As a real estate agent, I often hear the lament, “We need a bigger house!” And never is that more true than around the holidays. While I’m happy to help my clients find homes for sale in Lake George and Bolton Landing with more square footage, I also thought that, as a home staging professional, it might be helpful to provide homeowners with some tricks and tips for hosting the holidays in a small house.
Tips for Entertaining with Limited Space
Re-Arrange the Furniture
The key is to maximize floor space, so don’t be afraid to move furniture around, or even tuck unnecessary items into a bedroom. On the contrary, you’ll want to provide enough seating for everyone, so bring out your bedroom vanity stool or an office desk chair, if you need it. Planning a big sit-down meal? If your living room is larger than your dining room, try swapping the furniture to make room for a longer table and chairs. And if you’re serving a buffet-style meal, make sure your coffee table, end tables and all flat surfaces are free of clutter for plates and drinks.
Clear the Clutter
Hosting the holidays in a small home often requires putting aside your decorating pride. You’ll want to store all non-essential decorative items in closets, under the bed, in the garage, or even at your neighbor’s house. This includes any items on coffee tables, end tables and consoles, as well as unnecessary appliances and decorative pillows and throws, which can take up much needed counter space and seating. I also recommend paring down your holiday decorations, maybe even forgoing the tree, and using garland or greenery around doors and windows to create a festive feel instead.
Keep the Menu Simple
If your kitchen is small, you’ll want to do as much prep ahead of time as possible. For instance, consider making your desserts in advance of the big day, or, better yet, ask your guests to bring a dish. To buy time and stall guests while you are waiting for other items to cook in the oven, serve a salad or cold appetizer, and keep the drink options to a minimum, as well. If you’re doing the cooking, ask guests to bring their own beverage of choice, or create a party-themed signature cocktail that can be served in a punch bowl or pitcher to avoid the need for a full bar. Just make sure to include and a non-alcoholic alternative.
Entertaining in a small space requires some improvisation, so be prepared to think outside the box. A bookshelf can double as a bar, and an ottoman as an extra seat. Here in Lake George, Bolton Landing and the rest of the Southern Adirondacks, it’s cold enough outside at the holidays to store refrigerated items and drinks on the porch when you run out of room in the fridge. Or, if you live in an apartment building, you can place your coat rack in the hallway to limit clutter inside. The trick is to look at your home with a fresh perspective and re-purpose your belongings and the space to fit your needs.
Still Think You Need a Bigger House?
Sometimes, bigger really is better. If you’re ready to move out of your apartment and into a home, or you’ve found that your current house simply isn’t big enough, I’m here to help. I take the time to get to know my clients and their needs, and I will work with you to find a home that’s the right size for the right price. Check out the available homes for sale in Lake George, Bolton Landing and the Southern Adirondacks, or give me a call me (518) 321-1870.