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Small Space, Large Guest List

Learning how to maximize a tiny space is all about understanding how to rethink shapes, and finding versatility in everything.

The above photographs depict before and after scenes of one of my most recent dinner parties. When I first decided to host a formal dinner party, I was convinced that I could host a large number of guests in my studio, but I had no idea where to begin. As I fantasized more and more about my dream dinner party, I found myself inviting guests over and creating an elaborate menu, though the only table that I owned hardly fit two.

I wandered aimlessly into Kmart hoping for inspiration when I came across an affordable and lightweight folding table. As it was long and narrow, the length would allow for up to 8 people to sit around it, and the width would make it compact enough to store under my twin-sized couch. Also, it was light enough for me to carry home alone, and for me to set up/ take down on my own (as living alone means that all of the setup/ cleanup is a one person job). Once I found my table and had it set up in my apartment, I was able to envision the rest of the project, and hence put together my perfect dinner party.

Using the platform of my bed as a bench, I can comfortably sit at least six people across. Then, due to the fact that my couch is so easy to move (and has floor protectors as to not scratch the wood) I repositioned it so it sat parallel to the platform, fitting another 4 guests. However, as I am always cautious to protect my couch from any spills, I covered it with a sheet which could easily be thrown into the wash after. I then arranged my folding table with a second plastic table (also from Kmart and purchased the day after the original) which I keep in storage, to create one long table. I then also bring out two folding chairs which I usually keep hidden underneath my futon for additional seating.

While not every apartment comes with a built in bench such as my platform bed, there are a myriad of different ways to creatively transform and morph together unexpected items to create a hospitable and elegant seating arrangement.

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