Whether you’re living in a tiny apartment or a somewhat cramped cottage, it’s tough not to get a bit frazzled when the time comes for entertaining. Even if you’re perfectly content with the size of your space every other day, less square footage can make it tricky to accommodate all the friends and family that you would like to invite. But not having two guest bedrooms, a spacious living room, and a kitchen that rivals the size of that on Top Chef does not mean you should pack up your invitations and settle for solitude!
→ One thing to consider is how many guests you’ll usually have, and who those guests are. Are they parents that will be bringing along small children? Are they single friends who will be over for a cocktail or card game? Choose furniture and a furniture setup that fits you and those you live with every day as well as the activities you pursue with others regularly. If your home often has young guests, it might make more sense to invest in furniture that can be easily cleaned. If card games or board games are a popular pastime, a card table might make more sense for your space than a large dining table. Make your furniture fit you, your home, your style, and your lifestyle – gone are the days when anything was a must-have. Plus, many card tables fold up and out of the way easily when not in use, which frees up some space for impromptu dance parties or yoga sessions!
→ Give guests freedom to feed and water themselves. Many of us take it for granted that those close to us know they have free reign over the kitchen and its contents, when in fact many wouldn’t dare grab a glass of anything without asking. Make it clear from your guests’ arrival that if the chip dip runs low or the punch bowl runs dry, you wouldn’t only be OK with them grabbing some snacks and beverages on their own until you can arrange refills, but you’d prefer it to them sitting there thirsty! An open, familiar environment instantly feels more cozy than constricted, and suddenly those space limitations become a benefit.
→ Add creature comforts to your space that are in line with the kind of gathering you’ll be having. Inviting a few friends over for a movie? Add some floor pillows and blankets near the TV so your friends can get comfortable even if there’s not room for everyone on the sofa. Will it be a mixed group of friends from work, friends from college, friends since childhood, and so on? Folding chairs make it easy for people to begin the night talking in a circle with those they already know and are comfortable with, and as the party goes on and conversations open up a bit, so can the seating situation! Just don’t blame us when your best friend since middle school starts chatting up your boss about your lifelong dream to run away with the circus. That’s all you!