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How to Entertain in a Small Space Because It Is Possible

Four women laughing while drinking wine
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to entertaining in a small house, there are plenty of creative and practical solutions to make the most of your square footage. Whether you have a studio apartment, tiny dining area, or cozy living room, you can maximize your space and create the perfect party atmosphere for your guests.

Clear Clutter

A man vacuums the floor
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

With limited space, you need to make the most of every square inch and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere for your guests. Before your event, take the time to declutter your space. Remove any items that aren’t essential for your gathering, like bulky decor or extra furniture. This will create more room for people to move around and mingle.

Don’t forget to look outside the floor as well. Clear coffee tables and dining tables of excess clutter, and designate specific areas for items like coasters, remote controls, and serving dishes. Follow the same principle for counter space around your home.

TheWarmHome Storage Basket

Easy ways to keep things organized and out of the way.

Sit Creatively

Floor cushions on the ground and a storage ottoman

One of the biggest challenges when entertaining in a small house is finding enough seating for all your guests. But with a little creativity, you can create seating options that are both functional and fun.

First, think beyond traditional dining chairs. While you should use what furniture you already have, you should also consider using a mix of seating options to maximize your space. Floor cushions, poufs, ottomans, and bean bags can provide comfortable seating without taking up much room.

YILANLAN Flower Floor Cushion

These also make cute decor when they aren't being used on the floor.

You’ll also want to think about utilizing furniture pieces that serve multiple purposes. A bench with built-in storage, for example, can provide seating as well as a place to store extra blankets or pillows.

CUYOCA Storage Bench

This can hold up to 200 pounds.

Think About Coats and Bags

A coat rack and a rope basket with blankets in it
Simple Houseware/INDRESSME

One often-overlooked area when hosting a party in a small area is where to store guests’ coats and bags. Without a designated spot, these items can quickly clutter up your space and make it feel chaotic. To keep a clean and organized environment, you’ll want to designate a place for coats and bags.

There are a few ways you can do this. One way is to get a coat rack to keep near your front door. This takes up minimal floor space and keeps bulky bags and jackets out of your main entertaining area.

Simple Houseware Standing Coat Rack

Keep all coats and bags organized.

You can also use a decorative basket or bin for a similar purpose. This can also be placed near the front door for guests to use as they arrive at your home.

INDRESSME Cotton Rope Basket

Another way to store clothes and bags during a gathering.

Cook Mindfully

A group of friends at a dinner party
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Since you have limited space for a formal dining table or buffet setup, you’ll want to think carefully about what you cook and how you present your food if you plan on offering it.

One option for small space entertaining is to serve a variety of small bites and finger foods. This allows guests to move around freely and mingle without needing to find a way to have everyone sitting at a table at once.

If you have a way for everyone to dine formally in your space, keep your meal to a single plate per guest. Instead of a meal that requires multiple utensils, a salad plate, or additional tableware, serve something that can be eaten with one utensil out of one plate or bowl. This will cut down on the table space needed to accommodate everyone comfortably.

Lipper International Turntable

This can help you keep more food on the table while taking up less space.

Use the Kitchen

A woman cooks with friends in the background
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

The kitchen can often be overlooked when it comes to entertaining in a small space, but it can actually be a valuable asset to your hosting goals. When space is limited, the additional counter space in your kitchen can be a game-changer, serving as a prep station for setting out appetizers or a spot for guests to set bags and phones.

Another way to maximize the use of the kitchen is by incorporating it into the party space. If your kitchen is open to the rest of your living area, think about extending your entertaining space into the kitchen. Set up extra seating or a small cocktail table so guests can mingle and chat while you put the finishing touches on the meal.

Bambüsi Cabinet Shelf Organizer

Another way to keep things organized in your kitchen.

Small space entertaining can be a challenge. By using these small space entertaining ideas, you can create a functional and inviting space that is perfect for hosting gatherings, whether it’s a small dinner party or a larger celebration.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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