Your 5-Step Plan for Decorating a Tiny Apartment for a Cocktail Party

updated May 1, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Kristin Teig)

A cocktail party is one of those parties you can throw in the tiniest of spaces. (We’re talking a studio apartment with a murphy bed!) You don’t need to fit a dozen people around a table for a seated meal. Heck, you don’t even really need to have seats for everyone in attendance (although a few would be nice). And you certainly don’t need to go all out with decorations.

Follow this super-easy five-step plan and your apartment will be party-ready faster than you can even ask someone to bring the ice.

1. Move the furniture out of the way.

Whether you’re throwing a party in 300 square feet or 3000, you want people to be able to move and walk around. That chair that’s usually in the middle of the room? Move it to the perimeter. That rug that people might trip over? Roll it up!

(Image credit: YayAParTay)

2. Hang a banner.

The only decoration you ever really need in life: an adorable banner or garland. This is true for any type of party — especially a cocktail party. Hang up a banner on an empty wall (take framed photos down for the night if you need to) and the room will instantly feel more festive.

3 Banners We Love

(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

3. Set up a cocktail station.

Don’t have a bar cart? No problem! Designate your kitchen table, part of your kitchen counter, or any other piece of furniture as the drink station. Put out all the booze and pitchers of your signature cocktails (if you’re having any) so that guests can help themselves as needed.

Some Advice and Recipes

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

4. Fill some little bowls with snacks.

Pull out all the little pinch bowls you have and fill ’em up with candies, nuts, olives, and other small snacks. Then scatter them around the coffee table, your shelves, and your TV stand. This way, people will have to move around to nibble on treats — and the pretty bowls will elevate your coffee table from normal to party-ready.

Try These Easy Recipes

5. Dim the lights.

No one wants to make small talk under the same harsh lighting you use to iron your work skirts. Dim those lights! If your lights aren’t on dimmers, consider leaving some of the switches or lamps off completely. It’s called mood lighting for a reason. (Plus, it’ll be harder to see the dust or any messes you didn’t get around to cleaning before the party!)

When was the last time you hosted a cocktail party? How did you decorate?