And here is #3 Post from the amazing Nicole Gilmore on Big Hospitality in a Small Space. Please leave your comments below, and share share share these wonderful articles! Thank you Nicole for sharing all of this hard earned insight with us!
Tips and Tricks for Big Hospitality in a Small Space
~ by Nicole Gilmore ( photographs too!)
Together we have defined hospitality, changed our perspective and inspirations, and embraced that our small spaces are just right for gathering around the table. Now for the “how!” Following is a brainstorm list, whacky ideas that might be helpful and fun. They are not in any particular order. The theme is rethinking stuff and space. Enjoy!
~Move furniture around. Make room for people! That should be a meditation in this modern world of ours. Move some things out to the garage. You might need to move the kitchen table into the living room.
~Rethink stuff. Maybe your book shelf is a serving station. Box up the cookbooks and make space for food. Imagine setting up a drink station on the front porch. Welcome guests with a self-serve drink immediately before they step inside and that greeting probably cleared up an extra seat or two.
~A coffee table can be extended to feed more people. Place a long piece of wood on top, a cloth or butcher paper my personal favorite and you have an additional dining surface. Don’t use butcher paper unless accompanied by crayons or sharpies, it is meant to be an interactive table covering.My coffee table is very sturdy so I plan to let people sit on it at the dining table. After dinner we’ll bring the coasters and candles back and it’s a coffee table again!
~Decorator pillows can be tossed on the floor as cushions.
~I recently read that people use the kitchen sink as an ice chest. Yep. If it’s cold outside then replace the outdoor cooler with the kitchen sink, you can hide the dirties in the dishwasher or oven if need be.
~Can a mirror, picture frame, or a basket become a serving tray? Yep.
~Just because the manufacturer says that your table seats up to 8 doesn’t mean you can’t cram in a few more. You can use a table runner on each long side of the table to make a continuous placemat, serve food on salad plates to make room for a few more people. Chances are that if you served guests drinks and appetizers they are nearly full already. People will appreciate sitting together more than another opportunity to overload their plates.
~No body likes the “kid table” unless they are 8 years old or under. Go out of your way to get everyone seated together.
~Allow guests to bring an offering. Anything that frees you up to engage more easily is welcomed.
If you relax and meditate on receiving people you’ll find that opening your home will become super fun, meaningful and memorable. Can things get a little messy? Yep. If the focus is on graciousness and connecting then it’s not a failure if someone has to run to the store to replenish something or if something goes “wrong”. Remember the ancient wise words only require that we “practice hospitality.”
Thanks for joining me on my learning curve of opening up our small homes wide for connecting and blessing others. I hope that you are inspired in the right way and planning your next gathering. May your home be filled with memory making, deep connections, and life giving gatherings.