Host a Fabulous Event with this Event Planning Checklist

How thoughtful kitchen prep can be the biggest party pleaser

hands around a quartz countertop sharing a meal and drinks together.

Cambria design shown: Brittanicca Gold Warm™

Hosting a special event or holiday party is so much easier with a bit of advanced planning and a checklist. It’s also the perfect time to evaluate the flow and function of your current kitchen design and determine what you might want to include in any future kitchen upgrades.


Maybe you hate when department stores display holiday-themed décor months in advance. But you’ll stress less if you start thinking through your party plans well in advance of your event. So, go ahead and pick a date, create a guest list, and select your menu. Then use the following kitchen prep checklist to tackle tasks early so you don’t get overwhelmed by having too much to do in a time crunch.


a kitchen with white cabinets, white quartz countertops, ingredients to make cookies, and Christmas decor throughout the room.

Cambria design shown: Torquay™


If you have adequate hidden storage, then get creative with festive décor on open shelving or behind glass cabinet doors in your kitchen. A silver, gold, or monochromatic color scheme can give a modern twist on kitchen décor. Consider the following eye-catchers in your kitchen before your next event:

  • Seasonal greenery on open shelving or as a countertop centerpiece, or tie a holiday-themed ribbon around your kitchen herb pots.
  • Fill some stemware or bowls stored behind glass cabinet doors with colorful holiday baubles or pinecones, or place a bowlful of ornaments on your kitchen island.
  • Swap out wall art for holiday or party-themed framed or canvas artwork.
  • Flameless candles with timers on windowsills and open shelves add a bit of atmosphere.
  • Let your food be decorative with holiday-themed serving pieces, iced cookies, and cupcakes, or the unending possibilities of themed charcuterie.

Checklist for 2–4 WEEKS BEFORE your EVENT:

a warm kitchen with wooden cabinets, white and gray veined quartz countertops, matching quartz backsplash and hood over range, double waterfall-edge island, and large black windows

Cambria design shown: Skara Brae™ Photo by Laruche Photo


Food prep is best done in zones. Determine where all the chopping, mixing, cooking, and assembling will happen in your kitchen. Fruits and veggies on the kitchen island? Meats near the stove? Mixing bowls by the sink?


a wet bar with quartz countertops and backsplash, black cabinets, black shelving with LED under-lighting, a coffee machine, and various alcoholic beverages on the shelves.

Cambria design shown: Skara Brae™ Photo by Laruche Photo


Think through the flow of guests from the moment they enter your home. Once they’ve shed a coat, where will they go next? People tend to gravitate toward the kitchen, especially in open-concept spaces with inviting kitchen islands and counter seating. You can space out your crowd while you cook by setting up drink stations outside of your work zones. If you don’t want everyone in the kitchen at the same time, stock a home bar or bar cart in another room with a pre-mixed signature cocktail, a few bottles of wine, and some NA options for any teetotalers.

Make sure there are plenty of places to set down drinks, along with party-themed beverage napkins to protect your tabletops.

several alcoholic drinks sitting on top of quartz countertops.

Cambria design shown: Inverness Bronze Matte™

Planning to install a built-in bar one day? Cambria quartz surfaces come in stunning designs to complement any décor and they’re food safe and easy to clean so spills don’t become stains.

Now, not only are you ready to party, you’ve also begun the process of planning for those kitchen upgrades you deserve to gift yourself in the new year. For inspiration, checklists, and expert tips, download our complimentary Kitchen & Bath Design Inspiration Planner.


Please call 1-866-CAMBRIA (1-866-226-2742) to confirm design availability.