While it’s wonderful all year round, the holiday season is one of the best times of year to spend with friends and family. The holidays can inspire the party planner in all of us. For some of us, though, we have more friends than we have living space. If you’d like to throw a holiday shindig and not leave off important people from the guest list, here are few tips to help you entertain in a small space.
Whether you live in a mansion or a studio apartment, cleaning your place before you have company may seem like a no-brainer. For those entertaining in smaller spaces, it’s even more important to clean. Your guests may be more up close and personal with each other as well as your living space, so you’ll want to be sure to conduct a thorough cleaning so that everything is presentable. If you have valuable belongings that you want to ensure aren’t broken, you may want to make some space by putting them in a safe temporary spot. When removing those and maybe other decorative items that aren’t seasonal, look to stash them under the bed, in a cabinet with extra space or even in the bathtub. The cleaning will be worth it, and besides, cleaning the smaller space won’t take as long as a mansion!
Being December, most guests will be arriving with coats, so you’ll need to have space for those. If there’s not room in the closet, there’s always the bed where they can be laid out. Even classier than that is a coat rack which can hold the outer layers and not take up much space.
If you’re not hosting a dinner, remember that not everyone will be seated at the same time. Parties are meant for mingling, a lot of which involves moving about the room. If your current set up doesn’t accommodate enough seating for those who will, don’t fret. Folding chairs are easy to rent or borrow. Depending on your relationship with your neighbors, they might have chairs that they can lend you (a piano bench? A vanity stool?). Also, consider being creative. That coffee table may be sturdy enough to serve as a bench for a person or two. And, certainly a few of your friends wouldn’t mind the good old fashioned floor.
Planning the Flow
When sharing your food, consider the placement. Putting on the serving dishes in the same spot might cause a bottleneck. As an alternative, think about scattering your dishes in different areas of your entertainment space. Having a hard time finding spots? Clear off a few books from the shelf and use that nook. Hide away the laptop and use the work desk. Distributing food and drink stations around the small space will help people navigate naturally to different areas of your place and also will encourage more mingling.
Thinking Outside the Box
Your house or apartment may be a bit small for a party, but it may not be the only option. If you live in a warmer climate, consider having pre-dinner cocktails on the front porch or back patio. If you live in an apartment or condominium community, look into reserving common areas like a rooftop deck or an activity room. The key is making sure you’ve met any requirements from your building management and also being conscientious of your neighbors.
Whatever holiday you’re celebrating and wherever you’re celebrating it, we hope that no matter how big or small your space is, you are surrounded by those you love.