When I moved into my first apartment, I couldn’t wait to host our first party. I didn’t want it to be like the parties of my college days though- I wanted a classy dinner party. You may think a dinner party would be hard to pull off in a small apartment, but with a little clever planning, it is possible!
Here are my 5 proven tips for hosting a dinner party in a small space:
You’re going to want to optimize the space you have by rearranging things a bit. Clear the kitchen counter tops of unnecessary appliances to make room for more food. A bookshelf can be re-purposed as a bar cart for the evening, holding glassware along with your favorite wines and liquors. Ottoman’s can be used along the wall as extra seating. If you have a small kitchen, see if you can rearrange the living room to fit your table. Look around your space to decide what items are going to be in the way, and what items can be used.
2- Be Creative
Dinner parties don’t necessarily have to be at a kitchen table. If you’re short on table seating and don’t want to rent chairs, you could host a fun sushi or fondue night on the floor. Create a circle of comfortable cushions around your coffee table, set some mood lighting and enjoy a fun night with your favorite people. If you have outdoor space and the weather is nice, you could string up some lights and host a patio party. In my opinion, the most important thing about a dinner party is the conversation- and that can happen around any type of table you have.
3- Keep It Simple
You don’t want to overwhelm a small space with a ton of decor and food. A floral centerpiece in the entry way and on the table are great options because these two areas will be the first places your guests see. When it comes to food, this isn’t the time to experiment. Sticking to tried and true recipes will keep you safe from any Pinterest-ready fail disasters, and you’ll already know that your guests will enjoy it.
4- Have Everything Ready
It’s important to have everything ready for when your guests arrive. I don’t recommend cooking while your guests wait, because as you know, a small apartment will heat up fast. You also don’t want the stress of hungry people waiting to eat. If the food is ready when your guests arrive, everyone can relax and conversation will flow.
5- Set The Scene
I touched on mood lighting a bit above, but I want to explain why it’s so important. When your guests enter your apartment, you want them to immediately feel welcome and ready to mingle. With the right lighting and ambiance, your guests will see your apartment as cozy instead of small. Some of my favorite ways to light the apartment are lamps and candles. With lamps, make sure you use a low wattage warm bulb so it casts a soft light. I really enjoy the warm light from my salt rock lamps, and depending on your theme I think they could make a fun addition to the room. Candles are great for lighting the table space during dinner, and I love using battery operated candles (for safety purposes) in other spots throughout the apartment. During the Summer and certain holidays, paper lanterns and string lights are also really great for creating a festive atmosphere. Finally, with any party, you’re going to want to have a great playlist ready. I always make a playlist ahead of time on my phone, but also leave it open for guests to choose their own songs throughout the night.
I hope these tips were helpful, and I would love to hear some of your dinner party tips in the comments below!