Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tiny Living/Tiny Entertaining by Jessica



Welcome to My Tiny Home!

Can you do a jumping jack in your apartment without hitting anything? Well, lucky you: Your place must be HUGE. For the rest of us, entertaining in our tiny spaces can be a daunting prospect, but it *can* be done successfully. Here are some things to consider.


REALITY CHECK
How many people can you comfortably entertain in your space? Don't overshoot, or you'll end up making either yourself or your guests miserable. You can start by counting your seating options. For a dinner party, make sure there is a reasonable perch for each guest. For a more casual gathering, you can count on a handful of people standing at any given time. Can't bring yourself to cut the list down? Have a back-up plan, such as a nearby bar, where you can all escape on foot once you reach maximum capacity.


SPACE SAVERS

• Designate space! How are your friends supposed to know not to set a drink on your new scanner when it lives on your coffee table?
• Move all clutter out of sight to create the illusion of space. Clear off surfaces and store things in closets, if you have a closet. Or the trunk of a friend's car. Or the roof.
• Decorate with light, not objects. Small lamps, sconces or candles will go further than a vase of flowers and can be placed strategically in empty spaces, illuminating empty space and making your home feel more expansive. Choose small decorative light sources to create a cozy atmosphere.
• Clean up as you go, a few dishes at a time. Just put them in the sink or hide in a box under the sink for later. (What, disposable dishes? No way, planet-killer!)


FURNITURE

• For serving meals, round tables can offer more flexibility than a square or rectangle, particularly if your guests are of varied size. No wasting an entire side of a table on one tiny person!
• Avoid chairs with arms. They take up valuable real estate and are unnecessary.
• For extra seating, convert a bench or plant stand into a chair by padding it with a decorative pillow. Exercise balls are a last resort only and are reserved for the host. Kidding. Sort of.
• Use a butcher block or dresser top for extra serving space. You can easily convert any tall furniture item into a bar on the spur of the moment. Clear it off and cover with a piece of fabric for decoration.


SETTING THE TABLE FOR A DINNER PARTY
Having eight guests around a table meant to seat five? It can be done. Don't fight the space; work with it.

• Forgo traditional settings. Use small plates. Two small plates per person will leave more room for glasses.
• Keep your portion size small enough to fit on the plates and serve seconds and thirds. Eating slowly and spacing it out is better for conversation, anyway. You may clear the small plates after each course, if you wish.
• Create your own look by unifying your table setting with a theme, which can be as simple as a color, or a shape.
• Avoid space-hogs like giant tippy wine glasses and use quirky small ones instead. Isn't sipping out of a thimble charming?
• Use decorative cocktail napkins. They're smaller and will look nice on the table.
• Don't serve everything at once; do it in stages to avoid clutter.
• Serve from the kitchen; don't have serving plates on the table. If you must have serving dishes on the table, select small ones and refill from the kitchen frequently.


MISCELLANY

• Don't forget music - it helps people relax and staves off claustrophobia.
• Lots of booze guarantees nothing, but do it anyway.


SHOPPING SUGGESTIONS

• Ikea for small furniture items, cute cocktail napkins and glasses you don't mind breaking
• Fishes Eddy for quirky and inexpensive glassware and random adorable tiny items you didn't know existed
• Outdoor markets/antiquey junk shops for pretty individual serving utensils
• Tiny Living for "solutions for small spaces" - http://www.tinyliving.com/store/


(Thanks Jessica!!!)

1 comment:

incognitamartita said...

This takes tiny living spaces to another level! Sliding wall units can create 24 different room configurations!

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/01/15/garden/20090115_HONGKONG_index.html