You are in 1 of 3 Camps on Game Day.
- You love the game of football, and some of your personal identity is likely tied to your favorite team (For example, you often wear cheese on your head, or you speak the word Manning affectionately and often).
- You love a good party (friends and family), Clydesdale ponies (commercials) and live music (half-time show).
- What is Football?
Let’s get this out of the way. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan but only because I’m a Texan and have fond memories of my Dad cheering for Roger Staubach. In 2020, I couldn’t tell you who plays for Dallas or how they did this season (don’t tell my Dad), so that puts me in the #2 Camp. This is and will always be the most epic half time show ever:
Prince is my ultimate Football Sunday Icon.
Unless you fall into Camp #3, you are likely planning some Game Day celebrations so here are 5 Tips for a Super Sunday (or any day). Side bar here because I mean, it’s not all about the professional athletes. Chances are you’ve got some super star athletes in your home even if they play little league or take hot yoga. There is always a reason for a Game Day celebration, so let’s get to it:
Tip 1: Plan your menu.
Seriously. Food is the most important part of a Super Sunday (unless your team is playing and then I’ll concede that your team winning is the most important part). This is not a 5-course meal day. This is yet another excuse to delay those New Year’s resolutions and load up on comfort food. I love to step outside the norm of hotdogs (please no) or wings. Go find interesting combinations of food and drinks to have ready at different stations through your game day ready home. Here are my 3-favorite recipes for food/drink combos for Football Sunday (or everyday):
Sliders and Bubbly (go ahead and start celebrating)
Take my word for it. Double this creative slider recipe: I know it’s weird, but I like champagne with burgers and what better way to celebrate a touch down than with a recipe that is part champagne part margarita:
Nachos and Margaritas are Synonymous with Game Day:
You’ll need extra napkins for these nachos and these Margaritas are fabulous any day of the year (a smidge seasonal but I’m in Florida and we don’t really know what that means).
The New Traditional Fare:
Something fried and delish, Jalapeño Bottle Caps.
Beer Cocktails(this is almost a must)
Tip 2: Choose your venue.
In other words, is your Game Day celebration in the family room, outside or in a bonus/media room? Let’s talk about this for a minute. If you are worried about spills and messes (it’s going to happen), take the party outside. If not, I suggest a mini party set up in the kitchen (that is after all where the party really takes place) and then my favorite venue is in the family room. It’s likely close to the kitchen so no one is missing out on the kitchen scene or the game. Want to go big? Get that TV from your kids’ room and put it on the kitchen counter. Extreme? Yes, but we are talking about Football Sunday. Prince would do it. Remember your food and drink combos above? Don’t make them exclusive to the kitchen and bring them to the room where the action is happening. Set up those 3 stations through the venue on different tables. I’ll be at the champagne table talking Manning.
Tip 3: Amp up your Seating.
Chances are no one will be sitting but ironically you still need good seating. This doesn’t have to be new seating, but rather creative seating. Move that coffee table, and bring in bean bags, ottomans or cushions. Higher seats are a good idea too. Bring in barstools for perimeter seating. Another thought here, set up more than one area to view the game and “sit”. Maybe the kids have seating outside or in a loft space. Better yet, separate boys and girls. My brother- in- law (I adore him) usually needs a “time out” chair during the game, so my sis is happy to watch the game in the other room. Set up seating outdoors for the boys and let the ladies command the big screen (and yes, the remote too).
Tip 4: Entertain with Game Day Games.
The big game could be a total blow out or maybe those commercials are totally lame this year. Make sure your party is still lively, with some fun games. Here are 2 ideas:
- Not So Super Word Game: Tell your guests to bring a roll of quarters (or dollars if you are inviting high rollers). Let them know on arrival that the word “GO” (or whatever word you choose) is strictly forbidden during the game and anyone who says it, puts a quarter in the game jar. You could of course apply this to those colorful words that sometimes get blurted out during the game (ahem…brother- in- law). At the end of the night, draw names for the winner or donate to a favorite charity, fire department or school.
- Game Day Bingo: There are endless examples for this on Pinterest but here’s my favorite.
Tip 5 (with bonus tips): Design Your Family Room like a Pro
The designer in me needs to share some family room set up tips, but these might require some advanced planning (but there will be a Football Sunday next year too, so no time like the present to start your preparations). Every Family Room needs these 5 options (even if you fall into Camp #3):
- Smart Tubes:
Simple tubes behind the drywall that keep cords and cables out of sight. If you are hanging your TV, these are a must.
- Properly placed TV outlets for hanging TVs:
- 42” TV = 55”- 58” from floor to TV center
- 55” TV = 59”- 61” from floor to TV center
- 65” TV = 63”- 65” from floor to TV center
- 72” TV = 66”- 68” from floor to TV center
- 3-4 Layers of Lighting:
For some reason, Family Rooms are often left without proper lighting or have a few lone can lights or a ceiling fan. Make sure your family room has 3-4 layers of lighting:
- General (or Ambient): Natural/Day light and/or recessed can lights
- Task: Reading Lamps, undercabinet lighting, etc.
- Accent: Sometimes this isn’t necessary but adds dimension or creates a focal point for art or a doorway
- Decorative: Complements the general lighting in the form of a chandelier, pendant or sconce.
Let’s face it. Our homes are not model homes and we have stuff to store in every room. Your family room needs a place for throws, remotes, games, books, and other items we collect as we get together. Mine is home to dog toys, yoga mats and playdoh (usually found outside the container). Make sure you have ample storage unless these are items you want to display. Just a simple cabinet will suffice, so long as there are doors.
- Swivel Chairs:
My Boss has these SUPER awesome swivel chairs in her family room so whoever is sitting in them can literally pivot and watch the game or swing back towards conversation on the sofa or in the kitchen. They provide flexible, accommodating seating that is simply genius. Example shown here:
So, now you are ready. My Cowboys are not playing this year and sadly Prince is no longer here to shower us with Purple Rain but for now, I’m pulling for the fans that are so passionate they wear blocks of cheese on their heads and I’m pretty sure that J Lo in Miami will make Prince proud. GO!