Entertaining in a Small Apartment


If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.

– Cesar Chavez

small-dinner-partyI recently moved into a small apartment.  Having a party in a small space seemed unlikely (even as a  professional event planner).  Then I realized having a party here is just like any other venue. . . work your magic with what’s in front of you.  Entertaining in a small apartment is challenging, however, it’s a challenge worth concurring.  

Just do it.  Not throwing a party is the biggest fail in NOT throwing a party. Whether you think your space is too small or think your guests will be uncomfortable, remember, you’re inviting family and friends who love you. If space is an issue, have an intimate dinner party with 3 to 6 guests. Entertaining is its own reward when you’re sharing food, drink, and conversation with loved ones.

Get creative with places to sit. Concerned you don’t have enough seats for your guests? Use alternative seating options like stools, folding chairs and over-sized pillows on the floor. Another option is to use your coffee table as a dining table. Guests can make themselves comfortable on the couch, ottoman, or sit on the floor.  Don’t stress about not having enough seats for everyone.  There will be guests who are comfortable standing and walking around to mingle.  Tip:  If you have a patio or balcony incorporate that space into the party. Entice guests outside by placing a bright bucket full of ice-cold drinks on the patio. Create an even more enlightening outdoor atmosphere by bringing lights outside. String lights on your patio railing to let guests know that the party outside is just as fun as the one on the inside.

What’s on the menu.  Given the close quarters, consider serving food that doesn’t require plates.  Serve snacks (i.e. chips, dips, olives, sliced fruit, cheese and crackers, etc.), your favorite hors d’oeuvres, and dessert.  If plates must be used, have a one plate, one piece of silverware limit.  TIP:  Avoid having all the food and beverage in one area.  Place the food throughout the space, on the coffee table, in the kitchen, on the mantle — on any flat surface you can find.  This encourages guests to mingle, with a bonus of having close access to food.  FYI, Here are a few of my favorite go to dinner party recipes:

Create a little atmosphere.  A little mood lighting helps set the tone for your intimate dinner party.  Light candles and tea lights (unscented, please) and place them around the room.  Also, have music playing in the background.  Create a play list that fits the theme and mood of your party.  Keep the volume at a level that doesn’t compete with your guests’ conversation.  TIP:  Be sure to have some music playing.  Guests walking into a party with no music is an entertaining no-no.  

Now you’re all set!  No matter the size of your space, gather your friends to eat, drink, and be merry!

Do you have any tips or recipes to share when entertaining in a small space?

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