Décor Tips, Tricks to Make Entertaining Easier in Small Spaces
Posted by ardalae
at February 19th
A tiny apartment or small backyard has kept many would-be hostesses from entertaining family and friends for holiday parties and lively get-togethers. The idea of cramming guests into a small space can be overwhelming at best, but don’t let the fear keep you from making the most of what you have. Use these design tips and tricks to throw a big party in a small space.
Space Saving Furniture
While not everything in your house is going to be party-appropriate, there are a few things you can do to minimize the transformation effort. Instead of decorating your living room with a coffee table, opt for a multi-functional ottoman. Space-saving ottomans can offer extra storage, sitting room or even a folding bed that accommodates overnighters. Every other day it will act as a plush foot stool, but when your guests arrive it can be used for so much more.
In a small space, chances are your table is pretty small as well. To expand a four-person table into an extended 10-seater, use a sheet of plywood covered with a tablecloth. Don’t have any sheets lying around? Unhinge a door and use it instead. This will open up the space and give you more flat surfaces to work with. Folding chairs – especially those that don’t look like folding chairs – are efficient and cute and will easily slide back under the bed when guests say goodbye.
Other useful tips include setting up a drink station on a rolling car or side table and clearing a bookshelf to keep plates, utensils and condiments.
Visually Manipulate the Space
Color and light can affect the perceived size of a room. Use mirrors, paint color and light window treatments such as bamboo blinds to give the illusion of a larger, brighter space. Avoid heavy light fixtures that may make the room appear smaller than it is.
Instead of trying to manipulate the space to look larger, embrace the size and make it even cozier by sectioning off the room into intimate seating areas. Divide the room using decorative screens. This provides dimension and stylishly offsets the space. You could hide the food preparation behind one screen and any household messes behind another.
Moving furniture and using light to manipulate your space are effective ways to prepare for a party, but sometimes doing just that won’t cut it. When planning, don’t just consider changing your space; think about your menu, theme and set up. Instead of a traditional sit-down meal, plan on appetizers, skewered foods and other tasty treats that won’t require utensils. Easy to eat (especially while standing) foods are ideal. Or consider a Moroccan-style dining party where guests sit on the floor surrounded by bright-color pillows and throws.
Lastly, consider your set up. When flat serving surfaces are limited, use tiers to lift food and drinks off the counter. Spread food and drink stations out around the room as a way to help guests mingle. This way the buffet line won’t be so congested and it will free up sitting space if guests continually have to walk around to get seconds.