May 11th, 2017
Successful entertaining is about making guests comfortable so they can enjoy themselves. A host that makes hosting seem effortless and enjoyable gives guests permission to have fun, too. The key? Preparation and planning, which apartment living makes even more important:
Apartment living gives you a kitchen that’s efficient for daily living, but that’s not usually the ideal gathering spot. Keep the food simple and limit the number of offerings. Reduce the temptation for guests to congregate in the kitchen by cooking ahead so that you’re not in there yourself, and plan dishes that can be set out away from the kitchen.
Apartment entertaining is different than apartment living. The things that make your home personal and cozy are probably going to get in the way while you entertain. Clear surfaces and move any non-essential, accessory furniture into the bedrooms for the night. Have a designated place for coats and bags, and while your guests are there, patrol frequently to clear away abandoned plates, glasses, and napkins.
If you entertain frequently, look for ways to maximize seating opportunities as you furnish for apartment living. Choose a padded ottoman rather than a coffee table, and stash seating cubes or poufs under a sofa table. Have cushions for floor seating. If you need additional seating for a gathering, rent or borrow. If you won’t be dining at the table, push it against the wall to turn it into a serving surface and distribute the chairs elsewhere. Then look around and make sure guests have places to put down plates and glasses.
Pinterest has thousands of ideas for elaborate party decor, and it’s easy to be tempted. With entertaining as well as everything else, though, apartment living calls upon you to simplify. Isolate party decor to a few high-impact spots and keep everything else clear. A line of candles and bud vases down the center of the table, perhaps, rather than a large arrangement. Look up, as well—decorate the tops of bookshelves or above windows. And your secret weapon? White string lights. Check this list of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Apartment living is easy and comfortable when it’s just you. But things heat up fast when you’re packing a bunch of people into a small space. Be ready to open doors and windows if it’s cooler outside than in. Borrow a couple of fans to keep air moving.
Don’t forget that apartment living includes amenities outside your own four walls. Host a pool party or make use of the clubhouse. Pretty soon an invitation to one of your parties will be the hottest ticket around.