The Goods

Embrace the all-things-retro trend with these steps to the perfect holiday party

The food, the photos, the bar – designer Sarah Keenleyside shows us how to set up a soiree

The food, the photos, the bar – designer Sarah Keenleyside shows us how to set up a soiree

Vintage trends have made a serious comeback, and show no sign of going anywhere. Luckily, this love for mid-century modern and all-things retro lends itself very well to a 60s-style holiday party. Taking cues from the decade's rich colors, luxe velvets and love of all things metallic, designer Sarah Keenleyside shared her trendy tips for how to throw a themed soiree.

Here's how to do it in just four simple stations.

The bar set up

In the 60s, a fully stocked bar was a focal point of a party – full furniture pieces were created for booze and booze alone. Today, a bar cart makes for a great moveable party zone with all the trimmings. If you don't have one, just choose a dedicated area, ideally away from seating

Deck out your bar cart with super pretty vintage-inspired glassware. It's the perfect place to opt for graphic patterns and metallics. This decade was the age of the cocktail, and luckily craft cocktails are all the rage again. Provide all the fixings for classic cocktails (and mocktails!) and brush up on a few recipes to provide your guests with elevated drink offerings.

The food set up

Bring the lounge vibe home by putting lots of finger food out on display. Serve up apps with lots of tiered trays and platters that make your food look more opulent because of the varying heights. You can even print out vintage holiday cards outlining each item to add a real festive. Bright colour pops and graphic tableware are sure to make a statement as well.

The sweets setup

Move your sweets away from the savoury food. This simple tip is is all about keeping the traffic moving at the party for optimal mingling.

Don't be afraid to use unexpected serving dishes such as a planter or a salad bowl for presenting your desserts. No one will be the wiser if it is full of sweet and fun treats, plus it'll keep your party looking picture-perfect.

Photo-op set up

The 60s was a decade of high style. To commemorate your night of vintage fun, set up a place for photo ops.

Sarah suggests creating a fun vintage vignette for your guests to document their swinging style. If you pay a bit of extra attention to a certain area of your space, you can curate a perfect time warp photo op that your guests can have fun with. It's a great ice breaker and a fun party memento. If you have an instant camera, this is what they were made for!

Resource guide:

Drop It Modern 


  • Bookcase 
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Bar cart
  • Stool



Canadian Tire 

Tonic Living 

Qanuk Interiors  

  • Coffee table
  • Mirror