Hacking the Holidays: Hosting in a Small Space

December 16, 2021 | Expert Advice

The holiday season requires ample amount of preparation, and plenty of sources will say to pare down. But there’s no need to sacrifice comfort or put extra stress on your home (or yourself). It’s time to hack the holidays and optimize your home with adaptable furniture.

Oh, the holiday aesthetic. Flickering firelight, a bustling Christmas party, the warmth of a holiday drink…. If this brings you all the fuzzy feelings, congratulations, you are a party guest. Forward this to your holiday host and buy them a nice latte the next time you see them—They deserve it.

Before the excitement of the holiday season comes the holiday planning season. It’s a season of party tricks, hosting hacks, and corner-cutting (on wrapping paper and otherwise.) Hosting tips vary from home to home—and hosting in a small apartment or tiny home requires its own unique approach. Either way, it takes a lot to prepare a space for two weeks of entertaining and an onslaught of guests with coats, Christmas cookies, and kids. Anyone else already catching cabin fever?

Most hosting advice will tell you to pare down, declutter, and minimize. Instead of restriction, we tout optimization: Prioritizing the things you love by giving objects their rightful homes and leaning into adaptability. Yes, the more can actually be the merrier.

The Guest Room

Ella and Louis together.
Ella and Louis together.
Niche Cabinet utilized as a nightstand.
Niche Cabinet utilized as a nightstand.
Ella and Louis apart.
Ella and Louis apart.
Adam Tavolo desk.
Adam Tavolo desk.
Ella and Louis couch.
Ella and Louis couch.
Adam Tavolo bed with storage.
Adam Tavolo bed with storage.

Prepared for Anything (and Anyone)

Not sure exactly who’s staying? Whether your guest room or office is going to host a couple, a family friend, or a few kids, you’re prepared. Fit the space with adaptable bedding, like trundles, air mattresses, or wall beds.

The Ella and Louis Queen-Plus Wall Bed takes a den or playroom to a guest bed in seconds. This sofa-to-bed system starts as a loveseat and divides into two halves of a queen plus bed. Connect the bed for couples or leave them detached depending on your guests. This is the perfect unit for the family that loves company.

 

A Room of One’s Own

Struggling with creating a temporary guest bedroom? Ultimately, everyone needs their own space that feels homey and static—no one wants to feel transient, even if they’re only staying for a day or two. But often, the hospitality is appreciated as long as you create a comfortable, private space.

Turning a home office to a guest bedroom is easy. The Adam Tavolo is a fold-down, full-sized desk that can transform to a queen-sized bed and back again, effectively doubling your workspace. The Adam Tavolo comes with an optional folding headboard and 14 feet of shelving for furniture that fully integrates with your lifestyle.

 

Every Item Has a Home

Up the comfort by making space for your guest’s belongings and providing some extra goodies. Guarantee there will be a place for their suitcase and other belongings. That way, you minimize clutter on your end, and your guest can fully settle in.

The Niche Cabinet gives your guest a designated place for storage, as well as a surface that can function as a nightstand or nook. When your guest room is empty, consider using the cabinet as a linen closet, a space for out-of-season clothes, or a place to put extra bed dressings.

The Dining Room

The Goliath table in action.
The Goliath table in action.
Elegance table that seats 4.
Elegance table that seats 4.
Goliath in console form.
Goliath in console form.
Multi-purpose Shallow Base Units.
Multi-purpose Shallow Base Units.
Elegance table extended to fit 6.
Elegance table extended to fit 6.
Sleek Pocket folding chairs.
Sleek Pocket folding chairs.

We use ‘dining room’ loosely because most seating arrangements look different depending on the house or apartment. Sometimes, sure, it’s a grand dining hall with extensive seating. But sometimes, all you need to prepare a dining room for the holidays is some folding chairs and a big table. Both have their holiday charm when properly equipped.

 

Buffet Style

Bring everyone to the table by optimizing your surface space. Optimizing space looks like using windowsills, shelving, desks, and credenzas for displaying food and drinks. Lay your food out buffet style, and store extra party materials underneath the serving station for convenience and organization.

These multi-purpose, customizable cabinets are highly functional in any room of your house, but work wonderfully as a credenza. With ample storage and shelf space for your party needs, your party materials can stay in a centralized space for guests’ ease and your peace of mind.

 

Extend the Invite

Is your cousin’s plus one coming this year? Did your grandmother invite her bingo friend? Does your daughter insist on a Friendsgiving or white elephant party with a mere dozen of her closest friends? It looks like you might need some more pretzels—and a bigger table.

This year, invite to your heart’s content, rather than your apartment’s. Instead, make use of easily transformable table space. The Goliath goes from an 18” console to a 116” table, which can seat 12 guests. The Goliath integrates seamlessly into your home with table leaves that secretly store behind a full-length mirror.

 

Seating Arrangements

Now is your time as host to do some party magic. Turn seating logistics from stress into something that works for you by considering your table shape. Is your family prone to arguing but insists to operate as one unit? (Think Succession!) Consider a rectangular table that can help compartmentalize conversations and provide distance while everyone still gets to sit together.

Looking to liven up a smaller family gathering? A round table might fit your needs. The Elegance table transforms from a circular to ovular shape in seconds for additional seating. That way, everyone is included in the conversation, and a round table helps promote chatter and activity. It’s also ideal for after-dinner board games!

Invest in a folding chair that feels like a throne. The Pocket folding chair one-ups typical plastic seating and turns its adaptability into a luxury. They are also lightweight and easily fit into storage for after your holiday is over.

 

The Living Room

Ito Couch reclined.
Ito Couch reclined.
Flex sofa, rearrangeable.
Flex sofa, rearrangeable.
Ito in couch form.
Ito in couch form.
The elegant Piano coat rack.
The elegant Piano coat rack.
Flex sofa, comfy and ready for guests.
Flex sofa, comfy and ready for guests.

This is where it all happens: the after-dinner naps, wine nights, and New Year’s celebrations. It’s also the room where the most clutter acquires the quickest. Here is how to declutter the living room and create a space for relaxation, peace, and enjoyment.

 

No Post-Dinner Cappuccino

You just ate the best dinner of the year. Now your skin is all warm and tingly, your eyelids feel heavy, and the TV is starting to sound a lot like a lullaby…. You are entitled to that nap like it’s your next present. Keep a hefty stock of throw pillows and blankets on hand for when the time calls.

Kick up the recliner and doze, my friend; You deserve it. The Ito Queen Sofa Bed is a loveseat with a recliner for your perfect post-dinner nap. Wake up for dessert, then pull down the wall bed after the guests leave and tuck yourself in for the best night of sleep ever.

 

Flexible Seating

Let’s face it. There is never nearly enough couch space at family gatherings. A small effort to extend seating goes a long way and can lend to some new, fun group conversations and quality time. Spread seat cushions on the floor, keep the dining area near where people are gathering and put on a movie or game to bring people together.

The Flex Sofa is perfect for the annual winter furniture rearrange that cements the flow of the party. Adjustable seat backings and even the layout of the couch itself help bring everyone to one central spot. Its flexible arrangement guarantees everyone’s comfort and enjoyment.

 

Hanging Out

Ten guests mean ten coats, twenty shoes, twenty gloves and mittens, and surely, someone’s missing red scarf. Instead of a packed closet or the dreaded coat bed, keep all wintery dressings by the front door for the ease of the guests. Use a coat rack or hooks to keep everything organized.

Even just a designated wall will do. The Piano is an artful coat display that helps everyone stay organized. It’s a statement piece as soon as guests walk in—a quick compliment may well be the ego boost you need to make it through the night. When the family goes home, it adapts to an interactive piece of wall decor.