With the holiday season slowly approaching and the weather getting chillier, dinner parties will be transitioning indoors. And for some, while throwing a dinner party might be too difficult because of the lack of space in their homes, it is still possible! 

This blog will examine how to set up a dinner party to maximize your space while also going through everything you need to consider when throwing dinner parties indoors. So now, your family and friends can have holiday dinners wherever and whenever! 

The first thing to consider when throwing a dinner party is to know how many people are going to attend the party. This is the most important thing to know because it will be the deciding factor as to whether you have enough seating. We suggest having a chat with everyone you would like in attendance and following up with them at least two days before to confirm the party size, because some people might back out at the last minute. 

Now, once you have considered the size of the group that will attend your dinner, the next item on your list would be to plan the food. The food at a dinner party is one of the most crucial items, but don’t worry too much, because everyone loves food! 

We recommend starting with the main dish first and then considering some finger foods as appetizers. This way, if the main course takes a bit longer to prepare, your guests won't be waiting anxiously. No one wants to be hangry! 

Now that we have got the guest list and the food planned, next is the fun stuff – decorating and planning! Here are our top tips for having a successful dinner party in a small space!   

Utilize Your Couch for Extra Seating

Use a couch for extra seating so you can host a great party in a small space. 
Photo: Elizabeth Felicella/Markatos Design

If your home has little-to-no space for a dining table, don’t fret, because a couch can work wonders! Take inspiration from the image above and place a table in front of the couch while using chairs on the other side to accommodate your guests. By using the couch as seating, you can add more people to the table, and it can also fit more people comfortably.  If you have an L-shaped couch, even better, you can add even more places for your guests to sit, and you won’t need as many chairs!  

Pro tip: If there are children in attendance, try seating them on the couch because they take up less space.  

Create a DIY Dining Table 

We’ve covered seating, but what about the table? There are many options when it comes to a dining table, but if you don’t have enough space to have a large dining table in your home, things can get tricky. We suggest a fold-up table, typically for outdoor use, or a camping table that can be stored in a closet seamlessly. Check out this one from Home Depot or this one from Amazon. 

Once you have secured your table, throw a tablecloth over it, and no one will know that it isn’t actually a dining table. If it can accommodate food, it’s good to go! 
Pro tip: If you want to get really creative, try looking for Tik-Tok DIY’s and ideas like this one. 

Keep Table Décor Simple

Keep the décor simple when having a dinner party in a small space.

The last thing you need on your plate is a spilled drink on your table. We suggest keeping the décor simple on the dining table so people can maneuver with ease. All you really need on a dining table is a plate, utensils, napkins and maybe some condiments such as salt and pepper. Keep the large items in the same place you're serving the food. 

But if you do want to create a tablescape, try just adding one centrepiece. This can be a larger bouquet of flowers or even a couple of small candles in the centre – take inspiration from the image above! 

Pro tip: Try making food that can all fit on one plate to limit items needed on the table and reduce the number of dishes. 

Use Countertops as Serving Space 

Instead of serving all of the food on the dining table, try serving it on the kitchen countertops. This will allow you to serve your food in a buffet style and control the traffic in your house. By doing this, your guests won’t have to squeeze all their food onto a table and can get up and grab more items if needed. 

Pro tip: Do the same with drinks! Find a surface where you can set up a drink bar, but make sure it is separate from the food to allow your guests ample elbow room.  

Consider a Convertible Table 

If you are going to be hosting many dinners in your home, try to invest in a convertible table. These tables are great options for dinner parties because you can make the table larger if needed and can also store it in a smaller space when not in use. They can also serve as a desk, small dining table or even a coffee table! 

Pro tip: Check out these options from Ikea, Amazon, or even this one from Walmart. 

Vertical Displays Are Your Best Friend

Use vertical display options to serve your food, when hosting a party in a small space.

Another great idea is to look for food display options that are vertical. This will save you so much counter space if you don’t have enough already, and it will look much more put together if you can play with the sizes of displays. For instance, a Ferris wheel cupcake holder will save you a significant amount of space compared to a typical platter. 

Pro tip: Try using clear acrylic display risers. They will vertically display dessert items and impress all your guests! 

Turn Down the Temperature  

When you're hosting a party in a cozy space with many guests, the room temperature can quickly rise. To keep everyone comfortable and ensure a great party atmosphere, consider keeping the temperature on the cooler side. You can achieve this by lowering the thermostat in advance or simply opening a window if everyone has already arrived. This not only helps with comfort but also enhances ventilation, which is especially important in today's health-conscious environment. 

Pro tip: An hour before your gathering begins, strategically position a fan to create a refreshing breeze. This will help your space stay cool. Also, be sure to have some cozy throws available for those who tend to feel chilly. 

Establish a Convenient Waste Station 

When hosting larger gatherings, it's a smart idea to designate a dedicated area for efficient waste disposal. Consider setting up distinct bins for recyclables, regular waste, and compost in a designated area.  

This simple step not only simplifies the post-party cleanup but also keeps the space organized, allowing you more quality time to socialize with your guests. 

Pro tip: Enhance the waste station experience by adding a few drops of essential oils or an air freshener to the bins, creating a fresh and pleasant ambiance for everyone. 

After you have planned a great dinner party, make sure to have fun, because that is what is most important! 

If you find any of these tips helpful or are trying them yourself, make sure to follow us on Instagram or TikTok for additional helpful tips! And, if you’d like to share them on Instagram, make sure to tag us or use the hashtag #tipswithavenue!