How to Create More Space for Easter Guests

I’m so happy Easter is right around the corner! And I’ll be hosting this year–will you?

Entertaining is magical, and for me it’s the first initial spark of inspiration that is the most exciting.

Easter. Spring. New Life. Friends. Family. A real reason to celebrate.

Making that decision to host starts it off for me … and then I start getting excited about the table. This year I’m focusing on “yellow.” :)

Recently a reader wrote me about a “space” dilemma. What do you do when you host a dinner and space becomes an issue?

We host the family Easter Dinner every year, and even though the family has grown over the years, we have managed to fit around the table. Cozy, but we fit. This year there are a couple of other people that we want to have join us. I can’t leave them out just because it spoils my table setting, but don’t know what I’ll do. There aren’t enough kids to do a kid table (one 14, one 9.) If I serve food buffet style, I still have to find a place for everyone to sit. Do you have a magic “space maker”? -RE reader

Space concerns:

-My table isn’t big enough

-Even if I could add on more tables, there still isn’t room for the size of the group

-I don’t like the “crammed” feeling around the table, but “2” more didn’t warrant adding another table

-The type of food I was serving wouldn’t work for people sitting around with their plates in their laps

-More people were coming and I really wanted to use my wedding dishes (12)

-Not enough chairs

This year I found 2 of the same Ralph Lauren tablecloths at TJ Maxx. I’ll be adding a table on to my existing table, making room for 15!

Easter is also a perfect time to serve a buffet-style meal, if space is your issue.

This way you can mix and match the guests, adults and children, and it’s also okay to have several eating areas.

The first thing to do is look around your apartment or house and visualize where you can put people. Think outside of the box (outside of using only the dinner table).

Using the most of your space:

-Declutter the space you choose to work with and remove any unnecessary items, including furniture if need be.

-For buffet-style, serve easy food that doesn’t require a knife to cut with.

-When your guests arrive, let them know what the plan is for the meal (IE. adults sit in the living or dining area, kids are at the “kid” table).

-Feel free to rearrange furniture.

-Borrow or rent a longer table if needed.

-Create over-flow in the garage by setting up tables or transforming a ping-pong table.

-Borrow chairs from neighbors or friends.

-Host the children in the garage or family room and the adults at the dining table.

-Add on as many tables as you can fit so everyone can sit together at the table.

-Use the stairs for the kids to sit on (or even adults).

Remember it’s worth the extra effort to plan ahead and think things through, maybe in your mind adding on a few extra “last-minute” guests. Don’t be rigid with your number because we all know that number can change. :)

Going with the flow for buffet-style meals is my motto for really enjoying my guests.

Creating space is important, because we all know that the “table” or “togetherness” of the group, the conversation, the love, the celebrations, connecting and encouraging — is the secret to a successful event.

What are some space dilemmas that you’ve dealt with and how did you overcome those obstacles?

12 comments on “How to Create More Space for Easter Guests”

  1. Hello! I just love your blog! My question is….
    We have an oval type dining table, so if I wanted to add a table to extend my
    serving/seating area, how do you do that? With the end being an unusual shape… I can’t just
    “slide” another table up to it to attach! HELP!!
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi, Teresa. I’ve seen it before where you could slide a card table or something a little lower right in on the end. Try that and see if that works. Or a second table works, too! Happy Easter!

  2. Nothing to add! Great post Sandy.

  3. Such practical ideas. I especially like the suggestion to not serve anything requiring a knife when it’s buffet-style and people may be eating off their laps! Very wise.

    It’s times like these that I almost wish my formal dining table was a fold-up rectangular table like what’s used for church dinners. They are so easy to add onto when you want one really long table extending into the living room!

    Love your blog!!

    • Barbara, yes! I’ll be using one of those tables. We store it in the garage and it comes out for holidays. I tried to email you back (came back to me). Happy Easter!

  4. Our best space-maker is to have a bench at our dining table. Usually we use it to seat two of the kids, but it can fit four, all squeezed together, or 2-3 adults. When the weather is nice we throw blankets on the grass and let the kids picnic, but sometimes I let the kids sit around the coffee table. And as we replace old side tables, I’m trying to buy ones that are easy to move around and use to hold dinner/dessert plates. I still feel like our house won’t fit many people when we need to entertain completely indoors, but those things have helped.

  5. Our dining room is on the small side, so we’ve always put the dining room table in the living room and added more tables to fit our 17 people! I really don’t like that idea– to say the least. But we love togetherness, so buffet is not an option. This year I am hoping for warm enough weather to eat on our large deck. Otherwise it will be the living room…
    I don’t like that because I feel that everyone is “stuck” there before and after the meal. They don’t really go into the basement since we do love to all be together, some congregating is done in the kitchen….A few times I’ve had the table put back into the dining room immediately after the meal so all could relax in the living room. That works ok…
    Any ideas? We do have room in the basement, but again, we like to be together! I imaging people will be enjoying the deck if it’s nice this year….

  6. My husband and I are hosting his family for Easter this year – not everyone can come but we’ll still have 18 – 20. When weather permits – and it usually does, even at Christmas – we add a table to our screened-in porch. It’s a fold-up table that my husband borrows from his office, along with 6 – 8 chairs to fit around it. We have a table that seats four on the porch, our breakfast nook and then our dining room. Dinner is served buffet style from our kitchen counter and after filling their plates, people spread out and sit where they want. Sometimes it’s crowded, but it’s fun !

    Thanks, Sandy, for your post. I’ve been reading for a few years now and have learned to relax when having people at my home.

    Happy Easter !

  7. We spent most of our married life in a house that was 1109 square feet, it is where we raised our boys. That said, it never deterred us from entertaining. We have set up tables in our living room, and dining area to accomodate every one. It not the space you have but how you USE it that counts. Remember it is not the space but the memory you are creating, and the connection to those we know and love. We had up to 18 YES 18 people at that home for dinners, holidays, and events. Fast forward to now, we now have 1840 square feet, a formal dining room, a breakfast room, family room, and living room. And yep you guessed it we still set up tables every where!!! My wife hosted both of our daughter in laws bridal showers at our home with 70 people at them. Our youngest son got married there, you can do it!!!! Again it is not the space you have but how you USE it. We make sure that all the tables have the same colored table clothe on them and let the fun begin. Never let your space determine your guest list. My mother always told us that there was always room for friends and family at our dinner table, and I totally agree!!! We always host the family holiday dinners at our home. This year like last, our oldest son and his wife will not be able to be with us, but we will still have a respectable 10 people sitting down to the Chipley Easter Lunch. We do lunch after Church, so that our kids can also see their in laws, I know that is really big of me…… lol, oh how I wish that statement was not true, but having to share my children on holidays has been the biggest challenge for me. So we adjust, and everyone gets to see them!!!!
    Happy Easter to all ~~ HE IS RISEN ~~~ HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!! GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST
    Blessing to all
    Curtis & Sherrie

  8. My method is to have duplicates of the same table, at least two but preferably three of a ‘ordinary’ 4-6 person table …
    Placed short end to short end these make great buffet/serving tables and can stretch the whole length of the middle of a lounge/diner …
    Two placed long end to long end these make a much wider than usual dining table so that there is actually room for serving dishes in the centre.
    In between times the spare tables can be collapsed (They are currently cheap ones of a board top and three-in-one metal legs, like a cone shape from a single foot to a plate on the underside of the table) or they are used in other rooms, I almost always have one in the guest bedroom as a crafts table.
    Otherwise, and for the garden party I have every year, I do use a huge variety of tables, mostly small square 4 person types or rectangular 4-6 seater ones … and as suggested above I use the same tablecloth on all of them – in the garden I use paper banquetting roll held on with ribbons tied around the whole table top and tied underneath – and I lay them out in a ‘cafe’ formation. Several small tables scattered around the area means that people migrate from one table to another inbetween trips to the buffet table and actually socialise more than they would if seated at one long table. The ‘cafe’ vibe is actually a really pleasant and friendly one!

  9. We have an oval dining table that seats 6 day to day and 8 when needed.
    We had a carpenter make us a larger oval table top that fits on top of our table and is fixed with batons underneath to make it safe and secure .It can easily seat a lot more people and because of the extra height makes it easier to push other tables under the ends if needed .
    Your original table obviously has to be strong enough to take the extra weight but your carpenter should be able to advise you on this.We had ours cut into two identical halves so it was easier to store (under the bed at one time when we were short of storage space)
    The table top allows plenty of room down the centre of the table for serving dishes or a large table decoration without encroaching on your place settings.It is also ideal for buffets and of course if you are doing anything that requires a large surface to work on such as crafts or using a sewing machine etc.
    We had to have a new top made 5 years ago when we moved from UK to Cyprus as we left the other one behind by mistake .Always wondered if the people who bought our house realised what it was for !
    Hope somebody somewhere finds this idea useful anyway.

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