Hosting Thanksgiving in your Albany, NY apartment this year? Read on for tips on how to make the most of your living space this Holiday.
It’s your turn to host Thanksgiving. You’ve got enthusiasm, the right recipes, and even a plan for the tablescape. But you do live in an apartment not on a cul-de-sac in Suburbia. Here are 4 Tips for Making this Thanksgiving unforgettable, even if you’re not in your parents Brownstone.
1. Focus on the Cozy
We’ve seen the Thanksgiving dinners on TV with the formal dining rooms, chandeliers, and all of those silver platters. But before you feel inferior about your open floor plan and round table that seats six, remember how traditional dining room scenes usually end – in disasters. Those formal trappings are often a set-up by the writers to reveal family dysfunction! Food poisoning! And (Thank you Clark Griswold) a super-dried out turkey!
Now think about dinner scenes that you love…the round table in “Notting Hill” and every single holiday on “Friends.” The best dinner parties feel intimate, not formal, and welcome is not based on space or finesse. Your key elements are the characters and coziness. Is your table warm and inviting? Can everyone see each other? Does your home have personal elements throughout, reminding guests that real people do real life here?
Attend any enjoyable party and you will find small groups gathered in nooks and crannies. No one likes standing in a vast room with a crowd. Humans pair up and wander away. Your Albany, NY apartment is more Thanksgiving-ready than you realize. So invite some characters, and create the cozy.
When hosting Thanksgiving in your apartment don’t focus on how much space you have. Instead, ask yourself, “how will I use my space smartly?” Do you have a down- the- hall neighbor going out of town? Ask about using their kitchen for extra oven space and staging. Do you have a guest room that you can plan on for any extra items, or furniture you want to move out of the way for the evening? You want to provide plenty of room for guests to mingle and don’t want to add clutter to dining areas.
As you plan your menu, keep space in mind as well. Choose to cook items that use less pots and cookware. Provide appetizers that don’t require plates so guests can stand in the living area. Consider even purchasing fancy paper products so dirty dishes don’t pile up visibly (but be ready with a plan for the trash!)
3. Plan by Atmosphere not by Room
One of the best opportunities apartment hospitality provides is to plan atmosphere changes, not room changes. With an open floor plan, or an apartment in which you are doing most of the event in one space, you get to create different moods without moving rooms. In large houses, when it’s time for dinner, guests enter the dining room. But in an apartment you need to be creative in how you move between portions of the event.
Change your music when cocktails end and dinner begins. Light candles on the table and dim overhead lights only for the meal. Move outside on a balcony or to a courtyard for dessert. When you shift your framework from rooms to atmospheres, you’ll be surprised how the ideas flow, and the intentional moods you create.
4. Emphasize the Benefits of Apartment Living
This is your chance to show them off the many benefits to apartment hosting. When you live in an apartment community like Albany Lofts at One Broadway, you are minutes away from stores in case you forget something. You live on a beautiful campus with abundant green space, great for after-dinner walks, or before -dinner football games. Large floor plans and 16-ft vaulted ceilings keep guests feeling comfortable and spacious walk-in closets have room for all the coats (and any last minute stuff you throw in.)
You also have friendly neighbors nearby ready to pitch in and lend items, or store food and drinks. Plus, your friends and family will envy that you only need to worry about your apartment – there’s no yard to tend or leaves to rake. You have more time to cook and make the playlist – and it takes less time to clean up afterwards!
Hosting a holiday gathering is no small thing, no matter where you live. But if you live in the Albany Lofts, you can work out in the on-site fitness center before the meal, and relax in a soaker tub after your final guests leave, creating restful moments that bookend the big day.