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Prepare to entertain, even in a small space or home.

21 Small Space Entertaining Tips

“Help! My place isn’t very spacious, but I’m hosting a party for a bunch of friends and family soon. How can I make this an awesome get-together without everyone feeling scrunched?”
 
We hear some rendition of this question all the time. With the holidays coming up, we wanted to find the answer once and for all! But because all spaces aren’t created equal, there’s no single solution that works for everyone. That’s why we looked to some of our entertaining experts who inspired this list of 21 ways to entertain in a small space. And these tips for entertaining in a small home are so dang good, they’ll make any size space feel homey!
 
1. Make space for your guests’ items. Clear out your front hall closet for their coats, clear off your mantle or shelves on a bookcase and use it as a beverage center — you get the idea! (Beth Hunter of Home Stories A to Z)
 
2. Buy small furniture that’s multipurpose. You’ll have more options with two small tables instead of one big one. (Dagmar Bleasdale of Dagmar’s Home)
 
3. Create a signature cocktail so you don’t need to provide a full bar. It’s cheaper and will take up less space! Plus, you’ll impress your friends by showing off your mixology skills. (Sharon Garofalow of Cupcakes and Cutlery)
 
Beverage station on a console
Valley & Co Lifestyle shows how to create the perfect beverage station.
 
4. Create individual food and beverage stations to help spread people throughout the room or your home. (Jessica Flannigan of Live the Fancy Life)
 
5. Mini or bite-sized foods are always a hit. (Danielle Cheever of Envision Pretty)
 
6. Put together a playlist with a nice assortment of musical genres. (Almost every blogger we talked to mentioned this idea!)
 
Simple table setting with nautical decor.
Check out this simple table setting (and adorable pup!) on Krystal’s Kitsch.
 
7. Make the space feel open by having a simple tablescape. This means low-key dishware, modest tabletop decorations, and probably only one fork (who really knows what to do with all that extra silverware, anyway?!). (Rachel Bindl of A Detailed Palette)
 
8. Prepare a large pitcher of fresh sweet tea! (Great tip from Southern gal Jennifer West of Pink When)
 
Have games like bingo and foosball for your guests when entertaining.
Cherished Bliss and The Scrap Shoppe are ready to keep guests entertained!
 
9. Give your guests something to do when they arrive. Decorating an ornament, playing a game or garnishing a drink are a few ideas. (Aleah and Nick Valley of Valley & Co Lifestyle)
 
10. Empty your dishwasher ahead of time so you have a space to stash the dishes when you clean up. (Stephanie Gerber of Hello Natural)
 
11. Have a space for the kids to play that’s still within range of the parents. Offer little activities to keep them busy, too. (Ashley Thurman of Cherished Bliss)
 
Dresser used as a dessert bar for entertaining.
52 Mantels turned this dresser into a dessert bar for a baby shower … aww!
 
12. Serve your appetizers or desserts on a cake stand, which is not only pretty but give you more space by going vertical. Hang a pretty fabric backdrop behind it for added style. (Jessica Flannigan of Live the Fancy Life)
 
Trays and cutting boards can help with entertaining.
Hello Natural and The Taylor House show how awesome trays and cutting boards can be.
 
13. Use wood cutting boards and serving trays. They’re versatile, mobile and beautiful! A wood cutting board is great for cheeses while a large serving tray can hold cocktail ingredients and be moved around the space as needed! (Faith Towers of Curbly)
 
14. Simple is better, especially when it comes to the menu and recipes. (Megan Zietz of The Frugalista Diaries)
 
Spouted beverage containers are festive and save on cans and bottles.
Domestic Fashionista and Homegrown and Healthy make great use of spouted containers.
 
15. Offer a few drink options in large glass spouted containers to cut down on canned or bottled options. The easier the better! (Lana Katsaros of Making a House a Home)
 
Use furniture for different purposes, like a dresser as a breakfast buffet.
Who says a dresser needs to house clothing? Feathers in Our Nest creates a beautiful buffet area that does double duty by holding extra supplies.
 
16. Think multipurpose with your furniture. A bar cart can also hold appetizers, plates and silverware. A dresser can be transformed into a buffet. An end table can be a small snack station. (Monica Benavidez of Monica Wants It)
 
17. Have a Dustbuster at the ready. If there are kids around, especially in small spaces, there’s inevitably going to be a little mess. A Dustbuster means not having to drag out the upright vacuum and make a scene. (Jessica Bailey of Pretty Providence)
 
Bar cart with mason jars and straws for party drinks.
Mason jars and striped straws elevate these tasty beverages on Curbly.
 
18. Want to really impress your guests? Consider the details when making beverages. Tossing raspberries into pink lemonade or offering ice cubes that are fun shapes up the ante. (Rachel Bindl of A Detailed Palette)
 
19. Don’t forget the ice! If you’re planning to make your own ice cubes rather than buying bagged ice, you’ll need to think ahead. (Debbie Westbrooks of Refresh Restyle)
 
20. Be realistic about how many people you can accommodate. There’s no style tip that can help you overcome too many friends in a teeny living room! If you’re set on inviting lots of people, consider an open house style so people can come and go as they please. (Rachel Bindl of A Detailed Palette)
 
And our favorite, most concise tip of them all?
 
Trays and cutting boards can help with entertaining and serving wine and drinks.
The ladies of Live Laugh Rowe and Monica Wants It are clearly party-ready.
 
21. Wine. (We couldn’t agree more, Beth Hunter!)
 
We want to hear your ideas, too. Share your favorite small space entertaining tips in the comments!
 
Need more tips on entertaining at home? Check out our lookbook, which is packed with awesome room makeovers to inspire you, like this glam dining room redo and this cozy living room refresh (complete with the cutest little pup ever!).
 
Top image from Carla Wiking of Small + Friendly. 
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