How To Improve Party Flow

Whether hosting a large holiday shindig or just a small gathering of a few friends, how you decorate and what you serve undoubtedly come into play. But nothing helps or hinders the atmosphere like furniture placement. If you like to entertain — over the holidays or any time of the year — here are some tips to consider:

1. Bring on the backless seating. An entertainer’s living room is never quite complete without some backless seating. Ottomans, benches and stools provide loads of versatility since they can be used from any side, offering non-directional, casual seating. They also don’t take up much space (physically or visually), keeping sight lines clear and uncluttered.

2. Create comfortable areas for chitchats. Keep in mind that a good distance for conversation is approximately 10 feet. If your space is much larger, try multiple conversational areas instead of one large area that guests have to shout across. Creating a spot for friendly conversing can be as simple as placing two chairs off to the side with a small side table in between. Voila, a conversation corner!

3. Don’t skimp on standing space. Often times our instinct is to add extra seating for all guests, but sometimes this leaves little room for flow and movement. You don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable moving around or have them bumping into furniture to do so. Try a small drink table or cocktail stand in lieu of additional seating, or place a tray on top of a console table, signalling to guests that they can put their drinks down there.

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Author:
Jennifer Koper & Emily Evans
Photographer:
Michael Graydon
Designer:
Tommy Smythe
Source:
House & Home December 2013 issue
Products:
Sofas, stools, Sarah Richardson Design; sofa fabric, Lee Jofa; chairs, Savoia Chair Frames; rug, Y&Co; cabinets, Treebone Design; antique cabinet hardware, The Door Store; sconces, Ribbehege & Azevedo; prints, D&E Lake; lamps, 507 Antiques; wall colour, Pointing (2003), mantle colour, Pavilion Gray (242), Farrow & Ball.
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