6 space maximizers for holiday parties

6 space maximizers for holiday parties

Discover simple ways to host more guests than you ever thought possible.
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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!
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recent comments
12/17/2012 , 
Sue  L.
To get the tables to flow together I made centerpieces for each table. This is an easy project you can make weeks or days in advance. Shop 2nd hand stores for similar clear vases, I used a tall cylinder style you will need about 10-15 rubber bands for each vase, a can of Frost spray paint, plenty of newspaper, an outside or very well ventilated area. Using clean dry vases, stretch rubber bands over different angles on the vase,when you are satisfied with the look (the areas covered by the rubber band will remain clear after it is sprayed). When the rubber bands have been placed spread your work area with a lot of newspaper, leave enough room between each vase so you are able to easily spray each vase. Allow adequate drying time between coats (2-4 coats). Keep the spray paint nozzle at least 12" away from the vase and spray using a sweeping motion. Spraying too close can cause puddling and running of the paint and your vase may be ruined.
12/16/2009 , 
Mildred C  M.
Your Ideas are great I never thought of doing some of the things you mentioned,I'm having guests in for the Holidays coming up, I'll be sure to use some of your ideas. I also like the comments also !! Thanks, Midge
12/8/2009 , 
susan  C.
Go Green- Use cloth napkins - don't have enough matching napkins -no problem - alternate the colors - red,green, white,gold - makes the tables more festive and guests love the colors!
10/6/2009 , 
tina  g.
I always use fabrics i pick up super cheap from all sorts of places to create mood....using sheet bunched up and putting boxes or plate covers for height variations and then other "backyardia" or ornaments in the spaces in between...really adds sooo much to a easy buffet or table...for not very much money:) thats the secret banquet chefs use in all the major hotels:)
7/17/2009 , 
tony  m.
space what a good concept the best way is to open the back door and use your back yard for added space as seating can be arranged arround a full sheet of plywood on sawhorses for a table with a sheet on it as a table cover will seat as many asa dozen people around including all the food puttig up small shelves to stack the food will even be eye pleasing. so outdoor is pleanty of entertaining space.
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