How to Throw Your Next Dinner Party in a Small Space

A lack of space at home certainly doesn't mean you have to put your desire to host a stylish and fabulous event on hold. If you’re eager to entertain your friends and family but worry your space is just too small, Scroll on for inspiring pics on how to host a chic soirée in even the coziest of spaces.


1. You can still host a sit-down dinner even if your small home doesn’t boast a dining table let alone a dining room. Drape a stylish tablecloth over your coffee table or a desk and have your guests gather round either perched on floor cushions or, if you’re using a desk, on regular chairs.


2. It’s inevitable that there will be some crowding in the common areas when you throw your party, so you’ll want to prep beforehand to help keep the foot traffic flowing smoothly. “Not putting everything in one spot is key,” says Schuneman. “For example, put your bar on the console, your meal on the main table, and the dessert in the kitchen so there isn’t a bottleneck.” Another way to keep guests from congregating around the bar—and to save money—is to serve “a signature drink that you can put in pitchers or dispensers with cups next to them” throughout your home.

3. Chances are you don’t have a dining table that seats 12 in your small apartment. Invest in ottomans or poufs for casual seating, or find alternative options around the house: “Got a piano bench? Use it! Or, why not use that adorable vanity stool in your bathroom or bedroom?” says small space expert Sarah Roussos-Karakaian. For the dining table, Lee suggests using your sofa as seating and putting a table next to it. Depending on the size of your home, she recommends getting “a thin 30- to 36-inch-wide table, or a piece of plywood cut to size and putting it on top of the existing table. Protect the table with felt or other fabric and use some tape to secure the top from moving, then put a nice, inexpensive tablecloth on it.” You can go to any home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe’s for the plywood, which is thin enough to store and use for your next dinner party.


4. A large, ornate arrangement would overwhelm a small table and space. “Use two or three key décor pieces like flowers for your table, and then fill in the space with a few smaller items like place card holders or votive candles,” says Leila Lewis, founder of the blog, Inspired by This. Or, make each place setting stand out: “Instead of a centerpiece, use bud vases as place card holders,” says Barfield. “Then, in the center of the table, place an odd number of candlesticks at different heights to give some visual interest.”

5. Hosting a gathering in a tiny apartment or house is the perfect opportunity to flex your creativity, too, so think of new ways to use your space. “I like to remove some books from shelves and use that space as a makeshift bar or beverage station—windowsills are also great for this,” says Lee. You can also free up some space in your fridge with this trick: “Make your sink an oversized wine cooler,” says Barfield. “Freeze flowers or berries in ice cubes to make it look prettier.”


6. “Small spaces heat up quickly! Let air in before guests arrive and have fans on during the party,” suggests Roussos-Karakian. And if it’s a bit too cramped, why not stretch your legs and get a breath of fresh air? “Have the party take a walk together between dinner and dessert,” suggests interior designer Genevieve Carter.