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How to throw a smashing soirée in a small space
by Liz |  Sep 30, 2013

Just because you live in a small space doesn't mean you can't throw an awesome shindig. So you might not be able to have an enormous affair, but who wants to clean up after one of those anyway? You can still give your guests a great time, whether you're planning a cozy dinner or an all-out Halloween bash. Here are a few tips to maximize your living space and get it party-ready:

Find the focal points
Every apartment has its strengths, and those are aspects you should play up when considering the decor and layout for your soirée. Do you have a fantastic view? Make sure to set up a punch bowl or some wine right at the window. Or, do you have high ceilings and astounding acoustics? Then you should certainly consider devising a phenomenal soundtrack. If you're lucky enough to have a patio or balcony area, be sure to give guests a reason to check it out by leaving appetizers outside. Distributing snacks throughout the space also ensures more even foot traffic and helps to prevent crowded areas.

Sometimes you forget what the best features of your apartment are, especially if you've been living there for a long time and lost your perspective. "Happier at Home," a book by Gretchen Rubin, is all about finding peace in your space the way it is, while also enhancing certain aspects to make it feel more like a home that reflects your personality.

Move things around
It takes some work to rearrange your furniture, but sometimes it's worth it to make better use of the rooms.

The Kitchn explained that for a dinner party, it might makes more sense to switch the living room and dining room furniture. That way, the dining table is the focal point of the event. The idea is to create a better flow of movement, so think about how and where you think guests will be spending their time, and adjust the pieces accordingly. Pushing furniture to the wall instantly creates more space for mingling or dancing.

Get creative
You have to think outside the box when you have limited room. Apartment Guide explained that you can serve food on other surfaces besides counters, you just need to decorate them for a different look. For example, fabric has the potential to transform an end table, window sill or stereo into a tray for snacks.

Suzi West, a designer, stylist and curator, told Refinery 29 that the key is to think multi-purpose. She sometimes covers her stove top and uses it to display small bites or an aperitif.

It's all in the details
In a little apartment, even minor things become a lot more apparent. Take advantage of that by focusing on the details - even some fancy glassware or serving trays can make a huge difference. Apartment Guide recommended skipping the paper plates, and even suggested hand-writing the invitations for a special touch. At a dinner party, displaying an enlarged menu on the wall and placing name settings at the table are both charming ways to make the affair seem formal.

By the same token, it's important to mask any flaws, as they'll be a lot more noticeable in a small space. The Kitchn explained that dim lighting is best when you're worried about a couple stains on the rug, a crack on the wall that needs to be painted over or any other imperfections. You'll feel better knowing these issues aren't as obvious, meaning you'll enjoy the party a lot more. Plus, soft lighting is more flattering and offers a more intimate vibe.

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