A Host’s Guide to Social Gatherings in a Small Space
By Brentnie Daggett
Living in a smaller home, or an apartment or condo, may make hosting a party or event seem overwhelming. A small space definitely presents some challenges, but a little creativity and planning will go a long way to create an atmosphere that is both inviting to your guests and manageable for your space.
If you want to welcome guests into your home, don't let a small space deter you from celebrating the way you want. Whether you're envisioning a dinner party or a movie night, here are some tips to make your social gathering a success–no matter the square footage of your home:
Handle the Logistics Beforehand
Having many people squeeze into close quarters is stressful enough, so do your best to think of and plan out all of the logistics for hosting before your guests arrive. A well-planned gathering requires more than just great food and decor. Consider things like parking—do you have enough parking available to offer your guests, or should you encourage them to take public transportation? Can you arrange carpooling for those on the guest list who live near each other?
If you live in an apartment or condo building, think about how all of your guests will get into the building. Can you buzz them in as they arrive, or will someone have to let each person through the doors?
Also, think about the smaller details inside the party—where will guests leave coats and shoes that won't take up space in your living area? Is your trash can large enough for your guests to dispose of cups, napkins and other items?
Get Creative With Furniture
The way you've arranged your furniture and decor for day-to-day living may not be the ideal setup for hosting guests. Don't be afraid to move things around to set the right atmosphere for a great party—you can always move things back the next day.
Remember, guests will move around to mingle and get drinks and snacks. If you're lacking in furniture—specifically seating—you can always improvise. Your furniture and decor could prove to be more multipurpose than you think.
Don't Overextend Yourself
At the end of the day, the size of your home may limit the type of party you're able to host, but that's okay! Be realistic about what you can offer to your guests. Maybe you don't have space to host a formal dinner for 12, but instead you could have everyone over for popcorn and a movie.
If your heart is set on serving dinner, but you don't have the kitchen (or oven) space to cook for a crowd, consider ordering takeout or making the party potluck-style. The main goal is for you and your guests to relax and enjoy the occasion.
Make It a Pre-Party
If the thought of squeezing friends and family into your home for a whole evening stresses you out, consider hosting only part of the evening at home. Guests can meet at your place for hors d'oeuvres and drinks, and then take the party elsewhere for the main event. Alternatively, you can invite everyone back to your place after the restaurant for desserts and after-dinner drinks.
Regardless of the type of party you decide to throw, don't let a small space deter you from hosting guests and showing off the place you call home. With good friends, great food and proper planning, you can make any space functional and welcoming for your guests.