Thanksgiving Countdown: Redesign your space

When you live in an apartment but have big-home entertaining aspirations sometimes you have to think out of the box. Maybe you need to cook a handful of dishes in advance of the big day. Perhaps you need to rearrange your home to accommodate an spike in visiting guests. Maybe you need to put up a tent in the back yard. Anyone that’s ever thrown a dinner party in a tiny space has their own set of tricks.

For my husband and I, entertaining for twelve guests — the most we’ve ever had at our annual Thanksgiving dinner — required us to get creative with our two bedroom Los Angeles apartment. With over two decades of experience in the restaurant business combined, my husband and I were very clear: we needed to redefine our home as a space for entertaining. We would need one very large table, comfortable seating, plenty of glassware and flatware, and additional table space for platters of food and bottles of wine.Quite simply: we needed to turn our apartment into a cozy restaurant.

Before
Our livingroom before
Our livingroom before

In order to accomplish our task of accommodating twelve dinner guests, went about rearranging our home to create a space that would feel less like an apartment and more like a homey, twelve-seat restaurant. With an eye on comfort, we pulled back our living room couch, stored away our white shag rug (our wine loving guests have been known to drop full glasses), removed our love seat, and put together two dining room tables to create one long table.

After
Livingroom becomes a small restaurant dining room

Livingroom becomes a small restaurant dining room

We filled our empty dining room with comfortable chairs to create an inviting seating area, a perfect spot for guests to lounge while watching final preparations in the kitchen.

Rearranged home for thanksgiving

In the process of changing things up we removed the (ugly) brown slip cover from the love seat, and found we had a perfectly beautiful off white chair!

Rearranged home for thanksgiving

I polished, dusted and cleaned while a mix of music supplied by our iPod filled the newly arranged space. The new seating plan created a new and unfamiliar flow of energy in the apartment that gave my husband and I the feeling of two people that just moved into a new space: we felt energized and excited to be in our new environment.

Who knows, we might want to keep this arrangement for a few weeks and continue hosting dinners until well after Thanksgiving!

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Brooke Burton nominated for best food writing

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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.

7 Comments

  1. feasting-on-pixels (terrie)
    November 26
    Reply

    Great tips on space planning for guests, Brooke…that was very valuable to me.
    (I have that same vintage tablecloth…lol…)
    I hope it is OK that I added your blog url to this list of my faves on my blog…let me know.

    Merci beaucoup for this visit to you lovely home.
    Happy Thanksgiving…!

  2. Brooke
    November 26
    Reply

    Terrie, that’s okay by me! Heck, it’s great by me! It would be an honor. I love your food photos and the stories you tell.

  3. jesse
    November 26
    Reply

    Wow, your home is so beautiful and looks set for an evening of feasting with loved ones!

  4. Joie de vivre
    November 26
    Reply

    Looks beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Mary Beth
    November 27
    Reply

    What a brilliant idea!!! Your guests are very lucky to have such a wonderful, creative hostess. I can’t wait for the next post. I want to hear all about it!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  6. white on rice couple
    November 27
    Reply

    I see the paint and it is really, beautiful! It just brightens up the room and brings out your beautiful floors!

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your husband! We are very thankful to have you as a friend!

  7. Maris
    December 15
    Reply

    So creative! I have a tiny apartment and if I ever wanted to have a significant dinner party I’d need to do some rearranging! Great ideas.

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