9 Tips for Throwing a Party 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 in no time.

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Throwing a party in a small apartment can seem overwhelming. From the drinks to the food to the decor, party planning involves a lot of prep work. But it's all totally doable—even in a small apartment. You don't need a huge living room or a sprawling backyard to host a good party. With a good set-up, the right playlist, and a tasty menu, guests won't notice (or care!) how tight the space is.

We'll walk you through planning and hosting a party for any size living area. With our best tips and tricks, you can be the host with the most—even if you don't have the most space.

living space gray white color and orange chairs
Nathan Schroder

Pick a Main Room

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 curtains are for, right?

bar cart with cocktails
Jason Donnelly

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 ($68, Walmart) is in the main room so you can play bartender while still hobnobbing. Remember to put wine charms ($15 for 10, Etsy) on glasses before the party to prevent confusion.

tropics-inspired party
King Au

Pop a Squat

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

pink hanging diy party streamers video still

Set the Mood

Ambiance is the key to a great party, and nothing sets the mood like a few festive party streamers! Make your own DIY crepe paper streamers to take your party set-up to the next level. The best part? Since they lay relatively flat to the wall, they won't take up any much-needed space.

sparkling rose with bottles and snacks
Jason Donnelly

Keep It Casual

Whether you're serving a full meal or casual snacks, the serving style informal. Plates of appetizers and finger foods arranged on the coffee table or another small surface will save space, and guests can help themselves as they walk by.

person taking a photo of homemade pizza
Kim Cornelison

Prep Ahead of Time

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.

Stuffed Sausage Sliders
Scott Little

Serve Finger Foods

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! Provide cocktail napkins and plastic plates to make for easy eating on-the-go. Plus, disposable options can go straight in the trash, rather than cluttering up the sink or counter area.

full charcuterie board with almonds fruit and veggies
Dera Burreson

Bust Out Your Best Serveware

Mix and match fancy serving spoons with a classy wood cheese board ($20, Target) 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 include prosciutto + Brie, salami + Havarti, and chorizo + goat cheese. Round it out with crackers, olives, dips, and fruit.

pink dahlias small diy leftover tile vase planter project
Jason Donnelly

The Power of Flowers

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.

Related: How to Arrange Grocery Store Flowers at Home

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