Touchdown! How to Host a Winning Game Day Party

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Coming from a family of football lovers, it’s hard for me to admit that I’m not the biggest football fan in the world.

Coming from a family of football lovers, it pains me to admit that I’m not the biggest football fan out there (unless we’re talking about my kids’ league — then you can totally give me that title). I do, however, love watching the two best teams go head to head in the biggest game of the postseason. It gives me a chance to do what I love to do: spend time with loved ones, while they enjoy one of their favorites pastimes.

My goal in throwing a successful football party is keeping everyone happy, well fed and comfortable. Here’s how I do it, and how you can do it too when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers this Sunday.

Image via Mosaik Design & Remodeling, original photo on Houzz
On game day I turn our living room (not shown here) into a comfortable lounge completely centered around TV viewing. I usually remove the chairs from our dining area to create a food buffet on top of the table. The dining chairs are then free to provide extra seating in the living room.

Using trays for protection, you can utilize occasional tables and ottomans to serve snacks without worry in the living room.

Image via Sealy Design Inc, original photo on Houzz
 I love the idea of a rolling food and beverage cart. This rolling trolley holds mostly desserts, but you could serve hors d’oeuvres along with beverages. You could assemble the spread in the kitchen and roll it into the living room for guests to enjoy while watching the game.
Image via Sealy Design Inc., original photo on Houzz
Give your rolling cart a theme by incorporating party supplies in the colors of your favorite team. (Etsy offers a great selection in endless color combinations.) Tailgate supplies are often sold in team bundles, including themed paper plates, cups and napkins. You can grab some Carolina Panthers coasters, or a Denver Broncos wine bottle opener to finish off your rolling bar cart.
 When entertaining I often turn a shelf in my living room bookcase into a makeshift bar, as this homeowner did. Clearing a few books off the top shelves provides space for adult beverages as well as glasses and stemware.
Image via ACRE Goods + Services, original photo on Houzz
Speaking of glasses, these numbered barware glasses would not only look great in your bookcase during the party, but are a great solution for keeping track of everyone’s drinks.

Set of 12 Numbered Barware Glasses>

If you’re more of a wine lover, try these fantastic wine charms to keep track of your wine glasses. How fun would it be to buy a set for each team and let your guests represent their favorite players? These charms could also be used for an interactive game: When the player you’re representing makes a great play, you win a prize.

Denver Broncos Wine Charms, Set of 10 – $53>


Image via Cocktail Shakers And Bar Tool Sets, original photo on Houzz
This print is really cute as is, but it also inspired an idea. With the popularity of chalkboards in the home, it would be fun to have the kids prepare yours for Super Bowl Sunday with a little football-play chalk art. Record the score or keep a tally of football square winners as the game progresses.
Image via, original photo on Houzz
Provide comfortable seating for guests of all ages. Small ottomans or soft poufs are a great option for floor seating for small children. This will leave the sofa and chairs open for guests who may not be so comfortable on the floor.
Image via Rethink Design Studio, original photo on Houzz

Floor pillows make lounging on the floor a little more comfortable for older children and teens who are too large for a small ottoman or pouf.

Image via decorddemon, original photo on Houzz
Image via Sean Michael Design, original photo on Houzz
Beanbags are another option for additional seating. These fabulous custom ones were designed to complement the decor of this space. Beanbags are a favorite in my home, since they can be moved from room to room and are easy to position for optimum TV viewing.

Bring a little team color into your home for the day. Orange flowers (like these sunflowers I used for a party last fall) would be a pretty way to represent the Broncos.

Image via The Yellow Cape Cod, original photo on Houzz

I purchased these orange towels for Halloween, but bringing them out for the day would be a fun way to dress up one of the busiest rooms during a party: the guest bathroom.

Image via The Yellow Cape Cod, original photo on Houzz
 I’ve noticed that in our home during parties, kids tend to congregate in our lower-level family room. Our living room is small, so having these two different zones keeps one room from becoming overly crowded. Having a designated kids’ space, like the one shown here, also gives me an opportunity to set up activities for little ones who may not be interested in the game.
Image via Masterpiece Design Group, original photo on Houzz
When the kids are happy, the adults are happy. Having toys, as this homeowner does, plus coloring books and kid-friendly movies in our lower-level family room offers young children many different entertainment options.

Another way to keep the entire crowd happy is to have a quiet, TV-less space for grown-ups who aren’t watching the game. This space looks like a perfect spot for peaceful conversation.

More: Browse Millions of Home Design Photos

Image via Lulu Designs, original photo on Houzz
Board games and puzzles are another grown-up alternative to game watching. Classic family favorites like Scrabble are always crowd pleasers.

In my home the kitchen is usually the place where the non-football-watching guests congregate. A mini coffee bar gives us kitchen lingerers something to enjoy while preparing food and doing dishes.

Image via MN Builders, original photo on Houzz
Our friends and family usually end up packed in the same room watching the game — even those of us who are not football fans — simply because we like being together. I think the key to successful entertaining is having a positive, loving atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome.
Image via MOSAIC Group [Architects and Remodelers] , original photo on Houzz
That being said, it’s still nice to have options. If anyone gets overly passionate about the game, having other places to retreat to is usually something everyone appreciates.

Have plans for your own Game Day party? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @Redfin.

More from Houzz
Find the Perfect Sofa for Entertaining
12 Mega-Media Rooms for Super Bowl Sunday
Your Pre-Entertaining Quick Cleanup List

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Houzz Contributer Sarah Macklem is a home stylist providing affordable design services for real people around the globe. Sarah also writes the popular home design blog, The Yellow Cape Cod.

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