scatter real pine cones in abundance on the table in amongst chunky church candles. Wreaths and decorations in shining rust and copper finishes will reflect the candlelight and warm the cosy look.
17. Continue a trend
Keep the festive feel alive right up to the twelfth night with a traditional Christmas colour theme on your New Year party. Serve up a feast with a wintery grey backdrop and Nordic linen table cloth. Then layer table settings with charming gingham placemats and delightful robin motif crackers.
Finish the rich red and green scene with fresh berry garlands tied to the back of chairs with ribbon and plenty of candlelight for that perfect celebratory ambience that is perfect for family and friends.
18. Adopt a ‘Rock and Roll’ style
Decorate a funky party that’s set to last into the New Year. Give your urban room gritty glitz by hanging star wall art against an exposed brick wall and drape casually with fairy lights. Throw in some party props like drumsticks to lighten the mood and a single red armchair to rest those dancing feet also injects a pop of vibrant colour.
How do you plan a good New Years Eve party?
First things first – set the scene. Choose your decor theme and design your home around that. For ultimate ease, make it something which links in neatly with your Christmas decorations, to save you from having to move or remove too many of these. Make easy to prepare foods to keep guests sated throughout the evening. Have a bar cart on hand with all your essentials, form an ice bucket, pre-sliced lemons, mixers and alcohol, so everything is in one easy to reach spot. Make sure you’ve got a radio, speaker or TV ready to go so you can join in on the countdown, and why not use some indoor-safe sparklers – or take the party outside – to welcome in the New Year with light and laughter.