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Ask Maeve: Entertaining in a Tiny Home

UntitledI’m having a holiday get-together in a tiny apartment, how can I maximize space and make people feel at home?

That’s a great question, and one that presses on a lot of people. I’ve lived in a tiny home for a lot of years (in New York City!) and over time I’ve used a few techniques to smooth things out when entertaining guests.

My first recommendation is to plan a menu you can prepare a day in advance. Good examples are soups, stews or any dish that needs only quick heat on the stove to come to life. Guests gather around the host when they arrive. If you are in the kitchen, then expect your guests to be there too. And if you have a tiny apartment, it’s likely your kitchen is tiny too. So, try to minimize the amount of time needed to prep food and your guests will feel more at home.

Next, make certain guests have a quick spot to drop bags and coats. If there’s space nearby your door, great. But in tiny homes beds are usually best. Don’t feel embarrassed by this, just make certain your bed is made and tuck away anything you’d prefer not to have on display.

As for maximizing space, the best thing to do is to embrace your tiny footprint and find ways to creatively engage your guests. In my home I make space for guests to sit and stand in areas that in my normal day, would not be used for that purpose. For example, I lean pillows against the coach to encourage guests to sit on the floor. I also leave tiny plates and napkins stacked on bookshelves and on any and all flat surfaces to encourage guests to stand with food, or, to bring it to the floor. And, I scatter bowls of bite-sized food around so people can circulate while they nibble rather than jam up at one table.

My final thought – set the mood, and have fun!  I spread tea lights around my home for an instant cozy evening. I place them on bookshelves, along windowsills and in front of mirrors. With candles, pillows, easy food and good company you are guaranteed to charm your guests.

I hope this helps – happy entertaining!

Share your tips for holiday entertaining in our comments below. 

Photo by Viktor Hanacek.

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at or @MaeveRichmond.

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