Despite the many benefits of renting, too much space is often far from that list. If you’re in the mood for some holiday fun, don’t allow a small apartment to get in the way of celebrating the way you want.
Creativity and a little pre-planning can go a long way to create a holiday atmosphere that’s perfect for your guests, manageable for your space, and considerate of your neighbors and landlord in the process.
Make it a Pre-Party:
Unsure about squeezing all you invitees into your small space for a full evening? Opt to gear up for holiday cheer by meeting at your place for hors d’oeuvres and drinks and then take the party elsewhere for a little extra breathing room.
Consider a trolley tour of your city to look at all the holiday glitz, and then go to a restaurant where you all can enjoy eating a meal without bumping into each other every time you pick up the fork. If you are itching for more home comforts, you can always meet back once more at your place for desserts before the evening ends.
Keep the Logistics in Mind:
A well planned gathering requires more than just great food and decor, but ensures that a stress-filled logistical nightmare won’t occur. Remember to accommodate for guests by going through your itinerary and the timeline of events. For guests, remember to plan for parking and building entry before they walk through the front door. Be certain that you let your invitees know where they are able to park without incurring fines or angry letters from your landlord or neighbors.
If you live in an apartment, consider how guests will be let in. Can you buzz them in as they come, or will you need to designate a friend to let them through? Nothing can ruin a pleasant gathering like a warning from an apartment’s super, be sure to check your lease for contingencies regarding door propping or parking so you don’t accidentally end up on your landlord’s bad side.
Think about the overall flow of the party as well, will guests be disposing of cups, napkins, or other items you provide? If so, be sure to provide enough trash receptacles for party goers to dispose of any refuse.
Keep it Low-Key:
A small space does not mean you can’t throw a party, but it may, realistically, limit the type of party you can throw. Paper-thin walls and limited floor space will not lend itself well to a post-turkey dance party; keeping in mind both the neighbor’s needs and your space’s realities, you space could be more ideal for a smaller dinner gathering and a movie.
Keep in mind that the main purpose of this event isn’t to have your place look like a Martha Stewart catalog, instead focus on the community of friends and family you will be having over. A host who is preoccupied about little things like whether the guests can view the kitchen from their seat (a likely reality if you have a small apartment) will create more of a party-killer than any small missed detail could ever create. In the end, don’t hesitate to relax and enjoy the occasion!
The way your home is arranged for day-to-day living may not be the ideal arrangement for hosting guests. Don’t be afraid to move furniture around in a way that may not be livable long-term, but sets the atmosphere for a great gathering. Unless you’re having a more formal dinner party, don’t be afraid to improvise on seating, pulling out your multipurpose furniture and spreading seating throughout the area can be more pleasing and spacious than a defined seating area in a cramped corner. Remember that guests will be moving around to mingle and gather snacks.
If you are wanting to host a dinner, but don’t have the kitchen space to cook an elaborate dish, sign up for a cooking class and take that meal back to your house for when guests arrive. Or, ask all your guests to attend the class with you to be sure there’s enough food to go around! It’s a deliciously unique way to host a dinner party that your guests will be talking about for long after the last dish is eaten.
Regardless of what path you decide to take, don’t feel nervous about inviting guests into your rental to join in the festivities. With great friends, good food, and proper planning your tiny space will feel cozy and welcoming. Just expect to have your friends beg to do it all again next year!