Design Dilemma: Entertaining in a Tiny Space | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Entertaining in a Tiny Space

transitional kitchen how to tips advice

As we move into the holiday season, those of us who live in small apartments and condos begin the annual fretting exercise — where do we put all our guests? If you live in a studio apartment, or even an apartment slightly larger like the one above (that measures about 1000 square feet)  this can indeed present a grand dilemma. Many of us forgo dinner parties altogether because we don’t have a dining room. Or we severely limit our guest list. Or we give up on throwing larger parties for fear of not having enough space to seat people. And dance parties? Well, just forget about it.

But alas, living in a small space need not require that you become a hermit. When it comes to entertaining, you just have to be smart about it.

1.) Rearrange the furniture.

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Entertaining in a small space requires that you get creative. If you want to throw a dinner party without a dining room, why not commandeer a hallway, using a console table as your dining table? (I’ve done it before, with great success.) Or, move a cafe height table to your couch and create a dining space there? Move chairs around (as above) to create conversation areas, haul out folding tables, feel free to completely reimagine your home for an evening.

Below, a cafe-height table has been moved to the couch to provide a dining space in a home that otherwise has none.

contemporary dining room how to tips advice

2). Press furniture into double duty. Storage benches can become extra seating. Side tables can become cocktail stations, an empty sink can hold ice and cold drinks. Empty a bookshelf to allow for plates and utensils. Turn a four person dining table into a 10 person dining table by adding a sheet of plywood on top. Invest in furniture that is multi-functional, such as the coffee table, below, that can raise up and spread out to become a dining table. Pretty handy!

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3. Invest in a kitchen island. Islands make marvelous buffet tables and cocktail stations, with the added benefit that they are quite useful for everyday kitchen prep too. If you don’t have one, consider in investing one. The island in this modest kitchen, below, is just large enough to accommodate bowls of chip and dip! And if you don’t have an island and you don’t want one, consider pulling out a console table used somewhere else in your home to become a kitchen island/buffet station for the night.

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4. Make things cozy and atmospheric with mood lighting.
When your place is small, it means things can get tight. If you’re hoping for a cozy feeling instead of a claustrophobic feeling, lighting is incredibly important. Ditch all bright overhead lights and opt for candles, table lamps and floor lamps that are strategically placed in corners to provide a dramatic, sexy feel and to help everyone look beautiful. You’ll be amazed at how lighting can transform your tiny apartment into a cozy club.

Other tips:

  • Drape a tablecloth over your washer and dryer to create a buffet station.
  • Move unnecessary furniture out of your entertaining space and into your bedroom for the evening.
  • Move furniture against a wall to allow for circulation.
  • Use mirrors to give the illusion of a larger, brighter space.
  • Put pillows on the floor and encourage guests to spread out Moroccan style.
  • Offer small plates, so people can stand up and eat.
  • Limit drinks to beer and wine instead of a full cocktail table.
  • Hang all decorations so that tables and surfaces can be dedicated to holding plates and food.
  • Spread out food and drinks so that guests won’t congregate in one spot.

And most of all, remember that it’s the spirit and the company that make the party. So let loose, enjoy yourself and don’t fret about the size of your home!

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