Woman setting dining table

Holiday parties and family get-togethers are likely to make a comeback this season. After lots of canceled plans in the last year, many homeowners will be looking to make up for the lost time by hosting their family and friends.

Start making your plans now to create a comfortable and safe space for your guests by focusing on your home’s strengths and maximizing its layout when entertaining.

Embrace Your Layout

There’s no point fighting a battle you can’t win. While an open floor plan can make large gatherings more manageable, more traditional homes also have their own advantages. The key to hosting is to work with what you have rather than try and force a bad fit.

Focus on giving everyone plenty of space to maneuver around your home without feeling cramped, even if it means letting them split up into smaller groups. Think about how people will be moving around your home as they arrive, depart or seek out the food or a bathroom. Avoid creating bottlenecks or narrow paths that require two-way traffic. Consider moving unnecessary furniture or decorations to another location if it will help the flow.

Arrange Strategically

Even in large open spaces, it’s helpful to create defined seating areas that can accommodate multiple conversations rather than forcing everyone to use the same room. Items like barstools, sectionals, multi-purpose ottomans, and outdoor spaces are all effective ways to maximize the square footage you have.

Help your guests and yourself by giving them easy access to any food and drinks, as well as an obvious place to throw away their trash. Coolers or a countertop ice-maker can spread out the places people will congregate and move them away from the kitchen, which can often become crowded.

Don’t Forget the Details

Decluttering before your party begins can free up space and reduce the accidents that can occur when lots of people gather. Fresh flowers or an out-of-the-way candle can be a nice touch that adds to a cozy atmosphere.

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