Whenever you’re having a large party at Christmas-time, the question is always the same: How do I create enough space for everyone so they’re comfortable? In day-to-day living, we have certain ways that we do things that work. And this is especially true when you only have a small area to work with.
If you’re going to have dozens more people than what your house is used to accommodating, you need to have a plan so that there is plenty of room for all. The living room is one of the key areas of the house in which you will likely need to rearrange furniture. There isn’t a one-way-fits-all format, but there are several tricks that you can adapt to your living room to get the most out of your space.
Move Unnecessary Furniture to the Garage
Whenever you’re trying to accommodate a lot of people in a small space, you need to make use of every square foot. That means that you should move out the things that are taking up room, but not actually adding functionality to your space. For instance, if you absolutely adore that lounge chair, but it doesn’t add much seating, bringing it to the garage or another room in which you won’t have guests, such as your bedroom, will be your best option. The same is true for bulky decorations. You might love your collection of Christmas-themed decorative houses, but they can take up a lot of table space that you need for food or seating.
When you’re throwing a large party, you’ll need to get creative about seating and food placement. By repurposing the furniture that you have, you’ll have to move fewer things. For instance, the table that you normally keep knick-knacks or that collection of Christmas-themed houses on can become your buffet or appetizer table.
You might have some furniture that you simply don’t want to move because it is either too bulky or you’d actually like the seating. In these cases, be selective about what you keep in the room, but move it in a way that you will be happy about what it can provide. For instance, while most of your seating will probably consist of straight-back chairs, if you have a large sofa that you don’t want to move to another room, rearranging it will give you more space, and it’s also nice having a few seats that are a little more comfortable. So if you have any reversible sectionals that normally float in the middle of the room, you can move the pieces so that they are all positioned against walls, maximizing space and seating. Choose a place for your Christmas tree where it will be prominently displayed, but make sure that it isn’t in the way of foot traffic through the house.
Arrange to Avoid Bottlenecks
Whenever you are arranging your setup for a party, be aware of traffic flow. If you want a place where guests can grab punch, soda, and other drinks, make sure that your station is off to the side rather than at a place where it will create a bottleneck of people. If you place drinks where the living room meets the entrance to the dining room, you’ll notice that your guests who are choosing a drink will be in the way of the guests who are trying to go to one of the other rooms. But if you put the drinks in a corner or slightly away from the rest of the activity, you’ll be better able to control traffic flow.
Arrange Furniture for Conversation
If you have a large enough house for the number of people that you will be having, create intimate seating areas. There are some rooms that will always be busy, such as the kitchen, but you can create great places in your living room that people will be able to have great conversations in small groups. One of the most important things to do when you’re trying to create great conversations areas is to set the spaces up to ignore the television. If you and a few of your guests want to watch a movie or the game after the party, you can arrange your furniture back later, but during the height of the party, most people want to visit with each other, so make seating areas that support this activity.
The best Christmas parties are the ones that people have easy access to food, great conversation spaces, and low frustration due to poor planning of layout and traffic flow. Understand how many people will be in your house, and plan your layout ahead of time for the best party.