One of the biggest drawbacks of having a tiny-ass apartment is trying to entertain at home. Unless your friends are Lilliputians, things are going to get tight. But if your friends are cool with sharing their personal space with others, and if you put them in a good mood with the right food and booze, it can be done! I had a few Lost viewing parties in my old studio, and a gingerbread house decorating party in my one-bedroom in LA (which you can see above), and even though we all had to squeeze around each other, it was a ton of fun.
At least my place wasn't this small...
(Photos by Simone Turkington)
Erin Feher, Associate Editor of California Home+Design, and Danny Montoya definitely know how to entertain in style, as they demonstrated in a recent Apartment Therapy House Tour. Their home, near San Francisco's Civic Center, is only 500 square feet, but Erin says that they're entertained up to 20 people before. I can believe it -- but what I can't believe is that they were able to get them to leave afterward! Erin and Danny's apartment is so cute I'd have tried to move in with them.
Erin credits their entertaining capabilities to their apartment's open floor plan and easily rearrangeable furniture. Plus, what they don't spend on stuff to fill a larger space can go toward fancy kitchen equipment. "What we don’t spend at pricey furniture stores we blow at Rainbow Grocery, the farmers market, and the cookware section of Bloomingdales. I never deny myself pine nuts," Erin says.
Most of their furniture comes from places like Craigslist or the Salvation Army. Other pieces, like their loft bed or rehabbed storage lockers, they made or restored themselves.
Entertaining in a small space doesn't have to be stressful. A careful assessment of the kind of gathering you're trying to have and some preparation can help you keep your sanity. Abby Stone and Laure Joliet at Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles have a few tips:
What type of party is it? A dinner party may only mean rounding up a few chairs from other rooms or extending a table while charades requires figuring out some place that will represent the stage. Move the furniture around: a dining room table can be pushed up against a wall; couches can be pulled away from the coffee table; dining chairs can couple up with small tables to create a space for conversation. You may find, when the party's over, that you've discovered a new furniture arrangement for your home.
Alternative Seating like stools, poufs and pillows on the floor will open up space for people. You can also just make them stand!
Party Proof The House. Especially in a small space where people will be bumping into furniture, etc. move the breakables, or at least anchor them with some earthquake putty.
A Place for Coats and Bags. My living room is so small that if two people came in with coats and bags, then I would have to turn people away, I'd be full. So without a coat closet, that means it all goes on the bed. This frees up tons of space and means I can invite more people!
Read even more great tips from Laure here.
With all that in mind, your next small-space soirée should be easy. Just don't forget to invite me -- I'm a really good guest; I always bring a bottle of wine. And sometimes, I even bring a bottle to share, too!
Via Apartment Therapy: San Francisco and Los Angeles.