How to Host a Rockin' Party in a Small Space

Manyhomeownerslove entertaining guests at home,particularlyover the holidays. The problem: Plenty of us have small or even teeny homes that aren'texactlyaccommodating to tons of visitors. So do you trim your guest list to the bare bones, or pack 'em in like sardinesNeither. There are actually many genius ways to host a large number of guests in a limited amount of square footage. Check out these brilliant small-space entertaining ideas from the pros to make your nexta huge hit, regardless of howlittle space you have to roam."A set of ceramic garden stools in front of the couch can be used as a coffee table, side tables, or for extra seats when entertaining," points out of in New York City.Or consider a multipurposeottoman."I love the ones with flip-top lids that can stand infor seating, trays, and storage," says , organizing expert and author of "Keep This, Toss That."Many people tend to gravitate toward a big central table in the home, but a few smaller ones can make much more sense-especially when it comes to entertaining."With small tables that fold or nest, you can bring them out as needed and move them around and then stack them when they're not in use,"explains Novak.But if you want a single table, get one that expands with extra leaves or a drop-leaf that opens up. To maximize the table space you do have, create elevated areas using tiered platters or cake stands. If you don't already own these, you canturn some bowls upside down and rest plates on top.Sometimesa change in the color scheme can help you makethe most of yourwee house, according to , a senior color expert at ."Paint is the least expensive and easiest way to improve a small space for entertaining," she notes.Covering all the surfaces in a small room with one color actually makes it feel larger, she adds."Choose a warm and rich or soft, soothing hue to envelope the space, including the ceiling, and this unified hue will fade defining lines.""A bookcase is a very versatile piece of furniturewhen entertaining in a tiny house,"says Novak.The shelves can hold all the everyday stuff you own (books, collections), but when you're having a bashyou can clear it off and set up plates and cups, she says. Or arrangean instant buffet by lining your empty bookcase shelf with sturdy rattan mats to hold party food.You can also arrange a few liquor bottles, mixers, and glassware on another shelf for a fast, self-serve bar. And to keep peoplefrom squeezing between you and the stove every time they need ice, empty your kitchen sink and fill it with cubes. Guests can grab a few for drinks, and you can stash wine bottles to chill.Nosmall abodeshould be without this three-in-one secret weapon."Use a kitchen cart to store glasses, plates, and serving pieces; prep on the upper surface; and then wheel your appetizers on it to serve guests," recommends , a spokesperson at. A bar cart functions similarly-it can be an end table, holding a lamp and magazines-as well as a spot for stirring drinks or serving dessert.Opt for smaller plates. "Try 8-inch ones, instead of 12-inch," suggests Novak. Smaller plates fit in smaller cabinets and on smaller tables."And when you're entertaining, the 8-inch size is much easier for guests to carry around," she adds. The same holds for glassware in a tiny house. Usesmaller, all-purpose glasses for red, white, and sparkling wines (those big Burgundy globes shatter in a heartbeat).The last (and best) bit of advice is to dig deep in your cabinets and closets for anything you can use in a new way. For example, you might string Christmas lights overhead to decorate and illuminate-and you can remove a couple of floor or table lamps, which freesup space in the process."Or take advantage of kitchen items like pitchers for flowers or place single booms in a few old wine bottles," suggests ofin New York City.Smith also recommends bud vases lined up on your dining table or grouped on side tables: "They're small enough to store for future parties, and they can be used as decor even without flowers in them."The post appeared first on .

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