No Dining Room, No Problem: How To Host a Dinner Party in a Small Space

No Dining Room, No Problem: How To Host a Dinner Party in a Small Space

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Caroline Biggs
Nov 18, 2016

One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is hosting friends and family for feasting. But what happens when you love to entertain but don't actually have a dining room, or even, say, a proper table to sit everyone at? Fret not, folks—a cramped living space is no excuse to cancel your festivities. There are plenty of ways to work around a small apartment and still pull off hosting Thanksgiving dinner like a pro. We put our thinking caps on and came up with some clever ideas for entertaining guests despite your lack of square footage. Read on for six ways to throw a dinner party this holiday without access to a real dining room.

Use your coffee table.

True, not all tables are created equal. But if you've got a sizeable coffee table on your hands, then there's no reason you and your guests can't dine on the floor, Seiza-style! Throw in some pillows (like Holly Becker of Decor8 did above) and you won't have to figure out seating, either.

Invest in floor cushions.

Step up your coffee-turned-dining table scheme by laying out a bunch of plush floor cushions. Not only will everyone be able to sit comfortably on the ground, it'll keep the party vibe casual without taking up a ton of room.

Make a bathtub bar.

Who needs a wet bar at home when you have a bathtub? Just fill up your (clean) tub with ice and whatever bottled drinks you choose and tell guests they can help themselves. You can even set up a pitcher and glasses near the sink and turn the whole bathroom into a beverage station (though if it's your only bathroom, this one might be difficult to swing)!

End table appetizers.

Turns out end tables and accent stands also make excellent appetizer displays. Cover each of your side tables with small plates of finger foods, fruits and napkins and guests can move about your living room freely without congregating.

Find a folding table.

If worse comes to worst, you can always go out and source a folding table (or two) to help set up your dinner spread and seat guests at. Chances are you already know someone who has one to loan and if not, they're normally pretty affordable.

When in doubt, rent.

When all else fails, never forget that the bulk of your dinnerware staples, glasses, chairs, and even bartenders and dishwashers—are usually available to rent from your local party supply store. While it might not be good for your holiday budget, once the night is over, you'll probably be relieved that you did it.

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