How to Host a Dinner Party for a Crowd in a Small Space

For most of my adult life—15 years, to be exact—I have lived alone in a handful of studios in the Bay Area. My first place had a Murphy bed and a virtually counter-space-free kitchen the size of a closet. My second had a kitchen with bar seating but no room for any sort of dining table. My current place is the biggest, with a galley kitchen, a dishwasher, plenty of cabinet space, and enough room for a rectangular table that can seat six. While some people may never think to host a dinner party in such cramped conditions, I love entertaining at home and have always invited people over for dinner.

At first, I hosted intimate gatherings with only a small group of three or four people. I kept thinking I would find a boyfriend who had a great house with a large dining room table, or get an amazing new job that allowed me to move into a bigger place. However, on the eve of my half-birthday at age 28, I realized I was sick of waiting for that handsome boyfriend and high-paying job and decided to have fourteen people over for a dinner party. It ended up being a fabulous fête, and since then, I haven’t looked back! I throw a dinner for eight to fourteen people every two months, and no guest has ever complained about my studio being too small. Wondering how you can do the same thing? Read on, hostesses.