New Years Eve - the holiday that, for a vast majority of us, is a pretty big let down.  All the decorating ideas, party planning, and anticipation for a night where things inevitably go wrong and nothing meets expectation.

I am going to let you all in on a little secret I have learned in my older years - planning a simple, intimate soiree with close friends, with yummy eats and tasty cocktails is a surefire way to have a fabulous NYE celebration.  Now that you know this precious little nugget, let's break down how to plan and execute the perfect New Years Eve party.


Who better to take ques from than the grand dame of party decoration, Martha Stewart.  These beautiful inspiration images from her website serve as the perfect how-to for a classic and successful New Year's Eve event.  And what better party topic to start off with than booze.  You don't need to have a proper home bar to create the perfect cocktail setup for your guests this New Years Eve.  Designating sections with classic and stylish serving trays turns your table into the perfect serving station.  

For your glassware you can either stick with classic champagne flutes or try modern stemless flutes like the ones above, and add a special colorful twist with red and green grape stirrers.  And adding small votive candle accents and DIY metallic streamers add just the right amount of festive pop to make your party sparkle.


The most exciting moments of any New Years Eve celebration are inevitably the 10 seconds leading up to midnight.  Sourcing vintage and vintage-inspired clocks is a fun way to decorate your house and get everyone into the NYE spirit.  Hop on some cyber deals or search local flea markets and you will surely be able get together a small, stylish collection of tabletop clocks to enhance the fun of the night.  Stick with a color palette like metallics or whites or go super eclectic and bohemian by mixing and matching styles, colors and looks - either way your guests will be sure to remember the countdown this year.


In the wee small hours of the morning of New Years Eve there is nothing better than a little sweet treat to cap off what we have set up as the perfect night.  Why not try something creative and interactive?  Above, a fondue spread gets a makeover with caramel fondue in addition to chocolate fondue.  Having both fresh and dried fruits to dip as well as marshmallows and madeleines, no guest will be able to side-step this sweet spot.  

And for a modern take on traditional cookies and milk try your hand at making an Oreo cooking cake and serving it with glass-bottled milk and sparklers.  This should bring even the biggest Scrooge back to their warm and fuzzy childhood roots.


Finally - being the perfect New Years Eve hosts and hostesses that I know you will be - you can't send your guests away empty handed.  Believe it or not these homemade cookies are packaged in paper CD envelopes with DIY New Years Eve stickers.  Bake a batch of your favorite cookies and let your guests indulge in their sweet tooth at the end of the night.  

And leave it to Martha to suggest giving guests party favors wishing them luck in the new year. Black eyed peas and lentils both traditionally welcome wealth and good fortune.  Giving them to your guests in mason jars with personalized notes is a thoughtful and meaningful way to send your loved ones into the new year.

Now that you've been inspired by these New Year's Eve decorating ideas and party planning ideas, how do you plan to celebrate the arrival of 2014?

Image credits: Martha Stewart