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entertaining in  small spaces |  1 2 3

Back in my pre-teen days, I used to dream about what it would be like when, some day far, far in the future of course, I grew old. Like, you know, twenty-two, twenty-three, maybe an ancient twenty-four. And in my fabulous future life, I’d spend each weekend hosting fancy-schmancy soirées for all my fantastically fascinating friends. Which naturally, would take place in my very own, splendidly spacious and perfectly decorated digs. See, without the benefit of any older siblings to tell me otherwise, my knowledge of grown-up parties was informed entirely by the fetes I saw in the movies – and they always seemed to take place in sprawling mansions and expansive lofts, homes so gargantuan that a guest would need a road map to navigate their way out at the end of the evening.

Ah, those dreams of childhood sure are easily shattered. At 26, cramped quarters decorated on miniscule budgets are more the realities of the so-called grown-up lives that my friends and I lead. Throwing a proper party isn’t so much about deciding whether to use the white linen or the ivory damask tablecloth, but figuring out a solution to the fact that due to space constraints, you lack an actual dining table altogether. Fortunately, armed with a few sensible tips, it is possible to host a stellar shindig even when your surroundings are somewhat less than spectacular in size…

1. Don’t invite everyone you know. Maybe this seems contrary to everything you ever learned in the high school and college years, when the measure of a party’s success was as simple as how many people showed up (and whether or not the house survived the evening’s festivities intact). But when it comes to entertaining in the quasi-adult years and beyond, bigger isn’t always better. Really. An intimate dinner party, a small cocktail party, a game night, movie night or the like are all fun ways that you can entertain guests on a smaller, cozier scale. Trimming your guest list ensures that you’ll actually get a chance to spend quality time talking with each and every one of your guests. Invite your office buddies for a potluck one weekend, your college buddies over for martinis and poker the weekend after. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, craft a guest list that mixes up the most sociable and charismatic members of your usually separate social groups.

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