Planning a party in an apartment common area
When you’re planning to host a bash that’s too big for your own apartment, there’s an alternative venue right in your building: the shared lounge or clubhouse. There are lots of perks to keeping your party “in-house,” so to speak, especially if you prize convenience. However, before you welcome your first guest, you’ll need to do some careful planning in order for your party to go off without a hitch. Here are a few tips you should follow to make your soiree a success.
Inquire about reserving or renting.
Most apartment communities with common areas will allow you to reserve the space in advance, which means you won’t have to deal with any uninvited guests from down the hall. Some will charge a rental fee, much like a typical party venue, whereas others may consider the occasional common room reservation part of your existing rental package. Ask your property manager about rates and availability before you send out any invites.
Nail down the basics.
In order to keep the common space in tip-top shape for you and your neighbors, the common area likely has a set of rules that must be followed. Make sure you understand what these expectations are before you get any farther in the party-planning process. For instance, ask how many people are legally allowed in the lounge (for safety reasons). Don’t forget to ask about tinkering with the thermostat, acceptable levels of noise, and how late your bash can go.
Devise a set-up plan.
When you’re throwing a party in a shared space, you want set-up and tear-down to be as efficient and swift as possible. The less time it takes you to get everything set up, the less time you’re monopolizing the lounge and clubhouse. So come up with a way to quickly cart in everything and remove it just as efficiently after the party winds down.
Keep the decor simple.
In keeping with this plan for a seamless setup, make sure that you don’t go overboard on party decor. Stick with accents that require no installation — i.e., don’t hang anything on the walls. Instead, bring in weighted clusters of balloons that you can plunk down anywhere or deck out the buffet table with a few small embellishments. Since the management team at your apartment community probably already goes to great lengths to keep the common area looking nice, it really doesn’t require that much extra TLC. When it comes to party decor, less is more.
Opt for portable foods.
On the same note, keep the party menu simple. If possible, avoid hot foods all together. Instead, order a few trays of finger foods or sandwiches. Fill up some bowls with chips and salsa. Put out a platter or two of veggies and hummus. Opt for foods that are easy to bring to the party and clean up afterward. Preferably, you’ll be able to prep everything at least a day in advance or order the majority of the grub and let someone else do the heavy lifting for you.
How to Entertain in a Small Space [Real Simple]