It’s December and the holiday season is pretty much here. On top of attending parties, purchasing gifts, and planning a feast, it is the season where I often transform my family home into a hotel and banquet hall. Sound familiar? It isn’t always easy, but here are a few things I would do, before we rebuilt our house, that allowed us to fit more people into our space for holiday entertaining.

Alternative Holiday Tree

Holiday trees are lovely, but they take up a lot of valuable real estate. To maintain this space for guests and create that lovely holiday atmosphere I gave up the traditional holiday tree.  Instead, I created a smaller variation I could place on a sideboard. One year it was potted evergreens decorated with little white lights. Another year it was a large vase with boxwood twigs decorated with many small colourful decorative baubles. Coming up with something a little less traditional and creative was fun, and a great conversation piece as the guests rolled in.

Remove and Replace Bulky Seating

Some of your cozy seating may not be appropriate. Although great for curling up and reading a book, a large piece may take up more space than it’s worth when you are trying to accommodate a lot of people. Move these pieces out before the guests arrive and replace them with something that can accommodate more people in the same space. We’ve done this by moving bulky chairs to the bedrooms, switching in lawn furniture and adding a few extra dining-room chairs. It may sound hodge-podge, but it worked and allowed us to celebrate the holidays with extended family.

Get a Sleeper Sofa

Once the evening comes to an end, finding extra beds can be even more challenging than coming up with extra chairs. The most inexpensive way I have found to add a quick guest room to my home is by adding a sleeper sofa. I suggest investing in a comfy one to keep your guests happy. It’s not the perfect solution, but it works for short-term holiday guests by transforming a sitting area into a bedroom. Years later we came up with a better, but more expensive option for easier entertaining — redesigning our space and rebuilding our house.


Finally, make space for your guests by getting rid of a few things. Hosting a holiday crowd is a great excuse to go through your belongings and give away stuff that you no longer need. By the time the season is over, you’ll likely have been gifted new stuff that will refill some of that space anyway.

Interested in learning more about how to create a smaller home that will allow you to entertain a crowd over the holiday season? Check out our blog post about holiday entertaining in an urban home. It’s not all about square footage. Good design is key!