How to Entertain in a Small Space

by Tammy Strobel on November 15, 2011

I was sitting in the window seat and out of the corner of my eye, I saw my neighbor. So I poked my head out of the picture window to say hi.

K asked, “Are you cooking bacon in there?”

“Yup, bacon and paella. We’re having a tiny party tonight.”

On Saturday night we squeezed four friends and the two of us into the little house for dinner. It was our first time cooking for such a large group of people in our tiny dwelling. Everyone seemed to feel at home and happy in our little house.

We used a few simple strategies to entertain guests in our tiny space. Even if you don’t live in a super small space, these tips might come in handy.

1. Cook before your guests arrive. Since we have a tiny kitchen space, it can be difficult to entertain and cook at the same time. To get around this Logan started dinner about an hour before everyone arrived, so it would be ready on time. He cooked the vegetables, rice, and meat, and when the paella was ready he kept it in the oven so it wouldn’t get cold.

We’re both impressed with our tiny range. Initially when Logan found the used range on craigslist, I balked at the price. But it was worth the investment. It’s nice having a small oven to keep food warm and to bake yummy treats like cornbread.

2. Improvise. We have limited seating, so Logan brought in a few bike buckets for folks to sit on and Laura and I hung out in the loft for a while.

Our guests biked to the tiny house and it was raining really hard on Saturday night. So everyone had to take off layers of clothing and we used our ladder and the shelf above our french doors to hang up wet bike clothes. Unfortunately, some of the bike gear didn’t dry out on the ladder.

3. Set expectations. Tell your friends what you plan to cook and about the size of your space. For example, we don’t have a table yet so our guests ate camping style with plates on their lap.

4. Ask. Don’t be afraid to ask people to contribute to the meal. For instance, we asked our friends to bring over beer and we had plenty of yummy drinks for the evening. Most of the beer was from Portland based breweries.

It was a fun evening and we’re looking forward to entertaining more often! Over the years, we’ve learned that you don’t need a huge living space to entertain guests. With a little bit of preparation, good food, beer and engaging conversation your event should be a blast!

Do you have any tips to add? Share in the comments section.

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Micro-action: Check out Leo and Courtney’s new project Clutterfree. I was very happy to be interviewed for the book!

Want to see more photos of our evening? Go to The Path Less Pedaled fan page.

Photo by Russ Roca.

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