Small Space Entertaining
Top 10 tips for entertaining in a small space
Just because you live in a shoe-box-size apartment doesn’t mean you can’t be a hostess with the mostess. Sure, you might not be hosting a cocktail party for 80, but an intimate dinner party or small soirée are certainly not out of the question if you’re savvy about using the space you have. Here, 10 tips for big-time entertaining in a small-scale room.
1. Clear thinking
“Keep your living/dining space as clutter-free as possible,” advises Anoushka Allum of Smart Space Interiors. That means packing away all non-essential items – use your bedroom as extra storage if your options are limited.
The same applies to the kitchen, particularly if you are serving a buffet-style meal on your kitchen bench. Clear workspaces, and, once you’ve finished all your prep work in the kitchen, fill your sink with ice to create a space-saving drinks cooler.
3. Night shift
Moving your main pieces of furniture against the wall will enhance a feeling of space. Or consider swapping your dining and living rooms around for the night: putting your dining table in the traditionally larger living area will heighten the sense of occasion and give you more room to play with.
4. Tricks of the light
Lighting is key. “String fairy lights around the perimeter of the room to add atmosphere and intimacy,” says Karen Akers of Designed by Karen Akers. “And use tealights: they’re small, don’t take up much space but can add a lot to a room’s ambience.”
5. Simplicity itself
Remember that less is more in a small room: “It’s the concept of keeping everything looking visually light,” says Anoushka. Think one dramatic flower in a bud vase rather than a large arrangement as your table centrepiece, and tableware and glassware with clean, solid lines.
6. Sitting pretty
Seating can be a problem in tiny spaces, so think creatively. Long benches seat more people than chairs: place one against a wall and move the table in, adding to your floor space. Ottomans are indispensable. “Multi-purpose furniture is the key,” says Anoushka. “Choose small foot stools or ottomans with storage – perfect for seating.”
7. Double duty
Transform pieces you already have into dinner-party helpers: cover coffee tables and tray tables with pretty fabric and use to store glasses and drink bottles, or to hold platters and serving dishes.
8. The art of the meal
Rather than a sit-down dinner, considering serving tapas-style plates that can be eaten with the hands. That way, guests can stand or sit on the couch. Floor cushions are your friends, too. “They can be stacked on top of each other when not in use and also add personality and a point of difference,” says Karen.
9. The art of distraction
If you’ve got really lovely things, use them. If your dinner guests are busy admiring your sparkling Christofle silverware and divine Riedel glasses, they’ll be less likely to be thinking, “Gee, this apartment is tiny.”
10. Let the good times roll
Most important of all: remember that the people you invite into your home are your friends – they just want the pleasure of your company, to enjoy a little good food and have fun, regardless of the dimensions of your dining room.