Tips for Entertaining in Small Spaces
I love to entertain, but as a young professional without the comforts of a large home or condo, I’ve had to make some adjustments here and there to ensure my guests are comfortable in my apartment. Queue the tips for entertaining in small spaces!
’tis the season of New Year’s Resolutions. This year, like many, I want to put my health first. For me, that includes both physical and emotional health in 2017. Surrounding myself with friends and family, catching up over a glass of wine (or several) is truly one of my favorite ways to achieve emotional well-being. Of course, it can be difficult to keep up with my physical health when huge cheese plates and delicious dips are involved with those little get-togethers.
To keep it as healthy as possible, I’ve resolved to entertain at home more this year. While it can prove to be challenging to gather friends in a smaller space like my apartment, it gives me the control to provide healthier appetizers and ensures quality conversation without distractions or interruptions. Since I moved into my place in October, I have hosted girls’ nights, Christmas parties, and award-show viewings, so I’ve made it a point to gather my best tips for entertaining in small spaces.
- Keep it simple. This is my number one entertaining tip! If you make it too hard on yourself – juggling difficult recipes, rearranging your home, etc. – you’ll be reluctant to host again. When the wine is flowing, and the music is playing, no one will notice that you aren’t pulling dish after dish out of the oven.
- Provide healthy options. Especially in the New Year, it’s nice to consider different dietary restrictions and preferences by providing a few different snacks for your guests to enjoy during your party. Most recently, I served a lemon-dill yogurt dip, hummus and veggies, and a delicious (and easy) popcorn recipe.
- Set the mood. You may not have a large room in which to entertain, but by lighting a candle or two, playing soft music in the background, and giving your couch pillows an extra fluff, your little apartment space quickly feels more intimate and inviting than a huge living room.
- De-clutter. When you have a small space, it’s sometimes easy to accumulate a lot of things you don’t need, or procrastinate on filtering the pile of mail you have lying around. Before your party, make sure to get rid of things or stash them under the bed or in a closet to make more space for your guests.
- Use what you have! It’s always good to be resourceful with the trinkets and items you already have vs going out and buying more things that you’ll only use once (see de-clutter above). When entertaining in small spaces, I like to use coasters, books and various bowls I have either for food or creating ambiance to set the mood and stimulate conversation.
- Stock up on wine varietals. My friends and I all happen to have different wine preferences. Personally, I love a Pinot Noir with just a little bit of spice like La Crema’s Monterey Pinot Noir, while my close friend prefers the richness of the Monterey Chardonnay. Of course, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is always a crowd-favorite and constantly stocked on my bar cart.
- Be prepared (but go with the flow!) Whenever I entertain, I like to have a fun game in the back of my mind. When gathering friends who haven’t met before, a game like Apples to Apples or Fishbowl helps the crowd get chatting and getting to know each other quickly. Of course, when my four best friends come over for a glass of wine, I know the conversation will easily (and undoubtedly) flow late into the night with no entertainment necessary. Know your audience!
Oh, and that easy popcorn recipe? Find it over on my blog!