Your apartment is chic, cozy, and just the right size – for you. So what happens when you want to have several friends over? Where do they sit? Where will you serve food? And a party? It seems impossible.

Don’t give up yet! You can still have a grandiose party in a small apartment living space with these tips:

First Things First: Declutter
You can do a lot to prep before the party ever starts with one simple trick: decluttering. In the weeks leading up to the party, take an objective look around your apartment. It may have the perfect flow for you, but be cramped for entertaining. Remove magazines from tables. Clear the entryway of coats, hats and shoes to make room for your guests’ belongings. Clear out a corner of your closet or bedroom for guests to throw purses. Swipe the bathroom vanity of all toiletries in favor of a minimal look. Every item put away frees up more space for your guests’ comfort when they arrive.

It’s All in The Welcome
Open up the whole apartment to the party. After welcoming guests in, direct them to the bar, and show them around your place. Lead by example, using cues to suggest to guests which rooms they have permission to enter. Turn on lamps and light decorative candles to indicate rooms that are open to the party. This way you can easily flow people into other rooms and avoid a bottleneck.

And don’t forget the balcony. If weather permits, throw open the balcony doors to instantly boost your square footage. String lights and liven up the patio table. Add a candle and snack tray to invite people outside.

Incorporate Multi-Use Furniture
Create margin by making use of every available surface. Scatter pillows around the coffee table to create another eating and conversation spot. Swipe your laptop and notepads from your desk to make room for another drink station. Add a single bud vase, glasses, and coasters to point the way.

When It’s Time to Serve
Need an instant space boost? Go vertical. Serve food in stacked arrangements. Don’t have any? Ask around on social media – one of your friends is bound to be storing the perfect-tiered serving tray for your shindig.

Serve appetizers buffet-style in the kitchen. Move the toaster and other appliances underneath cabinets to maximize countertops.

Don’t be Afraid to Rearrange
Consider rearranging furniture during the party. Once dinner (or hors d’oeuvres) is over, slide the dining table against the wall. Ask a friend to help you break down a folding table to make more room. Encourage everyone to grab their chair and move into the living room once dinner is concluded. People are happy to help out, and it increases the comfort and familiarity level.

Elevate the Décor
Décor can be a deal breaker or a lifesaver when it comes to stretching room size. Carefully placed decorations can give the illusion of more space. Go for simple, upward-reaching décor. Think tall, sleek flower arrangements. Use the wall for stringing pom poms or garland. (Bonus: This can make a fun photo backdrop for guests)

Have Fun!
A final word of advice– don’t stress. The best parties have a relaxed host. Don’t assume anyone is feeling cramped. They’re your friends, and they’re having fun. Enjoy yourself.

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