Entertaining in a Small Space

In your home, you’ve probably hosted a get-together or two (or hundreds)! And while having a large living room or family space once made sense for your growing family, making the decision to move to a retirement community such as Sherwood Oaks, and downsizing possessions and space, is a practical decision for a retiree.

Just because you don’t have the space you once did, that doesn’t mean you can’t host family gatherings as you always have. You just need to think about the space in your patio home or apartment in creative ways.


1. Add some mirrors to your décor.

Mirrors help to open up and brighten a small space. Before a get-together, consider adding some mirrors to your décor. This can be achieved by hanging a mirror on the wall, adding reflective vases, or incorporating a mirror into your centerpiece.


 2. Get creative with the furniture.

Foot stools, spare crates, and furniture from other rooms and outdoors can make great seating. Giada De Laurentiis made this suggestion to The Daily Meal: “Ditch standard table seating and get some great floor pillows.  Have your guests circle up around the coffee table and eat in their lap!” This is a great option for children and relatives who don’t mind opting for the floor.


3. Put your sink to work!

She Knows gave this great tip for entertaining with limited refrigerators space:  Put ice in the sink and use it as a beverage cooler. That way you can free up space to put your famous veggie dip in the fridge until you’re ready for it.


4. Opt for apps.

If serving a full meal seems like a big task for your small space, consider serving appetizers instead. Things like dip and chips or other bite-sized snacks will take up less space but are still delicious. Just remember to tell guests that you will not be serving full meals and try to schedule the gathering so that it won’t interfere with meal time.


5. Take advantage of counter space.

Unless someone will be using your toaster during your party, it’s a safe bet that you can store it in a cupboard. Think about what won’t be put to use and put it in storage temporarily.


6. Think about convenience and traffic flow.

Making the most of your space and having a good flow through your house is important when it’s crowded! If you have a plate of hot dogs on your kitchen counter, have the buns there, also. Don’t put the napkins across the room from the plates. Having guests running around trying to complete their plate is hectic and counterproductive.


7. Make some moves.

Consider moving furniture to other rooms that won’t contribute to seating or table space. You don’t need to redecorate your space forever, just for the day!


8. Have guests prepare food before.

In a great tip from Care2, have guests complete their dishes before they arrive if your event is potluck style. Failing to do so may just result in too many cooks in the kitchen…literally!


9. Take the party to a bigger space on campus!

Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community offers a variety of spaces on campus for hosting family parties, and we even cater! There is more space to fit all of your loved ones without having to leave home!
For more information on reserving campus space, call our receptionist at 724 776-8100. To talk about catering your party, call 724-776-8505 and ask for Jesse.