Hosting a party or large family gathering means you need a place for everyone to sit (or at least most of them). But what if you don’t have enough sofas and chairs for everyone? Are you destined for a room full of poufs and bean bag chairs? Not quite. Instead, use these easy ways to get more seating out of your small space.
How Much Room Should There Be Between Seating?
First, before you start cramming a bunch of seating options into your room, plan well. It won’t be very comfortable for anyone if they get stuck wherever they end up sitting. In other words, there isn’t enough room for people to move about the space.
Ideally, you would have 18 to 24 inches between furniture items, including seating, tables, etc. If you’re working in a tiny space and need to accommodate a lot of people, you can slide this number down to 14 inches. However, don’t go any less than 14 inches, or your guests end up tripping or feeling trapped.
How Much Seating Do You Need?
Unless you’re hosting a dinner party or a movie viewing, it’s unlikely that every one of your party guests would want to sit at the same time. It’s safe to assume that between ⅓ and ½ of your guests could end up sitting at once. Therefore, plan to have at least that number of seats available.
So, if you invite 40 people to your home for a party, you should have seating for at least 15 to 20 people. However, it’s also important to consider the type of gathering.
The fewer people on the guest list, the more likely they are to all sit since it’s a more intimate setting. For example, if you invite 10 people to your home for a small get-together, it’s safe to assume they’ll all sit simultaneously to enjoy conversation, play games, etc.
Five Simple Seating Ideas for Small Spaces
Beyond your couch, loveseat, or armchair, where can guests sit when they come to your home? Of course, you can drag chairs in from other rooms, like the dining room or even the patio, to create temporary seating.
But what if you still need more places for people to sit? Try these easy ideas to create more seating in a small space.
- Use an Ottoman Instead of a Coffee Table
Swap out your coffee table for an ottoman and tray. This way, it can be a table or seating, depending on what you need at a particular time. Certain styles feature a top that flips over, with a tray on one side and a cushion on the other.
Also, since you’re working with a small space, choose a storage ottoman to have an extra place to put items. Another choice to consider is whether to get one or more ottomans. With one larger piece, you could seat two or more people, but there isn’t much flexibility with placement.
But if you opt for two or three smaller ones, you get more flexibility. You can separate them to spread out seating and slide them together when you need a coffee table.
- Invest in Nice Folding Chairs
If you host guests frequently, then investing in some good-quality folding chairs is a great idea. That way you can bring out extra seating as needed, and it looks nice. Of course, you need to have a place to store the chairs, so designate a spot before you purchase.
- A Storage Bench Doubles as Seating
Instead of using an ottoman as a coffee table, a storage bench is another alternative. It provides extra storage space and seating. Or, use one in addition to the ottomans if you have the space. You can place a bench behind a sofa and move it around as needed.
A bench under a window creates the illusion of a window seat. Or keep it under a console table so it’s out of the way, and only pull it out when you need more seating.
- Add Comfortable Cushions for Younger Guests
A few oversized, comfy cushions are perfect for younger or more agile guests to sit on the floor. Store some cushions inside your storage ottomans or bench and pull them out when you need a few extra seats.
- Stackable Chairs or Stools
Consider chairs or stools that stack to make it easier to store them when not in use. When guests come, simply unstack them and place them where you need them. When you need more space, stack them and place them out of the way in a corner, spare room, or closet.
Pull Up a Chair or Anything Else
Don’t get stuck on traditional seating ideas when hosting a gathering in a small space. It’s okay to think outside the box and get creative regarding places for your guests to sit. Ottomans, storage benches, patio chairs, and cushions are all fair game.
Plan to have enough places for approximately half of your guests to sit at once if you’re hosting a large amount of people. For more intimate gatherings, you may want to have enough seating for everyone. However, always leave at least 14 inches between your furniture or seating options so guests can move freely and not trip over each other.