Even Google Agrees that Entertaining is Tough. - Articulate
Dining room designed by Emily Henderson featuring the leather Kissa dining chair

Even Google Agrees that Entertaining is Tough.

There’s a reason that there’s no definitive guide to entertaining tips. There are as many ways to throw a party as there are people in this world (~7.5 billion!), but no one seems to have cracked the code on a general “good times for all” framework. When our team was discussing how to tackle October, November, December — the peak entertaining months of the year — we had a lot of questions.

Cute people in toques gather around a dark wood table. Some are standing, most are seated in gray upholstered chairs.
Parties come in all shapes and sizes. The extendable Madera table in smoke and dark gray Ceres chairs look beautiful when paired with Chinese takeout.

As it turns out, everyone has a lot of questions. In researching how to best create an easy, beautiful, stress free holiday season, we realized that people all over the world were asking Google the same stuff we were. So, being the data nerds that we are, we decided to have our SEO manager compile a list of the most-Googled questions about entertaining in 2018. Then, for fun, we asked ourselves “WWACD?” – what would Article customers do? On October 24th and 25th, we used Article’s Instagram Story Polls to find out. Responses per question ranged from 1405 to 1693. This is what we found:

“Hey Google: what’s the perfect number of people for a dinner party?”

a: Small! Four to six max. – 59%
b: Big! 10-12 is more fun. – 41%

In this case, smaller seemed to be better to the majority of the Article audience, but we were pleasantly surprised at the number of respondents who like to throw a rager — beg pardon — a raucous dinner festivity. Whether you’re throwing an intimate gathering for your closest pals or a good ol’ fashioned house party, our Entertaining Trends will help you get ready with useful tips like how to make a spritz bar, easy dinner recommendations, and how to build a killer playlist.

“Okay Google: which cocktails should I make for a party tonight?”

a. Anything pre-batched. – 60%
b. Whatever you’re asked to make! – 40%

Another 60/40 split! We admire everyone’s commitment to their bespoke/mad chill party preference. If you’re looking to pre-batch your drinks, Bon Appetit has a big old list of cocktails that scale up easily. If you’re a bartending star who likes nothing more than to shake, stir, and serve the night away… what is your address and can you make a Corpse Reviver #2?

A blue velvet sofa sits in the middle of a white room with big windows. A palm sits in the background.
The Cirrus sofa in Pacific blue makes a statement in a neutral room. Paired with the brushed brass Equa side table and white and blue Polygon rug, the room looks ready to host an intimate gathering… or a party of 100+.

“Hey Google: what are some tips for throwing parties in a studio apartment?”

a. Versatile furniture. – 84%
b. Move the furniture against the walls. – 16%

The Article team has never met a dance floor — impromptu or otherwise — that it didn’t like. That being said, versatile furniture can make a party feel more fluid and easy to navigate. Stacking chairs are great for accommodating extra guests (we like the Svelti armchairs, which are available in 6 colors to best suit your living space), as are low profile ottomans that double as seating or table space: all you need is a large tray.

“Google: what are the best ways to entertain your friends?”

a. Low key hang. – 62%
b. High production event. – 38%

A trend solidifies: the majority of our readers like parties that are small, chill, and feature low barrier access to alcohol. But a very solid number like a party that rages, is themed, and offers custom options. We like and respect both parties. If you fall into the camp of “low key,” we’ve written a post that services the kind of dinner party that you can throw together in 30 minutes. Fall on the other side of the equation? If you’re the kind of person who thrills at the idea of a themed dinner for 40, you probably don’t need our help… but just in case, Alison Roman’s newest book, “Nothing Fancy,” is the perfect reference for an unfussy meal that will satisfy every member of your party. All 1,000 of them.

A tan leather sofa with lack pillows sits in a rancher-style hours. Two dogs are taking up the prime spots.
Surprise guests? Sorry, this seat is taken.
Photo courtesy of
Design By Discovery.

“Okay Google: how to deal with houseguests who invite themselves over?”

a. Stay up all night. – 30%
b. Turn off all the lights and go to bed. – 70%

The writer of this piece comes down hard on the side of option B, but 30% of you out there are DTP (down to party) until the sun comes up, and you know what? Good for you.

“Hey Google: is it rude to show up an hour early for a dinner party?”

a. Yes. – 59%
b. How well do you know the host? – 41%

What is it with these 60/40 splits?! Our audience knows what they like and ~60% of them prefer SMALL, INTIMATE parties with EASY menus and overall CHILL VIBES. The other 40% could not be more different, which makes sense but in all honesty we were surprised to see such consistent results. Statistically, no surprises here pals.

A tan leather sofa sits center-right. Marble coffee tables sit in the foreground; a roughly finished sideboard sits in the background.
The Texada sofa is a scene-stealing stunner… and it’s perfect for company. Pairing the Mara coffee and side tables make for a beautiful vignette, while the Madera sideboard stores all your bar accoutrements.

“Hey Google… is entertaining hard?”

a. 90% inspiration, 10% perspiration. – 42%
b. 90% perspiration, 10% yes it’s hard. – 58%

Not even going to mention the 60/40 elephant, so let’s instead focus on how the majority of respondents do find entertaining hard. Same here at Article, which is why we’ve endeavoured to make our holidays all about being present with our loved ones. That means whether you’re a small party person or a big party person, the focus of your gathering is feeling happy, relaxed, and connected. If that means you order in 10 pizzas, all the better.

“Um, Google… is it weird if I don’t like people at my house?”

a. Yes. – 19%
b. No. – 81%

It’s only weird if you force yourself to have people over when you don’t feel like it! Some of us aren’t natural hosts. And that is more than okay. If you’re more of a party attender than a party thrower, just make sure you thank the host for the time and effort they put into making you feel special and a part of the holiday cheer. Not into gatherings at all? You do you! If your favorite way to spread holiday cheer and see your loved ones is via a quick FaceTime, then that’s the best way forward.

Here’s to the holidays, however you like to party.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get new content, products & promotions in your inbox.