Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

An increasing number of Boulder County residents are choosing to live smarter over bigger, moving into smaller homes, apartments, or putting in a backyard studio shed for work or play.

Their plan is to live large and the perfect starting place is to throw the most inspired holiday gathering.

In a creatively decorated small space, the “more the merrier” holiday motto lives on. The size of your guest list may make your square footage feel more like square inches, but don’t hold back. Try these tips from on how to bring out the magic and party big in a small space.

Overcome the drab look of electronics
Wall-mounted televisions are the rage and perfect for a small space, but a blank screen is drab. Liven it up with an amazing slide show of holiday scenes or a burning fireplace, or cover that monitor with art or wrapping paper and a big ribbon.

Delight your guests with lights
Make your party space sparkle with lights sprinkled across your buffet or dining table. You can go beyond seasonal lights and bring in your outdoor summer bulbs. And there’s no need to spend hours stringing lights; simply scatter, drape, and pile those beauties right on your lovely food table. Add dimension with the new, tiny dew drop lights that wrap around just about anything. Use battery-operated lights so no one trips on the cords, and keep it green with renewable batteries. You can set the scene by lighting the way with solar powered lights installed along the walkway, adorning the trees and draped over the entryway. Delight your guests before they even get to your party.

Forego the faux, celebrate with tiny trees
Add pizazz with a small live tree or herb tree of rosemary. Dress the stand with your favorite scarf, cozy throw, or holiday tablecloth around the base of your tiny tree. Sprinkle dew drop lights across the branches and it’s magic.

Make creative, layered beverage stations
Bring in an element of surprise and fun by using pots, buckets, and festive-colored storage bins to add creativity to your beverage stations. Fill with ice for drinks or for chilling beer and dazzle with re-use charm. A beverage cart can help spread the crowd out beyond one bar station. Add layers with a cake stand, and your serving space becomes a point of interest.

Let nature rule
Go beyond pine clippings for garland – any decorative greenery works for mantels, shelving, mirrors, or tables. The unexpected foliage freshens the look and white lights will help set the holiday mood.

Use every inch
When it’s time for your holiday party, don’t hold out. Use other rooms and nooks of your home. Your home office makes a perfect libation lounge or dessert station, especially when you use bookshelves to hold snacks, condiments and plates.

Make it easy
If you are looking for a certain color or size for your décor, make it easy and festive. Buy the perfect color and style wrapping paper and wrap up boxes you have lying around. You’ll instantly and inexpensively have the holiday lift and look you need.

Above all, be confident. Your guests will love and enjoy your creative, cozy party space.

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By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit