Your home may see more people in the next two months than it does the rest of the year. Why is that? Holiday gatherings!
Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas parties are joyous events, but most homes aren’t set up with them in mind. Your space is designed for daily living, and usually that doesn’t include 30 plus people roaming about! But with a little rearranging and some thoughtful planning, you can avoid everything from traffic clogs to uncomfortable guests.
Lets get into some tips for preparing your space!
How Does Your Space Work?
Begin by thinking about how traffic currently flows through each of your rooms. This includes where people enter and exit, as well as the main path that people take when walking through. If it helps, you can even make a sketch like the one below and draw arrows to show the most likely traffic patterns.
How Do You Need Your Space To Work?
Once you know how your space works, think about the function it will serve during your party. I’ve seen porches turned into dining areas, kitchens disguised as buffet rooms, butler's pantries turned cocktail bars - all depending upon the needs of the occasion. When you decide the purpose a room will serve, it helps you determine how it should be staged.
If a room serves as a gathering area where people will be sitting and chatting, you won’t want traffic flowing directly through everyone. Instead, you’ll want to route traffic around your seating area. You can also create several vignette seating spaces by grouping a few chairs away from the main flow of traffic.
Other spaces require more movement, such as bathrooms and kitchens. These should be left open and easily accessible with clear paths for getting to them. Again, if you’re a visual person, it may help to sketch out your ideas before enacting them.
These two chairs and small table make for a
secluded seating area out of the main traffic path.
A Few Thoughts On Seating
When you narrow in on your sitting areas, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your guests as comfortable as possible:
Chairs at the dining table should be at least three feet away from the wall or nearest piece of furniture to avoid bumping.
At least two feet of space per chair at the dining table. This will allow for sufficient elbow room and that your guests wont feel squished.
In your conversation areas, keep your seating on an equal plane to promote interaction. No one should feel higher or lower than anyone else. For example, don't place a tall stool beside a low settee.
Make sure that from any seat a guest can comfortably reach a table on which to set a drink or plate.
Adequately spacing your dining room chairs
allows guests to comfortably eat and converse.
A low couch is matched up with a chair
of equal height for easy conversation.
Place a coffee table in front of couches so
guests can set down plates and glasses.
More Tips And Tricks
Holiday parties are all about being with the ones we love and celebrating the season. Having a home that’s prepped and ready for gathering is one way to eliminate stress and focus on the good stuff! For more tips and tricks on room arranging and space saving over the holidays, take a look at these articles: 4 Rules for Arranging Your Living Room for the Holidays and Tricks to Maximize Your Space to Accommodate a Holiday Party.
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