Living on your own for the first time can be lonely, and you might find that you want to invite friends over for a game night or a party. People tend to flock to the kitchen when visiting, so if you have a small kitchen (as most people do in their first apartment) it can be a bit overwhelming! You can still have a great time, however, with these five tips for small-kitchen entertaining.
Be mindful of how many people you invite
If you’re worried that your kitchen is too small, just don’t invite too many people over at once. Not only will keeping your guest list small help the space feel less crowded, but you’ll also have less to do in terms of food preparation and cleanup. You’ll also have a more personal experience with each of your guests and better connect with them.
Extend the party to another room
If you have a larger living room or entertainment room, try to make sure people are hanging out there so you don’t have too many people in the kitchen at once. One great way to do this is to add seating into the room where you want people to be. When guests come and see empty chairs, they’ll naturally assume that’s where they’re supposed to sit.
If you have a table in your kitchen, pull the chairs out into the living room so that people understand that’s where the party’s supposed to be happening. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with simply redirecting people with something like, “Hey, why don’t we all head to the living room?”
Plan ahead and make everything you can beforehand
Guests in your home will often want to be in the same room as you, so if you’re still in the kitchen preparing things for the whole evening, odds are the group will follow you. To avoid this challenge, prepare as much as you can before the party so you can relax in the living room and avoid crowding up your kitchen.
Whether you’re having a full meal, drinks, or just a few snacks, plan everything in detail a few days before you have people over. It can be stressful to prepare enough food for a large group of people, so don’t be afraid to buy some things premade!
Make your apartment comfortable
In a small apartment, it can be easy for a large group to make things feel hot, stuffy, and claustrophobic. You can help make your apartment more comfortable for your guests by keeping things cool, using warm lighting, and playing relaxing music. Try opening the windows to help the air in your apartment circulate better and invite in some natural light (for daytime gatherings) at the same time.
Relax and enjoy the company
It’s difficult for guests to have a good time if the host seems stressed out, so remember to relax and enjoy your company! Friends whom you’re inviting to your home care more about spending time with you than they do about having perfect food, drinks, or music, so just take some time to chill and spend time with the people you care about.