Homes & Gardens: How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space – 5 Expert Tips

Weston Table Featured in Homes & Gardens: How to Host Thanksgiving in a Small Space – 5 Expert Tips on November 14, 2023:

Written by Camille Dubuis-Welch:

“Seeking an alternative to the hurried necessity and uniform shopping experiences found on big box sites, Dianne O’Connor envisioned an online shopping destination rich in inspiration and real-life content. Dianne founded Weston Table with the belief that shopping online should be an entertaining, mindful experience that immerses people in a world of beauty, possibilities, and purpose. Dianne’s unique point of view on living, giving, and entertaining has been shaped by her extraordinary life experiences. From growing up in rural Big Sky country, pursuing higher education in Texas, thriving as an international investment advisory professional, and traveling across five continents while raising five children, she developed a curiosity to share the best of what she has encountered at home and abroad. Weston Table is the culmination of these personal and professional experiences – a curated online marketplace of artisanally-designed, superiorly-crafted, and ethically produced goods in which beauty, function, and life values align.


DECLUTTER TO 'OPTIMIZE' SPACE: There are some spaces experts always recommend decluttering before the holidays anyhow. 'First things first: declutter as much as possible. The more that may be put away (even under the bed, in a closet, or in the bathtub), the bigger the space will feel,' says Dianne O’Connor, CEO of Weston Table.


MAXIMIZE YOUR DINING ROOM LAYOUT: 'In space-constrained areas, self-service is the way to go. If possible, find two distinct places to set up, one for drinks and the other for food. Having the bar and the food areas as far apart as possible creates an opportunity for guests to naturally move around. If there happens to be another space, even a windowsill or a small table in which to set up a dessert station, this is an easy way to ensure guests will gravitate to different areas on their own,' adds O'Connor.


MAKE SURE DECOR HAS UNEXPECTED 'DOUBLE DUTY': O’Connor reminds us to keep exciting objects on display as talking points: 'Keep the items that are potential conversation starters in sight such as books about wine or travel or perhaps an unusual item that has a story behind it.'

For any decorative features you do have on show, try to ensure they serve more than one purpose. Remember that function can mean many things, and it is worth exploring especially when keeping a little living room decluttered. In a hosting environment, movement and conversation should flow without interruption, and design can play an important part in making this work.

'In living spaces, fold and put away extra blankets, magazines, baskets, or other storage vessels that people may bump into (this too will make the space feel a bit bigger),' adds O’Connor who also recommends giving thought to a pared-back color scheme when using flowers or candles, for instance.

'I prefer to stick to one color of flower when entertaining in small spaces as it pulls the entire room together and creates a feeling of a larger space. However, I love putting the flowers in all types of vessels and having each arrangement a bit taller or shorter, single stem, or a plump bunch.'

Fall candles and flowers will add ambiance and make the space feel effortlessly on season: 'Candlelight makes guests’ faces glow and creates a relaxing atmosphere. I put candles everywhere! On the mantle if you have one, on the bar, on the buffet, inside a fireplace, on the floor, and even the bathroom – guests will eventually make their way there too, so I leave no attention to detail undone. Little more is needed. In small spaces, less is always more.'



A variety of table and dinnerware can work best to make use of vertical space. O'Connor says to consider how you will make your food display even more appetizing: 'Use tiered stands, different height bowls, and serving platters and fill them with bite-sized foods that are interesting combinations of textures and tastes expected during the Thanksgiving feast.'

'Imagine the wonder and surprise when serving maple-glazed squash cubes and roasted quartered brussel sprouts woven on cocktail picks. Best of all, think outside the box. A small space probably means a small table and limited seating. Set the table with martini glasses and invite guests to fill them with all the traditional holiday fixings on the table – mashed potatoes, gravy, a dollop of cranberry conserve, and small slices of turkey.'

Pay attention to the details, not just of the feast itself but also of how the day will roll kindly into the evening.

'A stemmed glass is easy to hold on to and so memorable that guests will forget that you invited them to eat this special meal while seated on cushions on the floor.'



'If possible, remove furniture pieces, including coffee or end tables that won’t be used, and store them in a bedroom space,' suggests O’Connor. 'The room will open up immediately, seem bigger, and give your guests easier passage to move about the entertaining space.'

Remember to think about the items guests will bring that risk cluttering the space too: 'Borrow a fold-away clothes rack that may be tucked along one side of the entryway or in a bedroom. This is the easiest way to organize guests’ coats and bags. Use high-quality hangers so that they don’t bend and frustrate guests.'"

Featured: 1950s Cambridge Minuet Footed Glasses and Dianne's Insights