Tips for Entertaining in a Small Space

Tips for Entertaining in a Small Space

Laure Joliet
Apr 28, 2010

We know a couple of people that feel shy about opening up their intimate studios to a party or even more than a handful of people, but having a small space doesn't mean that you have to abstain from entertaining, you just have to be smarter (and more organized) about it.

No Dining Table, no problem, all you need are floor pillows, a kitchen counter and a coffee table.
Rearrange. Don't be afraid to rearrange just for the occasion bringing in a piece of plywood to improvise a large table and ask guests to bring their own chairs or just pull up the table to your sofa and call it a day.
No Coat Closet. Know where to put the coats when there's no closet
Buffet it out. Don't worry about seating everyone, just set up a chic buffet and let people sit or stand wherever they may. This is great for people actually mixing and mingling, since they can't just sit next to someone they know at a table.
Small Dining Tables. Go dropleaf for a dining table to save space the rest of the time but still be able to entertain when you want to.
Keep it Spontaneous. Don't stress over any elaborate plans for entertaining, just keep it small and spontaneous.
Cozy up. Keep things intimate by gathering around the coffee table.
Alternate Seating. Try poufs, stools, stacked blankets and pillows for extra seating around the coffee table.
The Great Outdoors. Take it outside by taking advantage of the nice weather and set yourself up on a porch, a rooftop, a walkway or a back stoop.
Maximize counter space by going vertical with cake stands and other tiered platters in order to maximize your buffet space.
Just Cocktails. If your space is just too small for a dinner party, consider stocking your bar and inviting everyone over for drinks and some appetizers and then move on to a restaurant from there. You can also invite people for dessert and a nightcap (pssst: it's dessert week over on the kitchn, get inspired!)

And don't worry, even if it all goes horribly awry, you'll be in good company.

(Images: Flickr member skampy licensed under Creative Commons, le souk, kvanhorn, Shanni's Space For Entertaining, Beth Ziegler, In-Style Home Spring 2007 issue, Jordan Ferney, Rebecca Orlav)

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