Entertaining in Small Spaces Entertaining in Small Spaces
Many people love entertaining and hosting parties for holidays and other special occasions, but not everyone has an adequate amount of space in which to seat a large number of guests comfortably. Those with smaller homes sometimes avoid entertaining or hosting holiday get-togethers and parties because they feel they lack the room necessary to invite everyone on their list.
If you have a smaller home and lack adequate seating and table space, don’t despair. It’s easy to transform any size home into a place where guests can comfortably dine and mingle. You can successfully host the party or holiday get-together you’ve always wanted, no matter the size of your home.
Lack of seating around the dining room table is one of the biggest problems when entertaining in a small home. A dining room table for 6 isn’t at all adequate when there are 10 on the guest list, and banishing 4 people to another room is unacceptable. If your guest list is larger than your dining room table, you can easily transform your existing table into a larger more accommodating place to eat.
Visit your local home improvement store, and buy a sheet of plywood to enlarge your existing table. The plywood should be ¾ of an inch thick for sturdiness, and large enough to provide adequate seating for guests. Not only will the larger table allow guests to sit together while dining, but it will also provide more room for table decorations and food. Short of spending money for a larger table you might not otherwise need, this is the best solution for providing extra seating.
Begin transforming your table by protecting the surface with an old table covering. Carefully center the plywood on top, and cover the plywood with a festive tablecloth of adequate size. Chances are, no one will notice your real table was transformed with a sheet of plywood, and after the party is over, the plywood can be stored under a bed or propped against a wall in a storage area, until the next celebration.
If you plan on entertaining more guests than can be seated at a revamped dining room table, consider renting sturdy round tables and linens from your local party store. Renting tables and linens is more affordable than most people realize, and it’s an easy solution to the problem of inadequate seating.
Rearrange or remove existing furniture if necessary, and replace it with tables and chairs. Allow guests the freedom to sit where they wish, and they’ll be able to converse while comfortably enjoying a delicious meal.
When space for entertaining is lacking, instead of serving food at the table, consider setting up a buffet. A buffet is a casual way yet resourceful way to serve guests while entertaining in a small space. Not to mention, a buffet leaves more space on the dining table for centerpieces and other table décor.
If you won’t be seating guests at the dining room table, and kitchen counter space is lacking, transform the dining room table into a makeshift buffet for the main course and side dishes. If additional space is needed, the kitchen counter can accommodate drinks and desserts.
Besides saving space, buffet-style entertaining is more enjoyable for the host or hostess since less work is required. Plates and utensils don’t require prearranging on tables. Provide everything guests require at one end of the buffet table, and guests can casually help themselves.
Placing desserts, appetizers, and the main course in different areas will greatly encourage mingling amongst guests. It will also allow those with limited space to provide a buffet-style meal they otherwise might not be able to accommodate.
Encourage guests to mingle before and after the meal by providing snacks and appetizers throughout the home. Provide bowls of mints, nuts, and candies in accessible areas of the home to persuade guests to get up and move around while visiting with friends and family members. This is a great way to provide finger foods while entertaining in a small space. Guests won’t feel compelled to stay seated, and the party will be a little livelier and more enjoyable for all.