Erin Napier's Seating Solutions For Hosting Large Gatherings In A Small Home

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Inviting others into your home can be tremendously rewarding, particularly for events like parties and holiday meals. While larger homes can often accommodate more people and extra seating, smaller spaces can present a challenge, since seating and table space are often limited to conserve square footage when guests aren't visiting. Though folding tables and chairs can be an option for gatherings, they are typically unattractive to look at, less durable, and bulkier to store when not in use. Instead, HGTV's Erin and Ben Napier have a couple excellent ideas for maximizing the seating you have in your smaller home to accommodate larger groups of people both stylishly and efficiently.

Their ideas range from adjustable tables that work very well in small spaces to varieties of multi-functional seating that take up less space than common options like large couches or dining chairs. In addition, they are all a much more budget-friendly alternative to renting furniture for your gatherings. They're also a better option than temporarily trying to fit large or bulky pieces in a small space. Instead, you'll be able to use the adjustable table and chairs when needed and then make them smaller for everyday use or tuck them away in storage.

Adjustable tables

One of the easiest ways to maximize seating is to have an adaptable table that can expand to accommodate more people when needed. In a clip from Season 7, Episode 17 of their HGTV show "Home Town," Erin and Ben Napier show off a unique and beautiful adaptable table that, when rotated, can collapse and push together to be a much smaller table. In addition, the center is made from a star-shaped segment created from the old gym floor at Ole Miss, adding a personal touch for the homeowners.

While the Napiers' table is custom-made, expanding leaf tables are popular designs that come in both round and rectangular forms, some with more than one central leaf that provide several options for size. Popular drop-leaf tables, like the Signature Design by Ashley Berringer Dining Room Round Drop Leaf Table from Amazon, allow you to add a few feet of extra space when needed quickly. Another option is Livinia's Wings Gate-Leg Wooden Dining Table on Amazon, which is a narrow gate leg table that folds outward. It's a perfect dining table for smaller apartments or tiny homes.

Flexible seating

Erin and Ben Napier also have some excellent suggestions for seating in a small dining room or kitchen nook. On "The Today Show," the Napiers showed off how a banquette seating option can accommodate a far larger number of people than if you were to use chairs on both sides. This is especially true when it comes to kids, many of whom can cram onto a single bench. You can build a custom corner bench or add a prefab option, like the Riverbay Furniture Transitional Backless Wood Corner Bench on Amazon, to maximize any dining space. Many designs even offer additional deep storage underneath the bench as well.

To maximize space in a family room or living room, the Napiers also suggest ottomans and poufs as a great way to add seats in a living room that can be stashed away compactly when not in use. These are especially great for families with a large number of kids, and they are quite small, so they can fit into small spaces like corners or right in front of the couch. Further, there are also ottomans that come with storage for things like throw blankets and pillows, too.