The best parties have little to do with beautifully laid tables or expert mixology. In fact, our top shindigs have been the simplest ones, starring a well-stocked bar, plenty of nibbles, good music, and a relaxed host. Of course, that last element’s usually the hardest to come by. With a little prep, you can be that mythical creature.

If you want to throw a great party, you should probably call Punit Jasuja. The event planner, interior and retail space designer, creative director, and concept store-owner has been in the business of constructing beautiful tableaus for many years, and there’s no one better to consult when talking about playing host.
Born and raised in Chicago, Punit spent his life between India, New York, and London. Trained in art, IT, and psychology, Second Floor Studio is an amalgamation of his diverse interests and experiences, a concept store filled with knick knacks sourced from India and all over the world. These are things that reflect the ethos of a modern home: situated somewhere between old and new, between the local and international. You’ll find deliciously quirky presents as well as one-of-a-kind investment pieces and antiques.

We spent a morning with Punit, exploring his personal Wonderland learning everything we could about his rules for entertaining and the perfect hostess gifts, all the while being thoroughly entertained ourselves.
Always welcome your guests with a signature cocktail.
A welcome drink, beautifully presented with a garnish and a pop of colour, can serve as a decoration and a beverage. Don’t worry if these are left untouched; they are as beautiful to look at, as they are delicious to drink.
Quick tip: If it isn’t already there, cranberry juice deserves a prime place in your bar cabinet. Cranberry + vodka with a garnish of orange rind, makes a perfect welcome drink.

Lighting is key
Make sure you have plenty of options: candles, dimmers, or table lamps can all help you create the perfect mood.

Pay attention to the playlist
Punit’s personal favourite? An instrumental jazz playlist will lend to the ambience without overpowering conversation.

Plan your party with your guests in mind
Do you have enough vegetarian options for the herbivores in the group? Do any of your guests have allergies or food restrictions? Are there smokers in the group? Create a nifty “cigarette bowl”, with cigarettes and lighters readily available.

Mix up your glasses
Symmetry is overrated; don’t worry if your set of wine glasses has suffered a few casualties. Different shaped glasses create variety, interest, and diversity.

Keep things fresh
For obvious reasons, make sure you have flowers and/ or scented candles in the bathroom.

Three’s company, too
An odd number of dinner guests prevents people from pairing up, and keeps the conversation flowing.

People remember two things about a party: the beginning and the end
Send your guests home with a small gift; candles, a small bouquet of flowers, a bag of cookies, or more dessert…all of these will create a lasting positive impression on your guests.

For Punit's list of hostess gifts, click here.
For more, visit Punit’s website or Punit Jasuja Productions on Facebook.
For more on Second Floor Studio, visit their Facebook.