But our lunch was set for a date that was below freezing. And, though we have a table that can be slid out from the wall to easily accommodate six, we've never gotten around to buying the two additional folding bar chairs we meant to get. So...
- I brought in a couple of our salvaged folding lawn chairs and set them up facing the sofa.
- I put our ottomans in "table mode." (Taking off the cushions leaves a tabletop big enough for two to share.)
- I moved one bar chair around the kitchen counter/table, so that two people could sit, facing the rest of the guests.
- I had my friends stay seated, and I served them from the kitchen (so, no squeezing around one another to get to a buffet).
Here are a few things that make entertaining work in our wee space:
- In good weather: the deck and porch and having three doors for entry/exit.
- In all weather: light and views. With 11 windows and our glass doors, the house feels bigger than it is—even on a dark, cold winter day.
- Comfortable folding chairs that can be stored easily when not in use and moved easily as needed.
- Multi-functional furniture like our ottomans/tables/storage cubes.
- Wheels. We have wheels on just about everything in the screen house, to make cleaning and re-configuring easy. In the house here, the ottomans are on wheels and get moved anywhere they're needed as seating or tables....And the bathroom door is on wheels, so it doesn't have to swing open.
- A big sink—with countertop inserts. It gives us plenty of room to stack dirty dishes and hide them away!
- Vertical storage galore in the kitchen that keeps everything we need for cooking close at hand.
Now, here are a few things I'd like to do to make entertaining even easier.
- Buy two more of our IKEA folding bar chairs. Added to the two from the house and the two from the porch, we could easily sit six around one of our tables.
- Put wheels on the table/counter in the house, so it would be easier to pull out for a sit-down meal.
- Get a sleep sofa when we need to replace our old loveseat, so we can invite a guest or two to spend the night.
Having a lot of people over on a cold day will always be a tight fit here. But as one of my friends told me, that's part of the charm. Being in close quarters can heighten intimacy, foster cooperation and supply a laugh or two.