8 Tips for Throwing a Party in a Small Space

Entertaining in a small space creates a fun, casual, and intimate atmosphere that I love.  Although it can be a little bit of a challenge, small space parties are completely doable with a few tips to help you along the way.

1. Rearrange Furniture

If you are like me then at this moment your living room is probably set-up for prime TV watching.  But you most likely won't be watching a lot of TV when you are hosting a party.  So rearrange your furniture to be more conducive to conversation, eating, and drinking.  Don't worry about blocking furniture like bookshelves that won't be used while you are entertaining.

Image via Style Me Pretty

Image via Style Me Pretty

2. Repurpose Furniture

Repurpose your furniture to better serve the party.  The top of a low bookcase can be cleared off and turned into a bar, or your desk transform into a buffet

3. Remove Unnecessary Items 

Things like TV's, desktop computers, and printers probably won't be used at a party.  Store them in your bedroom for the night and free up valuable surface space for food and drinks.  The same goes for any unnecessary accessories or small furniture pieces.

4. Bring In Extra Seating

Make sure you have enough seating for everyone.  Rent a few folding chairs or borrow some from a friend, and toss some soft cushions on the floor.

Image via 100 Layer Cake

Image via 100 Layer Cake

5. Go Outdoors

If you have any kind of outdoor space like a balcony or patio, extend the party outdoors.  If it is cold out a small outdoor heater will easily warm the space up.

Image via Tuulia

Image via Tuulia

6. Serve Finger Foods

Skip the sit down dinner and serve finger foods so people can easily snack and mingle.

Image via The Merrythought

7. Have A Signature Cocktail

Instead of making space for a full bar, serve one or two cocktails that you can pre mix in a pitcher.  

Image via Crate & Barrel

Image via Crate & Barrel

8. Use Tiered Serving Dishes

Tiered stands are a great space-saving option for serving food in a small area.

8 Tips for Throwing a Party in a Small Space
Tips For Decorating A Small Rental Bathroom

I've been dealing with small rental bathrooms my entire adult life.  Although their lackluster finishes and minimal storage space leave something to be desired, there are ways you can inject your own personal style by getting creative with decor.  Keep reading for a few tips on making the most your small rental bathroom.

Image via Domino

Image via Domino

Add Greenery

Plants can make a huge difference in a sterile environment like a bathroom.  Their bright color and interesting texture will lift the mood of any small space. Better yet, keep your precious counter space free of clutter and hang plants from the ceiling.

Image via Huiszwaluw

Image via Huiszwaluw

Embrace Open Shelving

Over the toilet and above towel racks are great places to add extra storage.  I love the idea of adding hooks to bottom of shelves to hang small items.

Cove Marble Shelf from CB2 / Triangle Shelf from Urban Outfitters / Mid-Century Shelf from West Elm

Put Necessities On Display

Show off items with great packaging, or buy a few amber bottles and repackage those that aren't your aesthetic.  This goes for towels and toilet paper too.  A stack of uniformly folded fluffy white towels stacked on a shelf adds great texture and remedies your lack of a linen closet. 

Round Glass Bottle from Specialty Bottle / Luxury Bath Towels from Target / Hand Cream from Need Supply Co.

Image by Tessa Neustadt via My Domaine

Play With Texture

This is probably going to make the biggest difference in your bathroom.  Stay away from smooth white accessories.  They will be too reminiscent of your toilet, sink, or bathtub, and won't add enough contrast.  When you choose pieces to add to your bathroom bring in finishes like recycled glass, wood, slate, marble, chunky weaves, brass, anything but white lacquer.

Image via Monika Hibbs

Image via Monika Hibbs

Hang Artwork

A simple print can go a long way in personalizing a space.  Since small apartment bathrooms often don't have windows, choose pieces that conjure up feelings of open space and the outdoors.

Tips For Decorating A Small Rental Bathroom

New Invitations
Minimalist Modern Party Invitations

Now available in the shop are several new modern invitation designs perfect for birthdays, graduations, housewarmings, engagement parties, and more.  These pieces feature simple designs in minimal color palettes, and are the perfect stylish introduction for your next event.

14 DIY Organization Projects
DIY Planter Closet

Planter Closet

This project by Katleen Roggeman allows you to organize your clothes in a modern way, while bringing a little greenery into your space.

DIY Canvas Wall Pockets

Canvas Wall Pocket

This useful project by The Merrythought is a great way to store odds and ends without taking up floor space.

DIY Vanity Tray

Vanity Tray

A stylish storage piece to add to your bathroom counter or dresser.  Via Sugar & Cloth.

DIY Bicycle Rack

Bicycle Rack

A great way to get bikes out of the way in a small apartment.  Via Apartment Therapy.

DIY Beauty Dock

Beauty Dock

A modern beauty organizer to declutter your space in style.  Via The Merrythought. 

Streaming Device Cover

Streaming Device Cover

Disguise your streaming device with this easy-to-make balsa wood cover.  Via Almost Makes Perfect.

DIY Coat Stand

Teepee Coat Stand

Keep coats, hats, scarves, and bags organized with this simple coat stand DIY.  Via Burkatron.

DIY To Do List

Hanging To Do List

Keep your day organized with this minimalist hanging to-do list from Sarah Sherman Samuel.

DIY Modern Desk

Hairpin Leg Desk

With plenty of storage space this modern desk will keep your space clutter-free while you work.  Via Sinnen Rausch.

Hanging Organizer

Hanging Organizer

This wall pocket organizer is perfect to hang above your desk to store pens and notepads.  Via The Lovely Drawer.

Monstera Leaf Tray

Monstera Leaf Tray

I love the idea of adding this tray to a kitchen or bathroom to organize clutter, and introduce low maintenance greenery to the space.  Via I Spy DIY.

Sea Glass Jars

Sea Glass Jars

I had no idea sea glass spray paint existed, but I love the color it brings to these simple glass jars.  Via I Spy DIY

Jewelry Organizer

Jewelry Organizer

This organizer could be a piece of art on it's own, but it also makes a great backdrop to hang your bold jewelry.  Via Dream A Little Bigger.

Leather File Folders

Leather File Folders

Keep messy papers stashed away in these modern leather file folders.  Via Homey Oh My. 

Modern Printable Art Prints

The holidays are coming up fast and every host is trying to get their house in great shape for guests.  If you are in the same boat but don't have time to hunt down that perfect piece of art for the blank wall above your sofa, why not try printable artwork?  I've rounded up a collection of great printable pieces that are an easy and affordable way to add a last minute finishing touch to your space.  You can easily print these at home, or at a local print shop, and with the myriad of options out there you may even decide to make them a permanent piece in your home.

No.1 / Abstract Circles Art Print
No.2 / Abstract Mountain Art Print
No.3 / Geometric Art Print
No.4 / Scandinavian Art Print
No.5 / NRDC Art Print
No.6 / Marbled Art Print
No.7 / Watercolor Art Print
No.8 / Palm Leaf Art Print
No.9 / Eye Art Print
No.10 / ACLU Art Print
No.11 / Triangle Art Print
No.12 / Minimalist Geometric Art Print

DIY Thanksgiving Table Projects To Try
DIY Thanksgiving Table Decor Projects To Try

I feel that adding a few handmade touches to a table always makes it feel more unique and special.  If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year and are up for a little DIY action before the big day, here is a giant list of projects to spruce up your table decor.

Table Linens

Napkin Rings
& Place cards

Candles & Vases

Serving Pieces

IVAR Computer Cabinet Hack
IVAR Computer Cabinet Hack

I while back I switched from a laptop to a desktop, but with no desk for it to sit at my iMac lived at our kitchen table for months.  The only real place where a desk would work in our apartment was a space next to our kitchen, but at the time we already had a shelving unit there offering up valuable kitchen storage.  I didn't want to lose the shelving so I came up with the idea to create a shelving unit/computer desk out of the IVAR Shelving Unit from IKEA.

IVAR Cabinet Hack

I've been using the desk for about a month now and I am really happy with it.  I love that it still offers open kitchen storage, that I can hide away my computer when I'm not using it, and that Drew and I can finally use our kitchen table again.  I think the walnut stain, clean lines, and brass details give it a Mid Century Modern vibe that goes well with the rest of our decor. Plus, I am always a fan of furniture pieces that serve multiple purposes and save us space in our small apartment.  So for the full explanation of how I did it, keep reading!

IVAR Cabinet Hack
IVAR Cabinet Hack



Ikea Furniture Pieces




  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Contact Paper
  • Door Handles
  • Gorilla Glue
IVAR Cabinet Hack Materials


Step 1: Assemble the Cabinet

Assemble the cabinet per the IKEA instructions, but hold off on inserting the shelves or attaching the doors.

Step 2: Prepare, Stain, And Finish All Pieces

So I am now completely obsessed with water based stains and finishes.  I stained and finished everything inside my apartment with very little ventilation, no nasty smell, and I was able to clean all of my brushes with just soap and water!  I don't think I'm every going back to oil based.  Anyway there is my 2-cents, now back to the instructions.


Sand all of the pieces, including the 1" x 10" x 26" board, starting with #120 sandpaper, and finishing with #220.  Then wipe clean with a damp cloth and let dry.

Wood Conditioner

  1. Thoroughly stir wood conditioner.
  2. Apply wood conditioner with a foam brush. Allow to penetrate 1-5 minutes.  I worked in small groups to make sure I didn't let the wood conditioner sit on any one piece for too long.
  3. Remove excess with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  4. Let dry for 15-30 minutes, then lightly sand the surface with #220 sandpaper to smooth any raised grain. Remove any dust.


  1. Apply the stain with a foam brush and allow to penetrate no longer than 3 minutes.  I actually wiped the stain off almost immediately, you DO NOT want it to sit for very long because it dries very fast, and you don't want it to dry on the wood.  Working in small areas at a time works best.
  2. Remove any stain that has not penetrated the wood with a clean cloth. Wipe in the direction of the grain making sure to use even pressure.  Make sure the cloth you use to wipe off the stain doesn't become saturated otherwise it won't soak up the stain and will cause streaking.  Continually move to a clean piece of cloth or switch to a new cloth.  I went through a ton of paper towels during this process and afterwards I wished I had used reusable rags considering they could have been easily cleaned up with soap and water.
  3. Wait 2 hours before you apply the finish.


  1. STIR the finish, don't shake, otherwise you will get bubbles.
  2. Apply a thin coat of finish with a high-quality synthetic bristle brush. Move in the direction of the grain and try not to over brush.  Watch out for any drips.
  3. Let dry at least 2 hours then sand with #220 sand paper and remove all dust.
  4. Apply a second coat.  The can recommends 3 coats but I stopped at 2.
  5. Allow 3 hours before light handling and 24 hours before normal use.

Step 3: Glue Cabinet Brackets

When I first assembled the shelving unit I was a little disappointed with how rickety it was.  So I took a few extra steps to make it more stable.  Gluing the cabinet brackets in place with Gorilla Glue made the whole piece feel so much sturdier.  Determine where your brackets need to go on the side rails for you cabinet to be at your desired height, and glue the brackets into the holes.  I placed my brackets in the 18/19th holes from the bottom of the side units.  Tape the brackets in place with masking tape as they dry, and wait 24 hours before moving on to assembly.

PS: I actually glued the brackets into place BEFORE I stained the wood but it made it harder to sand and stain, so I recommend doing it afterward.

Step 4: Assemble Shelving Unit

Once your Gorilla Glue has dried for 24 hours, assemble the shelving unit per the IKEA instructions, but hold off on inserting the shelves inside the cabinet.  This is a lot easier to do with two people.

Step 5: Reinforce Cabinet

For more added stability I used mending plates to attach the back of the cabinet to the back of the side units.

IVAR Cabinet Hack

Step 6: Install Keyboard

  1. Fully remove the extensions from the drawer slides by extending the slides all the way and pressing the plastic lever while pulling out the extensions, then attach the extensions to the sides of your 1" x 10" x 26" board with wood screws.
  2. Attach 2 corner braces to the outside of each slide at both the front and back holes using the machine screws and hex nuts.
  3. Reinsert the keyboard into the slides with corner braces attached and position on the bottom of the cabinet. Once in position pull the keyboard out far enough so you can attach the corner braces to the bottom of the cabinet with wood screws.
IVAR Cabinet Hack
IVAR Cabinet Hack

STEP 7: Drill Cord Hole

  1. Install the shelves at your desired height in the cabinet and decide on a placement for your computer so you can figure out where to drill a hole for the cord.
  2. Use the size of your computer's plug to determine the size hole saw you need.
  3. Use the drill and hole saw to cut a hole in the cabinet backing where you want your cord to go.

Optional Step 8: Details

To finish off the cabinet I added contact paper to the back to brighten it up and cover the ugly backing.  I also painted all of the visible exterior screws, cabinet brackets, and the plastic edges of the shelves with black chalkboard paint to make them stand out less (it was the only black paint I had on hand, but I like the matte finish it achieved).  Finally I finished the doors with some brass handles I found at Target.

Cost Breakdown

The cost of the IVAR pieces including tax was around $134.  That cost, combined with all of the stain (which ended up being more expensive than I anticipated), additional materials, and hardware, came out to roughly $250.

Considering this is a custom, solid wood cabinet bookcase (which would have probably cost me close to $1000 to buy ready-made), I think $250 is a steal.