small-space dinner party hacks (even you can host!)
some of the best dinner parties are the small ones.
Published Sep 20, 2016 6:00 AM
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embrace the unconventional
Hosting a dinner party in a studio can have its fair share of challenges. Put finding enough seats for all guests at the top of the list. When lacking chairs, set the dining table near the bed or sofa (if the seat height will allow) to provide additional space for guests to sit. Free your space of the extraneous items or furnishings, in efforts to open up the floor space as much as possible.
take to the floors
When you’re tight on seating choices, opt for a comfortable setup right on the floor! Pair a coffee table with an array of floor cushions and pillows, and invite guests to a more (literally) down-to-earth dining situation. Perfect for a Sunday morning brunch!
make what you can, ahead of time
Greet guests with trays of their favorite cocktails or bite-sized eats. Set up a make-your-own cocktail bar to help keep guests occupied while you complete the final, finishing touches.
Designate serving trays for plates and flatware, appetizers, side dishes, and cocktails, to keep things organized and easily accessible for all. This way, you can move them around as needed, with little fuss.
add counter space where possible
Place a butcher’s block over the sink to extend the counter, allowing for additional room for displaying food, drinks, or dinnerware. Alternatively, you may place a cart directly aside the kitchen counters, for additional storage space. Avoid cluttering the table by setting up a buffet-style setup for the food.
establish the bar basics
Clear out space in a bookshelf to designate a spot for an entertaining or bar tray, to avoid cluttering the table with bottles. Granted you have the available square footage, opt for a rolling bar cart that can be easily moved around the space as needed.
think less is more
Don’t feel obligated to make up for a lack of space with an extravagant approach to the decor. Think less is more, and opt for a minimalist approach to the table setting. Remember, it’s the people (and the food!) that matter at the end of the evening.
split it up
If the spot you have earmarked for a dining table is too small to fit everyone comfortably, opt for a cluster or three of small tables instead. Create an intimate grouping of tables, which promote an open flow between the arrangements.
opt for mood lighting
Ditch strong overhead lights in lieu of something more low-key and intimate. Bring in string lights, or instead, light a handful of table lamps, and scatter them throughout the space. A lack of vibrant lighting will distract the eye from the otherwise tight confines of the home.
mix and match seating
Don’t stress over an non-cohesive seating arrangement. It’s completely acceptable to mix and match all available forms of seating. Establish a more uniform finish by covering each with a cozy sheepskin or light throw.
Set out name tags at the start of the evening to avoid confusion over where everyone will sit. This is especially beneficial when working with an untraditional seating arrangement.