10 Tips To Help You Make The Most Of The Space You Have

The thought of entertaining in a small space may seem daunting, but if you love hosting, there’s no reason to let limited square footage prevent you from enjoying a good time with family and friends.

Use these 10 tips to help you be the ultimate host, even in a tiny space.

Plan Ahead — A necessary step in party planning is doing it ahead of time. It’s especially important when organizing a gathering in a small space. Look around. Do you have enough seating, servingware and dishes to accommodate your guests? If not, ask a few friends if you can borrow some extra chairs and/or tables, and place settings if needed. (Or opt for paper and plastic.)

Get Your Space Ready — Are you planning to have everyone sit down for dinner around one table? When working with a small space, find the center of the largest room and place your table there. This may require some shifting of your current furniture arrangement. Push sofas and other seating up against walls or windows to make room for the dinner table and chairs. The furniture arrangement doesn’t have to look pretty, it needs to comfortably accommodate your guests and allow a smooth flow of traffic as much as possible. Remove clutter and anything else you don’t need for the party (books, blankets, etc.) and stash it all away in a closet.

Use Every Inch of Counter Space — While you’re removing clutter from other areas, stash away unnecessary appliances and counter clutter in your kitchen to make space for a buffet of drinks and appetizers, or a dinner buffet line. You may also want to consider spreading out food and drinks throughout your home so guests won’t congregate in one area.

Make a Seating Chart — If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner, take a look at your guest list and create a seating chart for the dinner table that will allow guests to be seated most comfortably. This means giving larger guests a spot at the ends of the table, and seating smaller guests next to each other. If you have friends on your guest list who will complain about the tight fit, it may be best to hold their invitation and invite them to a smaller gathering. Only invite guests who will have fun and enjoy themselves regardless of the space limitations.

Keep it Casual — A less formal, relaxed environment may be better suited for your tiny space. Rather than a sit-down, four-course meal, opt for buffet-style appetizers and finger foods. Offer guests smaller plates so they can eat while standing or perched on the arm of your sofa. Rather than a full bar with made-to-order drinks, stick to beer, wine and one signature cocktail. (Do be sure to include a non-alcoholic drink option, for guests who won’t be drinking.)

Designate a Place for Coats and Bags — Rather than having guests dump coats and bags wherever they can find an empty spot, designate a location for guests to leave their items when they arrive. If you don’t already own one, invest in a coat rack or wall rack with hooks for guests to hang coats and bags.

Decorate — Create a focal point with your dinner table and set out beautiful table decorations to detract attention from the small space, or the armchair shoved awkwardly against the closet door. If decorating isn’t your forte, choose a theme and search Pinterest for ideas. While decorating is important, keep it simple so as not to overwhelm your small space. Other than a simple tablescape, keep all other decorations off surfaces and use vertical space instead. Hanging décor such as lanterns, twinkle lights and banners can create just as much visual interest without occupying valuable space in your home.

Create Ambience — Mood lighting and a little crowd-pleasing music are a must at any party. Rather than overhead lights, use candles and lamps to create soft, inviting light throughout your space. Think pillar candles and votives. Rope lights on the floor or hung from the ceiling will also create a nice warm glow.

Cool It Down — The more bodies you have in a small space, the warmer it will be. A couple of hours before guests arrive, turn your thermostat down or open some windows to get the air flowing before it gets hot and stuffy inside. After dinner, consider taking guests outside for a short walk or some conversation in the courtyard while catching some fresh air.

Clean As You Go — As much as possible, have all food prepped and ready to go before guests arrive. Go ahead and wash any pots, pans or dishes used to prepare your feast so your sink and dishwasher are empty and ready to welcome the next round of dirty dishes. Opting for paper and plastic isn’t always the fanciest choice, but it can make a big difference in cutting down the piles of dirty dishes, and in a small space, that is a big deal!

Entertaining guests in a small space may take a little extra creativity, but the size of your living quarters doesn’t have to determine the amount of fun you can have while hosting guests.

Do you enjoy hosting so much that it’s time to upsize to a bigger home or one with a larger outdoor living space? Contact PrimeLending to speak with a friendly lending professional today.

from the PrimeLending blog by Mandy Jordan