What’s Your Host Style?

Are you a do-it-yourselfer that’s focused on food? Or do you prefer to roll out the red carpet (and matching plates and accessories!) and leave the kitchen to the cooks?

“Ultimately all parties are really about the people: the people hosting and the people who are invited,” says Kimberly Pearson of Redesign Home Interiors. “You can tell a lot about a person from the way they entertain.”

So what does your hosting style say about you? Take our short quiz to find out.

Which activity would you enjoy most?
a) Attending a cooking class at Sur la Table: Learning to prepare coconut shrimp with plum sauce and eating it after? Sign me up!
b) Going on a Phoenix Historic Homes tour: I love to see all the holiday lights, get a taste of other people’s style, and steal some ideas for decorating!
c) Anything active! Whether it’s going camping or cheering at a sporting event, I’ll choose a fun activity over the remote control any day.
d) Is this on the calendar? I’ve got a million things scheduled, and anything last-minute stresses me out!

What are your favorite items to decorate with?
a) A cookie press. Oh, did you mean home décor?
b) Candles, vases, sculpture, flowers, homemade centerpieces, items from nature, holiday decorations… anything beautiful, really. I change it up all the time!
c) Photos of family and vacations, holiday items, stuff the kids make… you know, the usual.
d) Key designer pieces and coordinating accessories.


Your mother-in-law has given you another skillet for your birthday. You:
a) Are thrilled since you burnt the last one cooking omelets at your breakfast buffet.
b) Have a new excuse to pull out those beautiful serving trays… maybe some fresh flowers, too. Roses or daisies?
c) Have a total of five skillets now… your mind drifts to happier thoughts. I wonder how many will be over tonight for the cookout and poker playoffs?
d) Wish you could have some friends over for dinner, but it's been a crazy week and the house is a wreck. Maybe next week.

Which movie are you most likely to re-watch?
a) Chocolat; so sensuous and irresistible – and the movie isn’t bad either!
b) Pride and Prejudice; the costumes! The sets! The scenery! Need I say more?
c) Miracle; go hockey! Go America!
d) Re-watch a movie? Who has the time?

You've just located an old recipe for an amazing sheet cake, you:
a) Can't wait to get in the kitchen and try it for yourself. This calls for a trip to the gourmet market and a quick e-mail to the girls for a chocolate ‘girls’ night out’ at your place.
b) Immediately envision a tablescape that will work beautifully with this cake, meanwhile checking your stash of dessert plates, forks, tablecloths, and your favorite serving ware.
c) Love the idea of baking something new, but the game starts at 6:30 p.m. Maybe you'll just stop and pick up something sweet at the bakery.
d) Wonder what the recipe is doing out of your recipe folder, and neatly file it away.


You’ve just won the lottery! The ___________ at your celebratory party is sure to take everyone’s breath away.
a) Truffled lobster risotto
b) Ice sculpture draped with Swavorski crystals
c) Fire dancer
d) Immense amount of planning involved

“Of course, no one will fit entirely into any one style,” Pearson says. “For each one of these categories there are thousands of unique interpretations and scenarios for the way you entertain.” So go ahead; see how you scored!


If you answered mostly:
(a) You are a Foodie
For you, entertaining is the menu. Whether it’s an intimate birthday dinner for four or a spectacular anniversary buffet with a decadent dessert bar, what you and your guests will be eating takes center stage. You may do your own cooking or you might try the newest, trendiest caterer – or a combination of both. You tend to spend the majority of your party budget on food and beverages, and wouldn’t dream of having company without crudités – at the least! You’re an epicurean, through and through, and believe that delicious food pairs well with any celebration.

(b) You are a Designer
From a beautifully set table to the perfect props for a theme party, you are all about presentation. It's not that food and fun activities aren't important – they’re just not your focus. From the moment you mark you event calendar, visions of party décor dance in your head. You tend to have a large collection of seasonal and holiday accessories squirreled away, and you enjoy rearranging your surroundings. You gravitate toward flowers, candles, decorative plates and napkins, and beautiful objects of all kinds. For you, pretty sights and smells transform a party into an event.

(c) You are a Participant
You don’t believe in spectator sports; if you’re this third type of host, you love a fun activity. It might be a sporting event, a good movie, dancing lessons, a fun game, or just swimming with the kids. Your entertaining style is laid back, and you don’t fuss about the details. You might set out chips, popcorn, and pretzels, or order a takeout pizza so you can enjoy a game with your guests. You don’t want to be worried about serving or cleaning up food; your get-togethers are centered on doing something.

(d) You are a Perfectionist
The devil is in the details, so the old saying goes, and don’t you know it! From extra guest bathroom toiletries to perfectly executed hors d’oeuvres, you want every last particular to be flawless. All those expectations can be stressful; instead of focusing on hosting the perfect party, try to relax and settle for having a perfectly wonderful time. Your guests won’t notice if the baseboards need dusting or your window treatments could use an update. If you wait for perfection to arrive, your party might never begin.