May 11th, 2017
Apartment living has a lot of advantages—lower utility expenses, no maintenance, freedom, financial control. “Easy entertaining” isn’t usually included in that list, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t entertain. Use these tips to entertain in your apartment like a pro:
You can probably accommodate more people in your apartment than you think you can, but there’s a breaking point you need to watch out for. If your group is too large, remember that one of the advantages included in apartment living is your amenities, which are intended to give you flexible living space. Throw a pool party. Barbecue in the courtyard. Let a crowd spread out and enjoy billiards in the lounge. Host game night in the theater room. And when your party’s over, go home and find your apartment exactly as you left it.
Your furniture arrangement and decor is built around the apartment living you enjoy for day-to-day life. When you’re expecting a crowd, clear away anything not essential for seating, serving, or giving guests a place to put down their food and drinks. Rearrange furniture for traffic flow for a crowd, not for the way you like to watch TV or eat your dinner. If necessary rent or borrow extra chairs or cushions so guests don’t have to wonder whether they’ll ever be able to sit.
Your decor should tell your guests that the event is special, whether it’s a baby shower, a dinner party, or a holiday party. But your accessories and decorations don’t have to take up precious space that your guests need. A linear arrangement of flowers, candles, and small accessories down the center of the serving area is just as effective as a large single arrangement, and takes up much less room. Look up for out-of-the-way places to decorate—baby toys along the top of the bookshelves, Fourth-of-July bunting at the windows, a bouquet of helium birthday balloons against the ceiling. And for extra twinkle, string lights are perfect with apartment living at any time of year. Let this gallery give you some inspiration.
If you’re in the kitchen, your guests will be too. And as ideal as your kitchen might be for apartment living, it’s not the place for comfortable entertaining. Plan your menu so that everything can be finished before your guests arrive, and laid out away from the prep area. If your event is a dinner party, just make sure that all possible prep is done ahead of time so that you can still talk and participate from the kitchen as you do any last-minute whisking or sautéing.
With a little preparation and flexibility, you can make entertaining a big part of the apartment living you love.