Have you been stuck at home for so long that you’ve kind of forgotten how to socialize? And then the moment you finally decide to ease into it by holding a get-together at your place, you end up thinking of half a dozen different excuses not to do so?
Yes, that’s happened to us too.
However, this becomes an actual challenge for small apartments and tiny homes. Small square footage can be a real barrier for holding house parties.
But what if we told you that—no matter how small your space is—you have room… you just have to make it. And sometimes, small, intimate gatherings may just be what you need for that weekend or Friday night perk-me-up after a long week at work.
Here are 10 easy ways you can do just that, and host the party you always wanted.
1. Think beyond your floor area
When assessing how much space you have in your home, don’t just think of it in terms of how many square meters (or square feet) of floor area you have. Expand your design possibilities by looking around you… and above you! There are a lot of simple ways you can decorate your walls and ceiling. This allows you to keep things off of the floor, and maximize the space your guests have to move around in, all without compromising your décor.
Quick tip: Save your budget for the more important aspects of your party (aka food!) by opting for more budget-friendly décor like foil curtains, streamers, trusty balloons, fairy string lights and tissue paper pom-poms.
Photo source: Pexels | Andrea Ayrton
2. Only play around with happy tiers
Now that we’ve established how broadening your perspective can allow you to physically create more room in your home, you can apply the same principle to your countertops/tabletops. When it comes to freeing up valuable counter space and adding visual interest to your table setting, tiered displays are your new best friend!
There are a lot of ‘tiered’ options for you to explore when decorating but the usual suspects apply to food presentation for tidbits and desserts. Plus, these elevated platforms will surely make your food area standout and ensure that none of them are overlooked.
Quick tip: Don’t stop at just cake stands for your table, take your stacking to the next level with other multilayered furniture like shelves, pedestals, and bar carts, to name a few. You could even get creative and use books to switch things up a bit – and probably to give you another reason to justify your ever-growing library (if you’re a secret bookworm too).
Photo source: Unsplash | Ibrahim Boran
3. Declutter is a must in small spaces
Okay, we were hesitant to include this on our list because everyone already knows that small spaces can be especially unforgiving to even the slightest bit of clutter. The problem is, having a small space that’s both clutter-free and has all the essentials, and a little bit of your personality in it, isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
So, if your living area’s feeling a little too cluttered, your best bet is to “move” everything you want hidden into your bedroom, under your bed, inside a closet, or at a friendly neighbor’s place! Simply put, remove everything you don’t want your friends to see and arrange the ones left to look like they’re intentionally meant for that space. Or, you can just take a look at this previous article about optimizing storage in a small space to deal with clutter tendencies.
Quick tip: Stow away accent pillows to make more seating space for your guests. Or neatly arrange them on your couch. Remember, this temporary fix doesn’t just work for clutter (we’re talking trinkets taking up precious space on tables, personal toiletries all around the sink, workout equipment on the floor, etc.), but even non-essential furniture like foot stools and decorative lamps too.
Photo source: Unsplash | Tessa Wilson
4. Try moving your furniture around
Sometimes, we can feel too “at home” in our homes that it doesn’t even cross our minds that it would be better if a certain piece of furniture was placed somewhere else. In fact, people can live in a place for years and have all their furniture exactly where it was when they first moved in.
While there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the original layout of your space, you’ve got to be open to move things around. Realize that a certain setup that works really well for you as the homeowner may not be the best one for holding parties or socializing. Don’t be afraid to switch things up a bit. You’ll be surprised by how this can not only refresh your space, but create a more party-friendly atmosphere too.
Quick tip: Placing your furniture around the perimeter of your space (instead of at the center) can help encourage conversation.
Photo source: Unsplash | Real Natures Food
5. Small spaces follow the ‘less is more’ concept
Although the appeal of a party with all the bells and whistles is undeniable, you can also achieve just as big of an impact with minimalism. Besides, at the end of the day, ensuring that your guests are comfortable, and can properly move around your place is far more important than any fancy décor. Pick a few key elements of your theme to focus on, and be intentional with your choices.
Quick tip: Avoid the tipping over of drinks and other messy accidents by not putting everything in one place. For example, you could separate the bar area from the dining area so that your guests won’t end up crowding in just one spot. If you’re only having a handful of friends over, table setting could be the winning element in your decoration. Also, you could place a coat rack by your door to keep your guests’ things organized and your seating areas clutter-free.
Photo source: Unsplash | Ibrahim Boran
6. Don’t overlook your balcony
Have you ever just looked at your teeny-tiny balcony and wondered whether it was good for anything else apart from hanging your laundry?
Well, if you have, first off, you aren’t alone, and second, here’s your answer: Regardless of how small your balcony may be, giving your guests this extra outdoor area really opens up your space, and helps make it seem a whole lot bigger than it actually is. And more importantly, having a balcony in your small apartment already makes you luckier than many others.
Quick tip: You could purchase some inexpensive battery-powered lights for your balcony to maintain the overall feel you’re going for. Fairy lights and warm string lights could do the trick. You get that homey ambiance going and your guests can see where they’re going, and who they’re talking to as well.
Photo source: Pexels | Rodnae Productions
7. Lighting plays a big role in small spaces
We’ve lightly touched on this in the previous points. A great way to create a good ambience when you don’t have enough room for elaborate table settings is by putting in some extra effort to make your lighting on point.
The best thing about this design hack is it’ll barely cost you anything. Simply turning all of your lights on, and opening your curtains, can immediately make your space feel bigger. The key is to let in as much natural light as you can. However, don’t go overboard with harsh overhead lights. The goal is to give your place a warm and soft glow for that relaxing, comfy vibe.
Quick tip: For a cozier feel, go for dimmer lights or an assortment of candles. But if you’re planning on using candles, be sure to put them in a stable place, away from anything that could catch fire like curtains or paper décor. You could also avoid all these hazards with battery-powered candles that can give off the same effect.
Photo source: Pexels | Nicole Michalou
8. Think outside the box
They say that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and no one knows necessity like someone planning a party for half a dozen people in an apartment they can barely move around in when they’re alone.
So, the good news is, this need could bring out creativity in you that you never knew you had. Always think of how you can use something in another way. Avoid buying things that only have a singular purpose, no matter how tempting (we’re talking about you, ice cream maker!). Here are some examples to get you into the multipurpose mindset.
- Throw a good amount of ice into your kitchen sink for a fuss-free cooler.
- Not enough chairs? Ditch chairs altogether and have your guests sit on throw pillows for a more relaxing and casual vibe.
- Turn a bookshelf or windowsill into a makeshift bar that takes up zero counter space.
Photo source: Unsplash | Jessy Smith
9. Put things into perspective
When planning a party for a small space, it’s good to approach the entire process with a positive mindset because, practically speaking, most of the things you could do in a big venue can be translated into a smaller space too.
For instance, if you want to have a fancy centerpiece on a smaller table, you can. You just have to look for a short one because shorter pieces draw people’s attention inward (instead of upward). You can try a bowl of fruits to add a pop of color. Or just use the main dish for the night as a centerpiece, like a turkey during Thanksgiving.
Quick tip: Though tall centerpieces are a no-no; tall floor lamps are a definite yes. Place them in corners for maximum luminosity. Plus, doing this also helps draw guests’ eyes across the room.
Photo source: Pexels | Mrt Ziolko
10. Choosing the right pieces is key to maximize small spaces
You may think this is a given and part of all the previous points, but no. We’re talking about pieces with impact here. Want to instantly make your place look like it’s double the size? A mirror can do that for you. Hang one in a cramped hallway or place a mirrored tray on your table to create the illusion of height.
Looking for a table that can accommodate the most number of people? Opt for a round one, then get a tablecloth with either a solid color or a smaller pattern. Remember, it’s best to show some legs, and we mean your furniture’s. This makes for a lighter, airier feel.
Can’t decide on what color to get for your furniture and décor? What about no color? See-through pieces open up your space by literally and figuratively giving it a clearer visual feel. Learn more about choosing the right furniture for your small space in our previous article.
Photo source: Pexels | Анна Орлова
We can all agree that the past two years weren’t just scary, they were quite lonely too. Now that we’re starting to be able to socialize like we used to, don’t make the size of your space stop you from inviting people over. The best parties can happen in the smallest spaces. Because remember, small can mean intimate too. By making some of the little adjustments we mentioned on our list, you can expect to see your space transform in a big way.