Once your invitations have been sent out, it's time to plan, but it can take some creativity to manipulate the space you have into a setting for an amazing dinner party. Fortunately Bobby Berk, who has been reinventing the interior design industry since his arrival in New York in 2003, has some absolutely creative tips that can maximize your space so well that your guests won't even notice the tight quarters.
1. Maximize that table. The first order of business will probably be figuring out where everyone will sit when it's time to eat. Good news — you can turn your four-person table into a 10-person table with a sheet of plywood and cover it with a tablecloth.
2. Have your sink do double duty. Instead of taking up valuable floor or counter space, fill your sink with ice to create a built-in beverage cooler.
3. Go vertical. Laying out a buffet sounds like the perfect way to have a dinner party, until you realize that this will probably take up all your counter space. Maximize counter space by going vertical with cake stands and other tiered platters to maximize your buffet space.
4. Rearrange. Don’t be afraid to rearrange your furniture in your space to accommodate more people. If it makes sense to move some things around, then go for it. This can also improve the flow of folks in your home and give them more room to move around.
5. Bring in extra space. Countertops all booked up? Use a butler tray or bar cart for additional serving space for drinks or food. Designate a drink station to keep beverages together.
6. Bust out that hot plate. You probably don't have a ton of burners on your stove — this is where a hot plate can come in very handy. Better yet, you can even use one on another piece of furniture to spread the food around your space. This will keep people moving around your space instead of creating clusters of partygoers who can't escape.
7. Don't forget your coffee table. Dress up your coffee table with a tablecloth, and use it to serve hors d'oeuvres while people are gathering in the living room.
8. Go outside. If you can, take the party outdoors. Not only can that extra space hold more people, but it can be fancied up to be an amazing extension of your own home. For example, dress up your balcony with string lights, and find quirky or classy tablecloths for the patio furniture.
9. Small plates. Offer small plates or tapas so people can eat standing up and move about the space while they mingle and munch. This will keep your guests from clustering in one small space, and it can eliminate the need for tons of seating.
10. Don't be afraid of labels. Label your cupboards so people know where to grab dishes, and you can leave them put away rather than taking up precious horizontal space.
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