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.
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.
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.
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!
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!