Your Guide to Swanky, Stylish, Small-Space Entertaining

published Sep 20, 2017
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(Image credit: Ronda Smith)

A house or apartment isn’t a home until you’ve entertained in it, even when you’re talking about the smallest of homes. But hosting a dinner or even just cocktails in a new space can be stressful enough — teeny tiny parameters aside. During our recent refresh of the OG Apartment Therapy apartment (which, at just 265 sq. ft., is the poster child of teeny tiny) we thought through a few ways for someone hosting in it could boost their confidence. We pass them onto you now, to help you throw your next small-space shindig.

Know Your Limits

Figuring out the number of guests you can comfortably fit your space is a vital first step. It’s also an easy one. For a dinner party it’s straightforward, just count the number of seating options in your entertaining space. (Psst! Poufs and desk chairs totally count, as long as they fit close enough to the main table to feel included.)

For cocktail parties where no food or just light bites are served, you can roughly double that number, assuming some guests will prefer to stand while mingling and not everyone will arrive and leave at the same exact time. If you’re still uncertain, just do the math based on the square footage of your space.

(Image credit: Ronda Smith)

Get Creative with the Bar

A good playlist makes a good party; a good bar makes a great party. And yes, even tiny spaces have enough room for a full one. Keep in mind you can set one up in any available nook, such as a windowsill, and can easily make it portable with a simple tray used as the foundation.

To go a little more permanent, one of the best solutions in an itty-bitty space is a wall-mounted bar cabinet. It keeps everything in one place while freeing up valuable tabletop space for pouring drinks or serving food. This one from CB2 comes with a removable nesting gold tray which can hold accessories or glassware for easy access and portability. If you have the luxury of an extra 19 inches of floor space, you have the room for a retro, swanky bar cart.

(Image credit: Ronda Smith)


Even a tiny space deserves a stylish tablescape. Flowers are the obvious go-to and even a single stem can make a statement in the right vase. But don’t forget that in a small space your table settings will become your decor, so choosing some new tabletop accessories is a quick way to amp up your style for a boost of confidence.

Take inspiration from the rest of the room, whether that’s a brassy mirror that pairs well with equally sassy flatware or down-to-earth dinnerware that helps ground the space. We found tons of options at CB2 since they sell most of their dinnerware and flatware individually rather than in larger sets (this is key), which makes for an easy splurge when you’re just setting the table for 2–3 guests. It also means you can mix and match with reckless abandon.

This post is sponsored by CB2 and was created by Apartment Therapy’s Creative Studio.
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