If you’re planning a house party, rearranging your furniture is as necessary as decorations and refreshments. You’ll want to make sure that guests feel encourage to mix and mingled without feeling cramped in an uncomfortable room. By learning to arrange your furniture for parties, you’ll also be able to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Take a few hours to move your furniture around before the party starts to get the most out of the space you have!
Making Space for Guests
- Leave seating for about 10-15 percent of your guests. Too much seating will overcrowd your party, but you will need some spots for guests to sit down. Aim for enough seating to accommodate around 10-15 percent of your guests at once.
- Some seating is important in case your guests get tired.
- Position furniture around the perimeter of your room. To make your room feel cozy and intimate, avoid placing furniture near the center of the room. This will give guests room to mingle while simultaneously giving some guests an opportunity to sit down, if desired.
- Place the furniture in small clusters along the wall to encourage intimate conversations between guests.
- Remove all coffee tables and footstools. Both can crowd a party area and make guests feel cramped. They can also cause a tripping hazard if your guests don’t have enough room to move around. Store your coffee tables and footstools in another room for the duration of the party.
- If you’re hosting a small party (between 3-5 guests) you may keep 1 or 2 coffee tables or footstools in the room.
- Construct a clear circulation path to the door. If you’re holding the party in a small room, arrange your furniture in a way that makes a pathway. Arrange the pathway from the door to the end of the room and near any windows.
- The pathway should be about 2 people wide.
- Walk around the room to check for obstructions. Around 1-2 hours before the party begins, check the room’s circulation to make sure guests can navigate it easily. Keep in mind how many guests you plan to have, and adjust the furniture arrangement as needed.
- You should have at least of clearance between furniture.
- Clear out a space for dancing, if desired. If you want to host a dance party, dedicate a specific room in your house for dancing. Remove all furniture from this room to prevent guests from injuring themselves or breaking anything as they dance.
- The living room is usually ideal for dance parties.
- You can dedicate another room in your house to refreshments and light conversation for guests who don’t want to dance.
EditOptimizing Guest Conversation
- Choose a party area that is contained, yet comfortable. To increase conversation, your room should be just large enough to hold your guests and have breathable circulation. This will encourage guests to mingle and get to know people they might not normally talk with.
- For parties between friends, too close is generally better than too open.
- Arranging your furniture in seating arrangements for 2-4 people. Clustering all of the seats together can make the room feel unbalanced and discourage close conversations. Visually divide the room into quadrants and place an equal amount of seats in each quarter.
- Set your furniture away from the TV. Unless you’re having a movie night, TVs are distracting and inhibit conversation. Ignore the TV while setting up your furniture or even face chairs away from it to encourage conversation.
- If your TV takes up a lot of space and is removable, you may store it in the other room during the party.
- Keep extra chairs on hand. In case anyone is left without a chair and wants one, keep a few folding chairs nearby. If a guest wants to join a seated conversation, they can set up a folding chair to feel comfortable and welcome.
- You can also use throw pillows or beanbags for extra seating, if needed.
EditCreating a Party Atmosphere
- Arrange your seating near any windows. Placing your seats near the windows will improve the natural lighting and give your guests a relaxing view. If the room doesn’t have any windows, place the seating near lights or an art piece.
- Leave out a few creative pieces. Creative pieces of furniture can give your guests something to talk about and brighten the mood. If you have a decorative lamp, chair, or artistic sculpture, leave it out somewhere that it will be noticed but not act as an obstruction.
- Try to accentuate the best features of your room. If you have a high-quality sofa, for example, drape it with a few colorful throw blankets.
- Make a spot for guests to leave their coats. Coat racks are traditional furniture pieces for parties. If you don’t own one, you can either install a coat hanger on the wall or designate a closet for guests to leave their coats.
- You can also have guests leave their coats and bags on a bed or couch in another room.
- Add 1 or more tables for food and drinks. Refreshments can liven up a party’s atmosphere. If you’re hosting a small to medium-sized party, arrange a single food table for refreshments. For larger parties, lay out multiple small tables for mini food stations instead.
- Set a few playing card decks down around your furniture pieces to give your guests something to do while talking.
- Plan at least 2-3 hours for arranging your furniture to make sure you have time for adjustments.
- Adjust your lighting with lamps, windows, and electrical lights to give your party a positive, friendly atmosphere.
- Be careful while moving heavy furniture. If you cannot safely move the furniture alone, ask a friend for assistance.