Rae Lambert

Hey, I'm Rae!

Living in a small space doesn't mean you can't live a big life. In fact, the time and money saved means more freedom to do the things that matter most to you.

A holiday housewarming party for twelve

A holiday housewarming party for twelve

My New York City apartment is starting to come together! As soon as the couch arrived, I scheduled a housewarming party which doubled as a holiday party. I’ll share an official apartment tour soon, but here’s a sneak peek on how my husband and I comfortably fit and fed twelve guests in our small one bedroom apartment.

Schedule your party as an open house and not during meal times

In order to host a manageable party but still invite all of our friends, we scheduled it open house style and not during typical meal times—from 1 to 5 pm. By letting our guests know they could pop in at any time during the four hour window, it made it more convenient for them and meant that everyone wouldn’t show up all at once. By choosing hours that aren’t typical meal times, that meant a little less expectation and work on our end to serve a full meal with plates and flatware.

 

Decorate minimalist style

To decorate I opted for smaller items that don’t take up much room and can be easily relocated if space becomes scarce. A cedar wreath with fairy lights, winter bouquet, and Frasier fir candle kept things simple, but festive!

To see more ideas for minimalistic Christmas decorating without a tree, check out this post →

Minimalist Christmas Decorations: Wreath
Minimalist Christmas Decorations: Winter Bouquet
Minimalist Christmas Decorations: Frasier Fir Candle
 

Make room for shoes and coats

We emptied our shoe shelf and coat rack to make room for guests. We’re a no-shoes household and having a place to tuck away shoes and hats keeps the entryway clear. The shoe shelf from Ikea deserves a post of its own since it stylishly fits over 8 pairs of adult shoes!

Minimalist Christmas Decorations: Eucalyptus
Minimalist Christmas Decorations: Eucalyptus
 

Arrange the seating

The modular couch is normally setup as one piece across the right wall and my keyboard usually lives under the guitars. But in order to fit everyone comfortably in our living room, we stored the keyboard in the bedroom and unclipped the couch to break up the seating. The “side table” between the chairs is a leather sling stool with a shallow tray for people to put their drinks on. If it gets real cramped the tray can make way for one more tush.

Minimalist Christmas Decorations
Minimalist Christmas Decorations
Minimalist Christmas Decorations
 

Assemble a “refillable” seafood brunch

We assembled a seafood brunch of lox, deviled eggs, and clam chowder. The “cake platter” with the eggs is just an upside down bowl and side plate. To keep the food chilled and save space, we only put out small portions at a time.

You can read all the details for this fancy, yet no-fuss seafood brunch here →

Christmas Seafood Brunch
Housewarming Party
 

Self-serve drinks and cookies

This hallway is usually filled with a few more “artful storage” items—like my hairdryer and gym toiletries. I moved some into the bedroom (behind that closed door) to make room for a beverage station and cookie platter. We kept hot coffee in our Corkcicle thermos and bought the cookies from a bakery down the street. The treats lured people into the hallway and took edge off of the energy in the living room.

Holiday Housewarming Party
Holiday Housewarming Party
Holiday Housewarming Party

It was a fun and simple holiday party and the perfect way to break in our new digs!

Stop buying things that require you to buy more things

Stop buying things that require you to buy more things

An assembly-only seafood brunch for a crowd

An assembly-only seafood brunch for a crowd