5 Simple Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space (PHOTOS)

thanksgiving table centerpieceIf you're waiting until you live in a palatial estate to host Thanksgiving, let us stop you right there. No matter how modest your abode, you can always make room to entertain loved ones with America's favorite feast.


Sure, you might have to whip up an optical illusion or two, but you've got this. We consulted with entertaining experts on how to make the most of a small space when hosting a crowd. Their tips will have your place holiday-ready faster than you can say turducken.

1. Scale it.

floral arrangement thanksgiving

No one will notice the size of your space if you properly scale everything in it. Katie Reynolds, an ACE Design Expert, suggests embracing the quaintness. "Keep it simple with a low centerpiece and a minimal color palette of one or two colors to avoid a cluttered look," she says. 

2. No formal seating required.

coffee table dining

One of the biggest concerns when hosting Thanksgiving is where the heck everyone is going to sit. Reynolds highly recommends a long bench on at least one side of the table, which can fit more folks than side-by-side chairs. "You can do benches on both sides or just one," she explains. "Also, make sure to use armless chairs, as they take up significantly less room than a chair with arms. If you are hosting the big group in a small living space after the meal, consider floor pillows scattered about as extra seating. Thanksgiving is a casual time with close friends and family, so it's okay to keep it casual and relaxed."

2. Let there be light.

candlelit thanksgiving table

In terms of making your home feel more open despite its small size, Reynolds says never underestimate the power of light. "Open draperies and window treatments and let as much natural light in as possible," she offers. "Light candles for ambience. Every space looks better in candlelight. Replace old light bulbs with fresh bright ones."

More from The Stir: 10 DIY Ideas for Setting a Modern Thanksgiving Table

4. Avoid kitchen clutter.

turkey thanksgiving kitchen

There's no larger meal consumed during the year than there is at Thanksgiving, and all of that food takes a lot of prep work. In an effort to keep your kitchen as clear as possible, get organized. "What are the cold dishes, hot dishes, the dishes that take minutes to make and the dishes that may take hours," says Felicia Ramos-Peters, owner of GetHolidayHappy.com. "If you have to write it all down, then do so. Knowing ahead of time how long each item needs to cook for is really beneficial to make use of the limited space you have. Make the cold dishes while everything is cooking or beforehand. You can even chop, slice, and organize your ingredients the night before as well to save time and space on the counter."

3. Enjoy multiple spaces.

backyard appetizers party

Don't designate just one area for dining. Move the party around. Lieve Saether, owner of Turnstyle Design LLC, encourages using your entire home for various portions of the meal. "Play room tag," she says. "Because any meal with friends and family is an opportunity to linger, bring the appetizers to the living room, dinner to the table, and dessert even outside. Pillows around the coffee table help everyone fit for pre-dinner drinks, and a warm firepit will make the after-dinner delights instantly magical. Besides, [your guests will] get to experience your home as a whole!"


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