This weekend I found myself alone in my apartment and expecting company. Nothing extravagant, but I had invited people over to my new small place and had all kinds of to-do's and jitters going on in anticipation of their arrival.
First off, I had many fears:
- Is my space too small to actually entertain?
- Will people feel awkward not having a place to sit or having to sit close?
- Will we fit?
But I pushed onwards and did a couple of things that helped open up room for people to mingle and for me to feel comfortable with entertaining:
• Simplify. I took the dining table/desk out of the living room and put it in the kitchen where it could work as a little buffet area. This opened up room in the living room for people to sit, or walk in the door without running into a table.
• Finish Projects. Because I knew people were coming over I finally hung the bubble lamp in the living room and the plant poster instead of having both leaned up against the wall. I also finally centered my bed on the wall.
• Empty. I have plenty of vignettes around the house but with people coming over and probably having plates in their laps, I decided to empty as many flat surfaces as I could. So I moved the giant succulent planting I normally have on the credenza and made it a little bar area. I also cleaned out all of my personal items from the bathroom open shelving so that all that was left were some pretty boxes and plants. No lotions or makeup. I moved the cat box into my bedroom (it normally lives in the hall)
• Let Go. I want to paint my bedroom and would like to have a runner in the hall, etc. I have lists, we all have lists. And I had to let go of the space being perfect. Instead it was just good enough and once I add those new elements I'll have a reason to invite people over again.
• What I Learned. My space isn't half as small as I thought. I could totally invite more people than I did and it would be fine. That I actually like the living room without a dining table and am going to consider a smaller desk placed in the corner instead. That next time I will put dimmer light bulbs in the lamps so that it isn't quite so bright. No one really cares what my space looks like, they're excited to spend time with me and with each other, the important stuff.
Image: Laure Joliet