During the holiday season, we always find ourselves entertaining our friends and family more than usual! Whether we are having a big dinner or just having a cocktail party, there always seems to be something going on. This can be difficult to accomplish when you live in a smaller space but are still trying to make your home feel comfortable and inviting. We are so thrilled to have Mintwood Home with us today to teach us how to throw a soiree in our small spaces! With decor, appetizer, and drink tips, we are feeling very inspired to keep the parties coming this season. We are loving the gorgeous decor and platters that they created for their own holiday soiree, we can’t wait to recreate it! Read on below for their seriously helpful tips:
Entertaining when you live in a small space can be very daunting. Where is everyone going to sit? Where will the food go? The list goes on and we’ve all either been there or know the feeling all too well. We’re not saying to go ahead and invite every single person you know, but here are a few no-fail tips on setting up a glamorous, stress-free holiday soiree in your small space.
1. Clear your Coffee Table
If you don’t have a dining table or kitchen bar/island the next best thing is your coffee table. Let’s be honest, if you live in a small space, your coffee table probably acts as your dining table most nights anyway! So clear it off completely and think about unique ways to decorate it as though it were a dining table. In our case, we opted for a simple DIY magnolia runner, a pair of festive candlesticks and one small floral arrangement. This left us plenty of space for appetizers and places to set cocktails while eating or chatting.
2. Pull in Extra Seating & Rearrange Furniture
Seating is always one of the more difficult challenges when it comes to small spaces. You’ll want to pull in any additional seating ahead of time so that if you need to rearrange any furniture or remove pieces that aren’t serving a purpose, you can do so before your guests arrive. The good news is, if people are really enjoying themselves they don’t care if they’re standing or sitting and many guests will end up glued to one spot the entire time chatting, this usually happens near the bar area which brings us to our next tip!
3. Set Up a Designated Bar Area
This applies to any space, small or large, you always want to have a designated bar area when entertaining to encourage your guests to serve themselves and free you up to enjoy your own party! In this case we brought in one of our trusty bar carts that doesn’t take up too much space. If you don’t already have a designated bar area in your home, you can make one by clearing off any surface! Also consider serving a signature cocktail, most guests enjoy indulging in a specialty drink especially around the holidays and this will allow you to keep your bar clear of additional mixers and fixings. Our latest seasonal cocktail obsession is a pomegranate fizz!
- 1 bottle red blend wine
- 2 ounces Brandy (optional)
- 6 ounces premium orange juice
- 12 ounces cranberry juice
- 12 ounces water
- 1 orange, halved + squeezed
- 1 lemon, halved + squeezed
- 1/2 cup of unrefined sugar or 1/4 cup simple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 oranges (for garnish)
- Mint (for garnish)
- Mix all non-alcoholic ingredients in a large pitcher or 2 pitchers
- Add wine (and Brandy if desired)
- Stir for 15 seconds
- Refrigerate overnight
- Before serving, add a splash of natural lemon-lime soda to each glass or 12 ounces to the pitcher
- Garnish with an orange wedge on the rim & mint sprig in the glass
4. Keep the Eats Simple
Do yourself a favor and keep the cooking to a minimum. Cheese is always a crowd pleaser so focus on putting together an amazing charcuterie platter and select only one or two other small bite-sized cold (aka less cooking) appetizers to serve. Not sure where to start when it comes to pairing meats and cheeses, fear not, we enlisted the help of our friend Vicky Theodorou of Heirloom DC. Start off with your cheese – three to four varying cheeses will help create the perfect bite with all the other ingredients. Next, add your meat, this is where the salt comes in. You’ll want to vary your meats with soft and firm textures such as salami and prosciutto. Add some crunch to your cheese plate with gourmet crackers and a thinly sliced french baguette. Last but not least, finish off with some sweets! Think of compotes like apricot or fig jam, add a mini jar of honey, and garnish with fresh seasonal fruits.
Starting with the Crostini base: add your cheese, meat, honey/fruit and nut (or whatever floats your boat) then instant taste bud happiness! Finally, if you’re like us and love a good dessert, this is an area best left to the professionals (unless baking in your tiny kitchen is your thing!). We opted for a yummy buttercream frosted cake made locally by our favorite, Buttercream Bakeshop, and a delicious hot cocoa bar with marshmallows and candy canes dipped in chocolate.