Shaken, Not Stirred: Entertaining in a Tiny Nutshell

Mad Men Party in a Small Space

Cocktail Party in 300-Square Feet

‘Tis always the season for a great party and when my friend Mark said he never thought he could throw a proper cocktail party in his 310-square foot apartment, I set out to prove him wrong. Any excuse to throw a party!

Photo 2 Mark's apt wide - Shaken, Not Stirred: Entertaining in a Tiny Nutshell

First, Shop Your Home

First rule of thumb for party design on a shoestring is to shop your own home and assess what you already have. Mark’s apartment had mid-century touches and a gray mod sofa so we chose a Mad Men inspired 60s cocktail theme.

Photo 3 Me and Mark Kiss - Shaken, Not Stirred: Entertaining in a Tiny Nutshell

Turn Flaws into a Feature

Instead of keeping his Murphy bed hidden, I decided to make it a feature for the party. We kept it pulled down and covered it with a shearling rug from my place and some vintage fabric.

Photo 4 Screen - Shaken, Not Stirred: Entertaining in a Tiny Nutshell

Retro Party Decor

I found a great archival video clip of a 1963 prom and projected the video onto Mark’s white window blinds thanks to Tyco Rental in NYC.

Photo 5 Colin Fireplace - Shaken, Not Stirred: Entertaining in a Tiny Nutshell

Vintage bowling trophies and paint-by-number canvases gave the mantle the perfect retro vibe and a sunburst mirror I made out of paint sticks took the spotlight. The mirror only cost me $3 to make! I glued all the sticks to a piece of cardboard.

Photo 6 Paper Lights - Shaken, Not Stirred: Entertaining in a Tiny Nutshell

Lighting

Accordion paper party lamps gathered like a flower bouquet were lit up with inexpensive floral tea lights that were hidden inside the shades. Battery-operated candles safely light floors, mantels and tabletops.

Zone It

There were four party zones throughout the space: one dessert buffet and three cocktail stations. We even fit a vodka bar in Mark’s tiny hallway, which worked out perfectly. Designated party zones encourages good traffic flow in a tight space.

With very little square footage and a petite budget, a party of 14 happily danced the night away.