Quick question, why do we entertain?
The answer? To connect deeply with friends and family.
Once this becomes your truth, the long list of reasons why you’re afraid to entertain falls away. It’s not about impressing your guests and it no longer matters if your decor isn’t up to date, or your place is small, or even if you aren’t an elaborate cook. All that matters is that you create a moment where you’re able to connect deeply. It’s as simple as that.
To be honest, the size of my home has been one of my biggest excuses. But, after reading Sandy Coughlin’s The Reluctant Entertainer, I have become more inspired than ever to invite guests into my home.
Don’t let a small space be your excuse, here are a few tips to help you through:
- Actually invite guests over – Don’t wait until you have space or your apartment is perfectly decorated or you have the right furniture. Don’t have a dining table big enough? Make a plan for the evening! You could also use lap trays, invite less people, or instead of a sit down dinner, you could opt for finger food.
- Invest in a square/rectangular dining table – I hope I’m warning you early enough but a round table isn’t quite practical. I learnt this the hard way, but, a square or rectangle table will fit a small space better and seats more people more comfortably.
- Move your furniture around for the night – move your couch or any unnecessary furniture against a wall or into the next room. Make space for your guests to move around comfortably.
- Plan your menu – Most apartments these days have open plan kitchens, so choose your menu based on how much you can prep ahead of time, leaving your kitchen neat and clutter free.
- Practice your menu – Friend, the last thing you want is last minute stress because your dish isn’t turning out quite like you had imagined. Practice makes perfect and the less complicated the menu, the better!
- Lighting – Don’t underestimate the power lighting can have in transforming your home into a cosy space, perfect for deep conversation and plenty of laughter. Think candle light, solar jars, and my favourite, fairy lights.
- Embrace the imperfections – In my opinion, a house that looks as if it comes straight out of a glossy magazine isn’t authentic. It’s missing that personal, lived in touch. So what if your place isn’t picture perfect and maybe you’ve been meaning to change a few things but have never really gotten around to it? Maybe, like me, you use your second bedroom as a ‘walk in closet’ or ‘I don’t know where to put this’ room and it’s not exactly suitable for guest’s eyes – shut the door. Maybe lock it, too 😉 Remind yourself the reason you are doing inviting guests over – to connect deeply.
Most of all, enjoy the company. You’ll find some of your greatest memories will be created around your dining table, sharing a meal with friends, both old and new.