Does your home seem too small for holiday entertaining? According to interior designer Patricia Gaylor
, you probably have a lot more space than you think. An expert in bringing small spaces to life, Patricia says most people don’t know how to maximize the space they have.
Here are some tricks for making more room for cooking, dining and festive get-togethers.
Master the mess.
“The first rule,” says Patricia, “is that less is more.” In fact, you won’t believe the usable space you’ll uncover if you declutter. Scoop up old magazines and newspapers and put away tabletop books. Stash those unused kitchen appliances. Pack away breakable knickknacks and any small rugs that guests might trip over. Remove anything that takes up space you need for guests and temporarily store it away in Ziploc® Brand Big Bags
. Don’t worry that you’ll miss some sparkle; your guests themselves will provide plenty.
Rearrange for fun.
If your living room just became your dining area, don’t simply push your sofas to the wall. Instead, create intimate nooks for socializing by placing two chairs around a lounge chair, nesting tables near a couch or a few large floor pillows next to a coffee table.
Invent more seating.
Longing for a traditional sit-down family dinner but your table seats just six? It’s easy to put two mismatched tables together and throw a holiday tablecloth over them. You can even place a runner between the tables. Another idea is to invest in an expandable wood table which you can fold back up for everyday dining. (Maximize its shine and help protect against scuffs and scratches with a quick cleaning using Pledge® Lemon Clean
.) Or consider buying four-seater card tables. Reuse them for game night, sewing circles, outdoor entertaining and your kids’ birthday parties.
Create a flow.
Patricia suggests creating food stations throughout several rooms. Place your bar or punch bowl in the foyer, hors d’oeuvres in the living room, dinner on the main dining table, and dinnerware and napkins on the sideboard. Desserts can go on the kitchen’s center island. “This makes for good circulation,” says Patricia, “and keeps everyone out of the kitchen until dessert time—always the cook’s biggest problem.”
Make every room more inviting.
If guests like football, try setting up the TV in a study or bedroom where you can also make food and drinks available. To encourage guests to gather also in other rooms, tempt them with soft music, a roaring fire, fresh flowers and/or muted lighting. And of course good conversation.
Fool their eyes.
Really don’t have extra space? Fake it. The combination of shimmering candles and mirrored glass creates an illusion of depth and distance. Just place some candles in front of a tall mirror (Glade®
has a variety of wonderful holiday scents to choose from). Or set a group of flickering tea lights in holders on top of a mirrored surface. Your guests will be awed by the so-right-for-the-holidays twinkling!