The latest fad in housing is “tiny living” but I have been living tiny for a long time. With the less than 900 sq. feet I call home, people are always saying to me – how do you host a big fancy party in space so small? Well, it isn’t impossible – you just need to be creative and plan. Here are some tips to hosting your fancy event in a small space.
- Everyone have a seat? Take stock of how many seats you have and how many people you can fit at your table. There is no point inviting more people than you have seats for and if they won’t be able to enjoy the meal around the table with the other guests – you have too many people on your invite list.
- Plan a menu. If you are an adventurous cook like I am, you probably have access to a variety of cook books. But if not, hit the search button and start looking for simple meals to make. Spend the time figuring out what you want to make for your guests. You can’t be doing menu planning an hour before guests arrive. The only way that short term menu planning works is called ‘catering.’ With a plan, you can head out a few days before the event and do a proper shop. And keep your menu simple – a couple appetizers, a main, a vegetable (or two), a starch, and a dessert. Make enough for the guests and it will be more than you realize.
- Are you set up? Get the area set up to receive guests. You can get creative, if you don’t have a formal dining table, a couple of card tables, put together and draped with a table cloth make for a good and fancy substitute. Don’t have a full china set? No worries, mix and match with what you have. Decorate the table with flowers or candles – they always help to bring some ambiance. No paper towels please. You can purchase some rather colourfully and decorative napkins at the paper store or you can do the inexpensive (and still pretty ) versions at the dollar store. Oh! And don’t leave set up for the last minute – do it the day before. No need to be running around unnecessarily before the event.
- The art of conversation. When your guests sit down for dinner they should ditch the devices and bring back the art of conversation. Create table talk topics that will allow guest to talk about their interests (other than their last Facebook post). Everything from music, books, art – go old school and find ways to be social at the table.
- Set the mood. Don’t forget the music and the lights. You don’t need to have the big DJ and the strobe lights to create a great event at home. Put together your playlist of some “cool tunes” that will last for the evening.
It is not as hard as you think. Just don’t squish everyone in at one time. You can always have more than one event. Just because you have a small space, doesn’t mean than you can’t have a big fun time.
One last thing – breathe, smile and enjoy your big event in your small space.