Here’s How Tiny House Dwellers Have Friends Over (with Less Space Than You)

published Oct 20, 2018
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

When you live in small space, inviting people over can be tricky—simply for the lack of real estate. There’s limited place to prep crudités and even less space for everyone to sit. But if you want to throw a party in a less than lush apartment, a quaint country bungalow, or a trendy container home, there are some space-saving tricks that can make hosting less of a challenge and actually, well, fun.

And who better than to know of these small space entertaining tips than tiny home dwellers? If they can do it, you definitely can too. Here, five tiny house dwellers (and me!) share our tips for hosting an incredible party—even in the smallest of spaces.

Utilize vertical storage

Instead of taking up valuable real estate on your table for things like silverware or plates, store those in a hanging metal bin near the spread of food. This adds a bit of decorative value, draws the guests’ eye upward, and creates more room on the table itself.

Stack your spread

Again, vertical space is your friend. “Don’t just lay out a spread [to display/serve food]” says Andrew Odom, of Tiny House R(e)volution. “Use pedestals to raise some [of your] dishes up so you have cascading food options.”

Layering your buffet not only adds eye-pleasing dimension to your table, it also provides extra space to both serve and eat.

Simplify your servings

“Make sure everything is easy to hold and only needs one piece of flatware for eating, such as a bowl of chili with all the toppings only needs a spoon,” says tiny home dweller Sherry Wall. That means stay away from food that’s bigger than a bite or items that need both a fork and knife to eat. For dessert, she recommends individual servings of things like cobblers or other desserts in small mason jars or cups.

Specialize your seating

Think outside the box on this one and opt for non-traditional seating such as placing seat cushions on steps or large pillows on the floor. You might even want to consider adding bench seating in your windows. Remember that your guests know you live in a small home so making it cozy and fun should be your goal—they’ll be happy just to have been invited to experience your cool space!

Head outdoors

This might sound like a cop out, but if you’re feeling really cramped in your space, you can go outside. Even if you live in a large city, you can make great use of community spaces like local parks, community gardens, and even playgrounds. “We always make use of outdoor space,” says Laura Lavoie, author of “Life in 120 Square Feet.” “We host a barbecue or camping weekend so our time is spent outdoors.”

Be creative and retooling your party to fit what outdoor space you have access to. “Have a fall picnic, tailgating party, or desserts on the lawn or balcony,” says Brenda Mason, tiny house dweller who blogs at “Smaller Living, Huge Life. “Where you entertain in the end isn’t what should be important—it all really comes down to spending time together!