Hosting family and friends in your apartment or condo can be a bit of a challenge. Issues of space and worries over planning can often act as barriers to you opening your doors to your favourite people. However, it is important to have people at your house—no matter the size. Hosting friends and family solidifies important bonds and allows people to see who you really are. Here are a few guidelines to help you have great and stress-free social gatherings.
Keep it Simple
A lot of hosts burn themselves out by trying to provide everything for their guests. This can often mean running around for days to various shops and spending way too much money. Instead, simplify your vision, and remember that less is more. Your guests want to see you, and not gorge themselves, so a nice but modest array of food and a few drink options is more than enough. Your party is a reflection of who you are, so prepare one or two things that represent you, and don’t get caught up in trying to offer everything under the sun.
By re-arranging your furniture and re-envisioning your apartment you can better orchestrate how your guests use your space, and better accommodate them as a result. For instance, you can repurpose rooms, like a bedroom or office, as alternate gathering spaces, so as not to cram everyone into your living room or kitchen. By shifting a bed out of the way or converting it into a couch, by converting a desk into a buffet, or by placing appetizer, sweets, or drink trays in out of the way places, like end tables, halls or foyers, you can create a sense of flow and movement to your limited space. If you have a deck, patio, or garden, fold that space into your party as well, by setting up seating and placing food or drink outside.
There is nothing worse than missing your party because you have spent the whole time slaving away in the kitchen. To avoid this, prepare as much as you can beforehand, or go for food options that require little to no preparation time. Boards of chopped vegetables with humus and dips are quick and easy, as are cheese and charcuterie boards served with crackers or sliced baguette. If you want to include something warm, samosas, or dumplings, or spring rolls from your favourite takeaway can be picked up the day before, and then quickly reheated in the oven for serving; or, find an easy slow cooker recipe—like a vegetarian chili, or a nice pulled pork—that can slowly cook and then stay warm while you enjoy hosting.
Hosting is wonderful, and need not be overwhelming. By keeping things simple, and focussing on you and your guests’ enjoyment you can have a great party without all the headaches.