Don’t have a sprawling mansion like the Kardashians? Congratulations, you’re in good company! But that doesn’t mean you should give up plotting to become the ultimate party host in a home filled with good vibes, great guests, scrumptious sips and bites, and an ambiance top party planners would admire. So, how are you going to achieve this grand ambition in a smaller space? We have a few ideas…
Choosing a theme for your party can help get your guests extra excited for your bash and will help give you some parameters for decor, food and activities.
For something classic (and for an excuse to wear that cute dress you just got), host a cocktail party or dinner party. Just make sure to communicate the dress code on your invitation!
For something casual, game nights, wine nights and Netflix binge watching parties are a great way to get people together while keeping the vibes chill and lowkey.
If you’re itching for a costume party, ask guests to come dressed in garb from a bygone era (or the not-so-bygone era that was Y2K) or from a fave TV show (Love Island parties are always a hit—order some gold champagne flutes to really nail the villa vibes).
And of course, you can always take the cooking stress off of yourself by hosting a potluck or cookbook club.
Now that you’ve decided what your party is all about and when you want to have it, it’s time to invite people over to enjoy it! And, because you don’t exist in the world of Bridgerton, you don’t need to fill out a ton of paper invitations and go to your post office. Just send a digital invitation from Evite via text, email or social media (we recommend using one with RSVP tracking so you’ll know how much food to buy) and make their upcoming plans that much more epic.
No matter what size your house or apartment is, you can always find ways to add a little something-something special to make it look Insta-worthy (or at least more exciting than usual). If you have a set theme, that will play a huge part in how you choose to decorate, but in general, you can count on these to make your space party-ready:
Tapers, pillars, tea lights, any and all of them (these spiral twisted tapers and modern arch candles are everything). And cool candle holders like this assortment of hurricane candle holders or these vintage-inspired green glass candle holders.
When it comes to the bites, people are mainly looking at the food. When it comes to drinks, all eyes are on the glassware, so put your aesthetic efforts there. Thrift shops and Etsy are great options for this, but if you’re short on time, these gold band highball drinking glasses and iridescent wine glasses are sure to be used over and over again. Of course, if you’re having a larger party, consider these shatterproof diamond-shaped wine/whiskey glasses.
Flowers, fresh or dried
Everyone loves a pampas grass moment and some choice dried bouquets, but you can’t beat Trader Joe’s for affordable fresh-cut bouquets featuring the best blooms of the season. Mix and match your fave florals, and then send them home with your guests at the end of the evening (check out your local thrift store or a craft store for some inexpensive vase options).
Twinkly fairy lights
Always a classic, and oh-so-easy to hang and leave up in perpetuity, especially in curtain form.
Balloons and backdrops
Those super OTT balloon displays all over social media? There are kits for those right on Amazon to match any theme. You just need good lungs (or an air pump) and some patience.
Believe it or not, how you configure your space can play a big role in deciding what foods to serve at your party. If your apartment has a dining area that can seat everyone on your guest list, consider serving a more intensive meal, dinner-party style: we’re talking appetizer, main course and dessert—the whole shebang! Just make sure there’s enough space to give everyone a seat. Setting up a folding table in your living room is also a great way to maximize space and open up more seats. Just throw a cute tablecloth on top to spruce things up and voilà! You’re ready to host.
Most memorable main
For something easy yet impressive, pasta. For something effortless yet crowd pleasing, delivery pizza.
The grand finale
Chocolate ginger cookies, summer berry trifle or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, a classic tiramisu.
If your space is really on the smaller side, we suggest going for a more snack-centric vibe. Arrange some charcuterie boards and finger sandwiches for folks to graze upon as they mill about and mingle. This way, your guests will have something to nibble on without having to try cutting a chicken breast on your coffee table whilst sitting on the floor—though if that’s your jam, more power to ya!
Include an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, creamy and hard cheeses, cured meats like salami or prosciutto, dried fruits, nuts and crackers or a sliced baguette. Here are our top 10 recommendations for a gorgeous charcuterie board.
Elevated finger foods
Fact: everybody loves chicken nuggets, wings, pizza and french fries. You can easily adult-ify any of these by topping with fresh herbs, making cheffy sauces and plating creatively!
Sans outdoor space, board games, card games and charades-adjacent games are a small space-dweller’s BFF.
Our faves for game night:
For a shorter, post-dinner kind of vibe, we love:
And don’t think we forgot about drinking games! Our tip to apartment residents is to avoid beer pong, flip cup or really anything that requires a big table and lots of movement. It’ll make your space feel smaller and might lead to a noise complaint which is a major buzzkill.
Instead, opt for more chill* options like Drunk Jenga, Paranoia and King’s Cup. These can be played in any space and are less likely to result in sticky floors. Major win!
*We recognize the irony in calling any drinking game “chill,” but you know what we mean!
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