The word is out – last year’s Thanksgiving feast was a hit! This year, your second cousins twice removed are coming out of the woodwork to attend the festivities. Your table seats 10, but now you come in at a party of 20. What do you do? First things first, don’t panic! There is turkey to be brined and pies to be baked and no room for additional stress. Here are nine great dining room options to help your holiday dinner go off without a hitch:
If your kitchen has a bar area, use it! Instead of cluttering it up with snacks, use this long length of counter space for your guests. Though it doesn’t allow for conversation outside of your immediate area, you can periodically call for a change of seating so that everybody can get a chance to catch up. A bit like musical chairs, this can be a fun way to break the ice with your relatives and get to know one another better.
Glass or Wood Overlay Think of any large flat surfaces in your house. Maybe you’re into games such as pool or table tennis. Using one such object as your base, lay a panel of wood or glass over it to create a larger, functional table. Make sure that the material you use is sturdy and has good support beneath it. It’s a good way to transform an already occupied space to meet your growing needs.
The Rounded Table
Rounded tables are great because you can fit more people around the edges, without Uncle Bob hitting his elbow every time he goes in for mashed potatoes. For a large gathering, consider a longer, oval shaped table with plenty of room along the body and edges. For additional space, try using chairs without arm rests. Arms rests define how much space a chair takes up, even if there’s only a small child sitting there. Go for sleeker armless chairs for more flexibility around the table.
If your party is large enough, there may be no practical table to meet your needs. Consider splitting into two. A common way to do this is to reserve your larger dining room table for adults and set up a temporary folding table for the kids. This way, the kids don’t have to listen to the boring grown-up chatter and you can each have an age-appropriate spread.
If you’re a frequent entertainer, but find it impractical to keep party-sized amenities in your house year-round, consider the resizable table. With two panels that separate allowing for the addition of another temporary piece, you can grow your modest table to huge lengths in minutes.
It sounds crazy, but hear me out. With a cheap throw for spills and messes and/or TV trays to catch any extra food, there is nowhere with more space than the floor. Lay out some comfortable cushions for seating and get the added benefit of total flexibility when it comes to where you sit – and who you are able to sit by. No longer are you competing for conversation across a huge table. Certainly a unique dining experience, if nothing else, you will likely be able to answer, “tables” when asked what you are thankful for.
Along the lines of the earlier-mentioned armless chairs, bench seating is much more forgiving when it comes to squeezing people in. Perfect for keeping an eye on tiny kiddos, this seating arrangement is intimate and casual. If your home has window benches, you can slide a table up against it to maximize not only seating, but floor space for guests to mingle when you aren’t eating.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with tolerable Thanksgiving weather, take advantage of it. Set up the lawn chairs and space heaters, clean off that rustic garden furniture and you’ve opened up a whole new world of space. If you don’t have enough chairs for everyone, have your guests bring some of their own for a makeshift set up that is easy to clean up later.
Sometimes it’s not a question of being able to fit the people at the table, but the food. Leave the food in the kitchen and have people dish their own plates, buffet style. This will clear up space for you to decorate the table and eliminate the obnoxious passing of food.
Thanksgiving is sneaking up fast. I’m thankful for my dining room arrangements. Are you?
Ashley Steel is a writer for NewHomeSource