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How to fit ten friends into your studio apartment for a dinner party

What to do when a dinner party is high on your agenda, but you’re low on square footage? That’s just the dilemma Mia Johansson faced in her small studio apartment in Kalmar, Sweden.
Close-up of people eating dinner around a table in a small space.
A space full of possibilities
Mia Johansson, 28, recently moved to a small flat in Kalmar, Sweden. And while it works great when it’s just her, this hobby chef likes to spend her weekends whipping up meals for her nearest and dearest. So she wanted a space that could easily adapt to accomodate a dinner party for them all.
A photograph of Mia Johansson
A sketched floor plan of Mia Johansson’s space
THE FLOOR PLAN. Mia’s apartment consists of a large open space (shown in the sketch above) that acts as the kitchen, living room and dining area. There’s also a small bedroom and bathroom.
A view into the dining area of Mia’s apartment before the makeover
THE CHALLENGE. When our interior designers paid a visit they found a space that was super cosy, but also super static – with furniture that was hard to move around and rearrange to accomodate visitors. And if you’re like Mia and love to entertain in a small space, multifunctionality and flexibility are key.
The first step to creating a more multifunctional space?
Get rid of lazy furniture.
The living room after the makeover, with a bench used as a coffee table in front of the sofa, a spare table top used as an inspiration board and pillows on the floor for extra seating.
Flexible seating
To make this studio apartment dinner party transformation easier, our interior designers started by finding furniture that could pull double duty. This bench is a coffee table by day but can turn into extra seating the night of the dinner party. And the inspiration board leaned against the wall is actually an extra table top when turned upside down.
Close-up of the TV bench on wheels.
SMALL SPACE MUST HAVES. We put wheels on everything. Especially big, bulky things like sofas and TV benches. That way, they’re easy to move out of the way when needed.
A night table in Mia’s bedroom, with the extra legs for the spare table top used as night table legs.
A GREAT PAIR OF LEGS. The legs of Mia’s bedside table double as legs to the extra table top in the living room.
Extra chairs hung on a piece of plywood leaned up against the wall.
SPARE CHAIRS. Mia can’t drill into her walls, so we painted a piece of plywood in the same colour and drilled a few hooks into it. Then we leaned it up against the wall in the bedroom to create a great spot for a few spare chairs.
A view of the dining area after the makeover, with added storage, an extendable table and stools stacked up for extra seating.
Extendable and stackable dining
To make this studio apartment dinner party possible, we replaced Mia’s dining room table with one that extends. And we brought in stools for some extra seating that can easily be stacked up and out of the way when not in use.
The studio apartment dinner party, all set up for guests
A TABLE FOR TEN? RIGHT THIS WAY! Out with the legs from the bedroom and down with the extra table top! We pushed the extra table and extended dining table together and covered them with matching tablecloths to make it feel like one large piece. And we brought the ironing board out and draped a tablecloth on top to create a small buffet serving table, too.
A picture of people enjoying themselves while sitting around the table.
Then, we made a few small changes to really set the party scene – like hiding the refrigerator by displaying an oversize menu on the door and hanging a few strings of festive lights.
A close-up of a serving tray of food on the table.
The bench (that was the coffee table) together with the stools and extra chairs from the bedroom creates plenty of seating for all of Mia’s guests. The result? 10 friends, one table and lots of yummy food. Dinner party success.