Home Decor

5 tricks for small-space entertaining

Hesitant to host a big gathering this year in your small space? We say go for the party — these five tricks have you covered.

1. Make your furniture work double-duty. Take a look around your space, with a little innovation ottomans and poufs can become tables for appetizers, while cushions make for great seating around a coffee table. Also, extendable tables are a great space-saving option. Folded up they allow for mingling during drinks and appetizers, and extended, they fit everyone for dinner.

This table seats up to ten people when extended. STORNAS extendable table, $449, Ikea.

2. Get creative with surfaces. We know, unoccupied surface space is hard to come by in small spaces. Where are you going to place those appetizers, drinks and cocktail napkins? It’s all about being a little creative. Place a tray, loaded with all your party essentials, on top of a credenza to create a mock bar cart. Learn how to stock your bar with seven essential bottles here.

Alternative bar cart. Photo, Design Sponge

We love this alternative to a bar cart, found on Design Sponge. (Photo, Emily and Andrew de Stefano.)

3. Designate a room for clutter. Too much stuff crammed in one room will make your small space feel jam-packed once people start to arrive. Free up as much space as possible by moving anything that takes up real estate — magazines, books and kids’ toys — to another room for the duration of the party. Yes, keep the door to that room shut the whole party.

(Photo, Jean Longpre.)

Keep things minimal in your entertaining space to ensure your guests don’t feel cramped. (Photo, Jean Longpre.)

4. Turn down your home’s temperature. Once guests start to arrive, your home is going to get warm — fast. Lower your heat at least an hour before your party begins. You may even want to crack open a window.

Cocktail party Photo, Sian Ricahrds

Don’t worry if your home starts off chilly — you will thank yourself for turning down the heat once guest arrive. (Photo, Sian Ricahrds.)

5. Go easy on the decor. Free up table space by keeping things minimal. Instead of a grand centrepiece, dress up the napkins at each placesetting. Tip: Don’t be worried about everything matching. Now’s the time to embrace the mix-and-match tableware look.

Feather place setting Photo, Sian Richards

Dress up each place setting at the table to add some festive cheer. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

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