Well, it's safe to say that I survived hosting my first Easter brunch last week. Not only did I survive, but we had such a fun and relaxing day. The beautiful weather didn't hurt either. By keeping the day semi-simple I was able to have 12 people in my studio apartment, feed everyone and even sit down for some ham and mimosas myself. I'm in no way a rock star hostess, in fact I don't even know that I know how to correctly set a table (oops) but I figured I'd share some tips that seemed to have worked. Here are five hopefully helpful tips on hosting in a small space. And for the record, by small I mean less than 500 square feet of an apartment. Southern California living at its finest.
1. Keep the guest list small. While I would have liked to invite everyone and anyone that I know, I chose to keep the list smallish. A lot of my friends in San Diego are not from here so Easter and Thanksgiving always seem to be big friend holidays.
2. Move out non-functional items/clear out the room: My entire living area is in one room, everything from my couch and TV to my desk and dresser. By pushing everything out of the center of the room and turning my desk and dresser into serving tables, I made use of every inch my tiny place has to offer. When everything was moved to the outskirts of the room it felt surprisingly roomy!
3.Let the neighbors know: Having always lived in apartments since my college days, I realize that noise travels quickly to your neighbors apartments. I made sure to leave a little note on each of my neighbors doors letting them know we would be having a little gathering and that they were welcome to join. Who can fight with that? If you can't fight them, join them right?
4. Keep the menu simple & prep: With all the cute ideas and recipes flooding our brains on blogs and Pinterest, it's hard not to get carried away and make every egg and bird shaped food out there, but remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE. I made the staple foods- ham, potatoes, salad and desserts and asked everyone else to help with appetizers and drinks. This way I was able to focus on the bigger picture and not get carried away in all the details (ok, maybe I got a little carried away). Also, prep as much as you can the night before, this includes setting out all the dishes, making the desserts (it is ok, nobody will know you didn't make those cupcakes fresh that morning!) and setting up the room. Once Sunday morning came I was able to pull everything together and enjoy myself.
5. Rent! I know I may have an unfair advantage here because my boyfriend works for an event rental company, but holy cow, renting saved the day! By renting our chairs, plates and silverware I was able to throw everything in a box at the end of the day and not worry about washing dishes (no dishwasher here, of course). You may be surprised how reasonable renting really is. Definitely worth the extra few bucks.
Note: Framed subway art is from Eighteen25 and dress is from Forever21.