- What type of party is it? A dinner party may only mean rounding up a few chairs from other rooms or extending a table while charades requires figuring out some place that will represent the stage. Move the furniture around: a dining room table can be pushed up against a wall; couches can be pulled away from the coffee table; dining chairs can couple up with small tables to create a space for conversation. You may find, when the party's over, that you've discovered a new furniture arrangement for your home.
- What type of food are you serving? Knife and fork food requires that people have some place to put their plates; for a cocktail party you might want to consider having two drink stations so that people all don't all hover in the same area. Same goes for food; divide it up and place it around your home so that your guests will move around.
- How many people are you having? A few people over for dessert can sit around the living room while a larger party needs a variety of spaces: small intimate places for quiet conversation, places for people to stand around and chat, a place for friends who smoke, a place for a big pile of coats and handbags.
More about a panini party potluck over at The Kitchn.