Create Additional Seating In Your Small Home This Holiday Season

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / Lucky Business

The holiday season is one of the best times to entertain friends and family in your home. It is the time of year for giving, eating, and showing off your holiday decorations. There are also endless reasons to host a gathering. Whether it’s Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s, or just a winter reunion among old friends, there always seems to be a reason to throw a party in December. Hosting loved ones in your home is joyous, but it can also be a challenge if you have a small home with limited seating.

If you are hosting a holiday gathering in a smaller home, maximize seating in less conventional areas where there is space. Use bar stools along the walls, add pillow seating around coffee tables, and seating by the fireplace. Create comfortable and cozy seating in any outdoor area, and add seating like a bench in a hallway. You can also create standing and mingling opportunities near food and bar areas.

Making sure you have plenty of seating and lots of space for guests is important when planning any holiday gathering. It is also quite a challenge when your home has limited space to begin with. The good news is that regardless of how large or small your home is, you can host a holiday gathering with plenty of seating and mingling room for your guests. The key is proper planning and staging seating areas in creative ways. Keep reading to learn the top ways to incorporate additional seating in your small home during the holidays.

Eight Ways To Add Seating In Your Home This Holiday Season

1. Use Bar Stools Along Walls

If you have bar stools tucked under a high table or a kitchen bar area, make sure you use them for seating during a holiday gathering. But instead of keeping them at the bar area or table, use them along walls. Placing bar stools along the walls and corners creates more seating in areas with more open space.

Moving bar stools to less-occupied rooms also allows you the opportunity to utilize bar and counter space for food and beverages. This way you are not only maximizing your seating, but also optimizing your counter space, which is exactly what you need to do when hosting a holiday gathering in a small home.

2. Add Pillow Seating Around Coffee Tables

If you have a large or even medium-sized coffee table, you can use this as a dining table of sorts. Move it away from the couch or chairs where it normally resides and place it somewhere with more floor space. Around it place large and comfortable pillows.

Using plush pillows as seating is a fun Eastern-inspired way to add more seating without spending money on chair and table rentals. Pillows also don’t take up much space, which means you can likely fit more people around your small coffee table than you would be able to if you had chairs and a proper dining table. The key is making sure this area is out of the way of foot traffic, so it feels inviting and not intrusive.

3. Utilize A Chaise Lounge Or Bench In A Hallway

Hallways are often “dead spaces” during parties and gatherings. They are usually just a means of getting from one point to another. But if your hallways are wide enough, you can place a bench or chaise lounge in the hallways for added seating. Hallway seating is great because it makes an otherwise unused space available for people who want to sit while eating appetizers and drinking cocktails. It also offers a bit of privacy from larger spaces.

The key is placing the bench or chaise lounge in a place that does not impede people walking by. If there is an intersection where multiple hallways meet, this is often a great place for a bench, as there is a bit more open space, and the seating is more visible to party guests. If you have a bench or chaise lounge in your bedroom or elsewhere in the home, consider relocating it for your holiday party.

4. Place Most Seating Away From Bar And Food Stations

One trick to maximizing seating during a holiday gathering is to simply relocate the seating instead of adding more. If you are having a gathering with a large food spread and beverages, but not a proper sit-down dinner, then you should place seating far away from the food and drinks.

The instinct for most guests is to mingle by the food and beverage stations. If there is no seating here, the guests are likely happy to stand. If you place seating far away from the food and beverages, you are encouraging guests to sit and enjoy areas of the home that would have otherwise likely not been occupied. When placing your seating, always try to make sure you are spreading out the flow of people, so no one place feels too crowded.

5. Use Your Outdoor Space

While the holidays are often a chilly time of year, you may still want to consider opening up your outdoor space when hosting a holiday party in a smaller home. As long as the temperatures are not dangerously low, having outdoor seating is a fantastic way to add seating and space to any holiday gathering.

There are also many ways to make a cold outdoor space more inviting. You can place blankets on all the outdoor seats, and also use your outdoor fireplace or a fire pit, so the guests can stay warm. You may also want to serve a signature warm cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage. There are all sorts of great warm beverages during the holidays, from mulled wine to hot apple cider or even hot chocolate.

6. Seating By The Fireplace

If you don’t have an outdoor space for a fire but do have a fireplace, then you should make the most out of this feature during a holiday party. Fireplaces are symbolic during Christmas and are usually adorned with stockings and garlands. If you have a smaller home that has a working fireplace, then you should utilize it during a holiday party.

Place pillows or low chairs near the fire at a safe distance. This will encourage guests to use this as a comfortable gathering area in your home, which helps disperse guests to different areas when you don’t have many rooms to choose from. It is also a great way to embrace the spirit of the holidays without having to spend lots of money on decorations, and instead, you can save some money on your electric bill with a warm fire.

7. Make Use Of Kitchen Seating

Your kitchen is bound to be a buzzing hub of activity throughout any holiday gathering. There will likely be items going in and out of the oven, and lots of final preparations happening all over the countertops.

Since there are bound to always be people in this room, consider creating a small seating area for those who want to help out, or just mingle with those preparing the holiday treats. Having seating in the kitchen allows multiple guests to enjoy a comfortable place to sit in an area that would otherwise only be used for cooking. Just make sure the seats are not in the way of the chefs.

8. Add Seating Near The Entryway

Another area in homes, even small homes, that is often underutilized is the entryway. If you have an entryway with ample space, you should find a way to incorporate some seating here. Whether you use a few chairs, a large bench, or even a small couch, the entryway is a perfect place to add more places for guests to sit at your holiday party. It is also a great way for those entering to immediately feel welcomed and part of the party as soon as the front door opens.

Wrapping Up How To Create More Seating This Holiday Season

Don’t let the fact that you have a small home prevent you from hosting a holiday gathering with your loved ones. When you have a holiday party in a smaller home, the key is to find creative ways to add seating throughout the home. Use your bar stools along the walls, and add pillow seating around your coffee table. You can make cozy outdoor seating if you have an outdoor area or a seating area around the fireplace. You can even add seats in the kitchen or the entryway.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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