11 Tips for Throwing Larger-Than-Life Parties in a Small Apartment

Don't let a small space cramp your hosting style. With some planning, some snacks, and a little ambience, you'll be partying with pals in no time.

Throwing a party in a small apartment may seem overwhelming. From the drinks to the food to the decor, party planning involves a lot. But it's all doable. We have 11 tips and tricks for you to be the host with the most ... even if you don't have the most space.

Pick a Main Room

throwback party

Whether you're hosting a seated dinner party or dishing up tapas and tequila drinks, you'll want to have a central space for the partying to go down. Kitchen quarters too tight? Move your table to the living room and rearrange any couches or chairs to fit. If that doesn't work, hide them away in other rooms. That's what shower curtains are for, right?

Bottoms Up

What's a party without a little pop-fizz-clink? Give your squad the ultimate bottle service with a choice of both red and white wine, plus a signature cocktail. Keep bottles on hand so guests can make what they want. Make sure the drink station or bar cart is in the main room so you can play bartender while still hobnobbing. Remember to put wine charms on glasses before the party to prevent confusion.

Gorgeous Bar Cart Inspiration

Pop a Squat

entertaining

No space for a full dining table? Go low. Use your coffee table as eating space. Toss down pillows or lay down comfy rugs for guests to sit on. It will give the party a boho vibe. 

Make your own floor pillows.

Set the Mood

Ambience is the key to a great party. And nothing sets the mood like string lights. Make your own string-light message to customize the vibe. This warm greeting from ISpyDIY is easy to make with wire attached to battery-powered neon tubing. You can also use Mason jars with candles or rope lights to curate the perfect party vibe.

Make DIY String Lights.

Make a Menu

table setting

Whether you're serving fancy foods or casual snacks, add a written menu as a special touch to an informal gathering. If you aren't doing formal seating, post a menu on the buffet table to provide the same effect. 

Get our best party menu ideas.

Prep Ahead of Time

kitchen, meal prep, woman cooking

Make sure your food—or at least the appetizers—are ready before guests arrive. It'll prevent you from being in the kitchen and missing the fun. Plus, guests won't feel obligated to squeeze into your kitchen to help. Once eating time is over, tuck the plates away in the kitchen but save the real cleanup for later.

Check out our make-ahead dips.

Serve Finger Foods

Stuffed Sausage Sliders

Serving finger foods at your party means that your guests won't be crowded around one table to eat. They can grab, graze, and go!

Check out our favorite party-ready finger foods.

Bust Out Your Best Serveware

Cheese and Charcuterie Board

Mix and match marble and wooden cheese boards for a chic way to display and serve the nosh without taking up table space for formal plating. You can never go wrong with a charcuterie selection. Some of our favorite flavor combos: prosciutto + Brie, salami + Havarti, and chorizo + goat cheese. Round it out with crackers, olives, dips, and fruit. We love this display from Cooking with Cocktail Rings.

Get our best charcuterie ideas.

The Power of Flowers

Stylemaker Flower Arranging Class Pics

Fresh flowers will give your party an extra touch of class. Although flowers are a treat, beware of anything too fragrant. Smells affect taste, and you might not want your dips to taste floral. Keep heavily scented arrangements away from the buffet table and let them add color to the party space. Varieties of roses in fun colors look great and have a lovely subtle aroma.

Stunning Arrangement Secrets

Create a Playlist

Music, motivation, playlist, speaker

A playlist is the first step to a dance party. Curate a Spotify playlist ahead of time and connect to a Bluetooth speaker. That way, you won't have to worry about tunes during the party and you can choose the space where you want the music to play.

Sit Back and Relax

party ideas

As cliche as it sounds, remember to relax and actually enjoy your soiree. Cherish the quality time with your friends. After all, that's what truly makes a good party!

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