May 11th, 2017
Sure, apartment living is great. But apartment entertaining? Yes, that too, even though you might not quite be able to picture it. Let this guide give you the confidence to give it a try:
You can get more people in your apartment than you think you can, but space isn’t unlimited. One of the best things about apartment living is the access you get to amenities that make your apartment far larger than a single family home, so if your list is large, look around. Pool party? Outdoor fireside gathering on a summer evening? Barbecue? Large single-group party in a great room? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. And for a bonus, you get to come home to your own sofa and kitchen when the party’s over, with everything exactly as you left it.
Your apartment kitchen is intended for apartment living—comfortable and efficient. It’s not the place where you want your guests squeezing in around you. Plan food that you can prepare ahead of time and serve outside the kitchen. Keep the menu simple so that you can relax with your guests, which is the best way to ensure they enjoy the party with you.
You probably have more space than you think you do. Apartment living is made for comfortable nesting, but most of the decor and objects around you don’t contribute to entertaining. Clear them away so there’s room for seating, circulation, and serving food and drinks. Make sure you have spots for people to set down plates and glasses. If you’d like to entertain often, look for furniture that maximizes seating—a padded ottoman rather than a coffee table, poufs or seating cubes that tuck under a sofa table or side tables, armless chairs that let people share.
After you’ve cleared away the daily odds and ends of apartment living it might seem strange to add decor back in, but not if you decorate strategically. Focus on your serving areas, adding votive candles and bud vases around the platters and trays rather than putting a large floral arrangement on the center of the table. After that, look up for opportunities to decorate. Float a bouquet of helium balloons against the ceiling in one corner. Swag themed fabric or garland around windows. Put seasonal or themed decorations along the tops of bookshelves. And the ultimate power move? Light strings. Use this gallery for inspiration and then find ways to add sparkle to your gathering.
With a little planning, and the right touches in the right places, the place where you enjoy apartment living can be transformed in the perfect venue for entertaining.