You’re finally ready. You’ve settled into your first place, have your first solid set of pots and pans, and maybe even a full spice rack. Now, you’re planning the menu and preparing the invitations: Christmas. Your place. This year. Yep – you’re officially hosting the holidays.
But if you’ve never hosted a holiday party, inviting guests to venture into town, pack into your place, eat a huge meal and maybe even (gulp) stay the night, you’re going to need to make some modifications to your living space. Your pad now needs to serve multiple purposes for multiple people, which means the furniture you choose should be ready to pull double, and maybe even triple duty.
As you establish your plan of attack, be sure to think through the progression of the day, evening and weekend – how you’ll welcome guests to your place, on through to how you’ll feed, water, and host them for the night.
Warm Up Your Guests with Outside Furniture and Heating
The holidays are all about hanging out and catching up – so as opposed to other dinner parties you may have hosted, you’ll likely invite people over several hours before you serve dinner. If you’re tight on space, consider expanding to the outdoors. Even in colder weather climates, firepits, heaters, and cozy fur-blankets can warm up your guests, and add some cool seasonal style to your gathering.
Add Utility and Mobility with Rolling Bar Carts
In a small space, a bar cart can pull double duty as a cocktail station and service island – where you can keep appetizers, or even side dishes and utensils when the dinner table fills up. Be sure to look for carts that actually roll. You’ll be glad for the mobility when your place is filled with guests.
Congregate at Kitchen Islands
Buying a kitchen island for your Christmas dinner is a smart option. People like to hang out in the kitchen, near the food, the action (and the wine). A kitchen island provides utility for food storage and food prep and can also act as social center, bar, and home for the appetizers you’ve hopefully asked your guests to bring.
Pull Up A Pair of Kitchen Stools
A kitchen island is half as effective if you can’t sit alongside it. Some islands come with stool sets, but aftermarket stools are often more affordable. If you have a small space, consider folding stools or directors-chair style stools that add some style but can be moved out of the way if space is at a premium during your party.
Extendable Dining Tables
If you’re expecting a larger number of people than your current table accommodates, you’ll likely need to shop for a new one. But don’t buy just for hosting the holidays. Be sure you’re purchasing a dining room table that fits your place over the longer term. Consider an option that is expandable for your party. Tables with leaves, or that fold down are great options. And don’t forget patio tables, or good ole’ folding party tables, which are great options if you’re willing to put them in storage after the big night. You’re likely to put a tablecloth on it anyway, so don’t worry if it doesn’t scream dining table. The number of seats is the most important thing.
Always Have Extra Dining Chairs on Hand
You almost certainly never have the number of chairs you need when hosting dinner parties. And it can be uncomfortable, even awkward, if there isn’t a place for everyone to sit, or if one or two seats are super low or high. But you also can’t have a ton of chairs taking up room in your place. There are a ton of great foldable dining chairs options available. Like your dining table, don’t go for complete utility and settle for the old folding metal chairs from the high-school gymnasium. Think style and storage and choose a size that can hang or place in the back of a utility closet.
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