Entertaining in Small Spaces

September 16, 2011 | By | Comments (1)

I recently moved into a cozy apartment here in New York, and my four roommates (yes, four!) and I feel that our apartment is finally ready to show off to our friends.

The five of us know each other through a long string of “friends of friends” that no one can quite figure out, which means our guest list includes a host of different groups. While we all certainly have a “more the merrier” attitude, it’s become clear that we have one small (er, large?) problem: While we do have a spacious loft, we simply might not have quite enough square footage to accommodate the crowd we are expecting.

Entertaining in Small Spaces

Hopefully the party will self-regulate and our guests will stop by in waves throughout the night, but we did take a few steps to make the most of the tight space:

1. Clean up. It sounds obvious because you’d undoubtedly like your guests to see your new home at its best, but don’t forget to stash fragile objects. In fact, if there’s something you would rather your guests not touch, drink, or eat, take a few minutes to put it out of eyesight.

2. Move things around. We spent a long time arranging our living space and getting it “just right,” and we would have loved to show off the apartment in its most pristine state. After some discussion we realized adequate space for socializing would make our guests happier than the perfect arrangement of furniture. We made sure to move our coffee table and ottoman out of the center of the room to create more unobstructed space, and we’ve created a mini bar on top of the same coffee table.

3. Spread out food and drinks. We put one drink tub and one food station in both the living room and the kitchen. With access to both food and drink in each room, our guests won’t jam into one area of the apartment.

4. Adjust the thermostat. It might not do much to keep your energy bill low, but things heat up quickly when a lot of people congregate in a small space. On the day of the party, lower the air conditioner a few hours before guests arrive. If you’re lucky enough to have big windows on a cool day, open up a few windows to let fresh air circulate.

5. Create a space for coats. September isn’t normally a cold month, but the temperature sure has dropped here in NYC. We’ve agreed to keep our friend’s jackets and bags in our bedrooms for easy storage.

Have you ever hosted a large party in a small space? What are your best tips for pulling it off without a hitch?