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

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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?