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Host without the most: A party with no furniture?
January 9, 2009 9:22 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to hosting meetups, events, and parties in my apartment with no furniture. Can this work?

Previously, I asked for some tips adjusting to a new city. Amarillo, Texas specifically.

The thread suggests I take the initiative. I found that I need to organize events for them to happen. While there is a lot to do by dining out and such, those things get expensive.

I'd like to have people over for some events. The only problem is, I don't know where to put them. I have no chairs, no sofas, and no tables. There is carpet though. And 1 bar stool.

For example, I'd like to host something like a cookie night (baking fresh cookies, milk, having conversation) or a dinner.

Would it be reasonable to have the guests sit on the floor? If so, what are cheap ways to make it comfortable and help people forget there are no places to sit? I'm thinking pillows but I need pictures or ideas.

Alternatively, would it be better to hold off and buy furniture to do this? I would be able to have the typical couch, dining table, etc in about 2-3 months.

I just don't know what the proper etiquette is for this. I'm from an Indian background and sitting on the floor is not a big deal and sometimes preferred. These would not be close friends though. Just casual acquaintances or people I meet through a meetup group.

What would you do if you had no furniture and had a desire to host social events? Pictures and detailed examples are appreciated.
posted by abdulf to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your idea about pillows sounds fun! It would probably work better for younger folks, as you can perhaps appreciate.

If there is a traditional holiday from your culture coming up, then the traditional way-of-sitting could be a good way to make the most of a come-to-my-house fun cultural celebration.

You might also look into getting a few cheap chairs from a local thrift shop to use for the meantime.

You will need to have some plan for where to put people's coats. You'll probably need some kind of table for putting food on, but if you have a lot of kitchen counter space, that could work.

You might want to go ahead and paint the walls something besides white; maybe a subtle gold or cream (look also at "Downing Sand" from Sherwin Williams; use it with white trim for a certain more formal effect). Non-white walls can help your place seem more friendly, less empty.
posted by amtho at 9:33 AM on January 9, 2009


Depends upon the age of your attendees. When I was in my early 20s, I probably wouldn't have minded sitting on the floor for a party. Late 20s/early 30s, not so much; I'd get uncomfortable and squirmy after an hour (cross legs, stretch legs out, sit up straight to stretch back, etc). If you don't at the very least have some large throw pillows that folks can use, I'd wait until you got some furniture. (P.S. If it's any help, I've seen folks host their own mini-parties, bringing cakes, playing cards, etc., to the cafe at my local Borders book store. As long as they buy some coffee or something else from the counter, staff doesn't seem to mind.)
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:33 AM on January 9, 2009


I would wait and buy furniture. And if you can't wait, definitely make sure everyone knows beforehand that there will be no furniture.
posted by Grither at 9:34 AM on January 9, 2009


If you are going to get furniture, I would do so first.
posted by grouse at 9:43 AM on January 9, 2009


It would be very bizarre to be invited to a house with no furniture. Not just the lack of a place to sit, but the lack of furnishings, decorations, etc. If you're trying to make friends this is a bad way to start.
posted by Nelson at 9:45 AM on January 9, 2009


I would probably wait until you have furniture, but a BYOP (bring your own pillow) party could be fun. I agree that it needs to be age-appropriate, though. And you have to consider that people need places to put drinks that aren't also traffic areas.
posted by bristolcat at 9:46 AM on January 9, 2009


It would be a little weird especially if it was a surprise. However, you certainly could play it up as part of a theme.
posted by mmascolino at 9:52 AM on January 9, 2009


Maybe it's just the Japanese in me, but I've never batted an eye at entering a western home furnished low.

Here's some instructions on making no-sew pillows (For the second link, change the pattern to big squares; 3.5' wide). If you made a bunch of these and then tossed in a few store-bought accent pillows you could pull off a very cozy look. If you can sew or are willing to hire a seamstress, you can go more tailored. Or ...rocky.

I'd also get a few footstools to use as tables to hold drinks and food. Something like this with a tray on top could be used as a table; remove the tray and you've got a seat that will be the right height to converse with people lounging on floor cushions.

You could go wild with this. (I want this room).
posted by jamaro at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2009


Another thought: little or no furniture could be great for a dance party! You might still want to look into having a few small chairs or benches, though.
posted by amtho at 9:57 AM on January 9, 2009


Sorry, forgot to add in the first link: more no sew pillows (better instructions than the 2nd link but it was lacking a photo).
posted by jamaro at 9:57 AM on January 9, 2009


Indoor beach party! Put a kids' wading pool in the living room, tape some construction-paper palm trees on the walls, mix some tropical drinks, and tell everybody to bring their own beach chairs!

Totally would have worked in college. If your friends are more grown-up than that, maybe not so much.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 9:59 AM on January 9, 2009


Depends on the crowd. A bunch of college-aged kids would probably think it was fun and unique. Older types may react skeptically, wondering what's wrong with you or your apartment.

If you go through with it, come up with some funny/witty quips for when people ask where all of your furniture is.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 10:19 AM on January 9, 2009


And indoor picnic - but floors are not as comfy as grass - so maybe - bring your own stool?
You would needs to get a cheap coffee though.
posted by ye#ara at 10:22 AM on January 9, 2009


I would vote for waiting if you expect to get the furniture in 2-3 months anyway. However, if you do decide to go the sitting on the floor/ pillows route, please be very clear about that when inviting people, especially females. Sitting down and getting up from the floor in a skirt and heels can be at best awkward and at worst embarrassingly revealing.
posted by platinum at 10:28 AM on January 9, 2009


Kitchen countertops: bar area

Living room floor: covered in Twister boards

I think that's all you need.

Alternately, you can rent a table and a dozen chairs for less then $20 at a party supply store.

Or, buy some inflatable furniture to use until you get your real furniture.
posted by mikepop at 10:47 AM on January 9, 2009


I really like faster's beach party idea, but I think also the kids-style party goes great with the cookies.

You might also consider getting some beanbag chairs, which help people feel comfortable on the floor. Beanbag chairs and a good (even better, a bad) movie.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2009


Either plan parties for which the lack of seating is appropriate (like active kitchen activities), buy a few folding chairs, or wait until you have furniture. Even if you're doing 'no sitting' type events, consider buying a few folding chairs. I've hosted a lot of meetups in my home and even the ones where we're in the kitchen cooking most of the time involve some sitting and waiting for everyone to show up at the beginning.

Unless it's specifically a sit-down type activity (board games or whatever), you probably don't need a chair for every person who is going to attend since a lot of people will spend half of any party standing in the kitchen, but you definitely need some seating. Unless your target audience is people who are both young and in good physical shape, pillows are not seating. As a fat chick, you wouldn't catch me trying to get down to and up off of the floor in front of strangers in a million years.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2009


You could have fun with it.

Honestly if I invited somebody to a party and they were put off by/complained about the lack of furniture when I obviously just moved into the area... I'd think them an enormous dick and write them off.

Some ideas:

Host a bring your own chair party. Put write on the invite that you just moved in and you don't own a damn thing. If they want to sit they bring a folding chair.

Cruise some garage sales and flea markets and get some dirt cheap coffee tables. Get a bunch of floor/meditation pillows from a place like World Market or sew your own and scatter them about... go for an eastern ambiance with low seating, maybe even some traditional food from your family/background or any culture that would prove unique to the guests and their experience at the party

All that said... if your guests are older/not fit... you might want to consider. Someone in their 40s with a bad hip isn't going to find the floor pillows much fun from a practical standpoint even if they think they are fun over all.
posted by JFitzpatrick at 2:00 PM on January 9, 2009


Dude, here is your opportunity to do shit indoors that you totally couldn't otherwise. Time for that foursquare party right in the middle of the living room.

Didn't your parents always yell at you because you and your siblings were likely to break something with all that jumping around and crashing that you used to do?

The last time my brother and I, both in our mid-20s, were at my parents' house alone, we started wrestling over the remote control and had to stop because we broke an end table just before my parents got home. Though I wouldn't necessarily invite new friends to a "Let's wrestle on the floor" party, I can think of, like, twenty other hella sweet activities that I'd love to do at home that are only stymied by my conventional conformity to the furniture fascists.
posted by klangklangston at 2:08 PM on January 9, 2009


Oh, yeah, something else that would be totally cool if you're going to paint your walls sometime later would be having people draw all over 'em. Just remember to two-coat it when you're painting over.

Also, you could play dodgeball or fakety-racquetball (because serious racquetball is too much for a party).
posted by klangklangston at 2:10 PM on January 9, 2009


One more thing—I bet your new neighbors have a couple chairs you could borrow.
posted by klangklangston at 2:11 PM on January 9, 2009


Furniture is for losers. It's too bulky and impractical. Hard to clean the place, moving to a new home is a hassle, etc etc etc. Furniture was invented for people in their 70s who have busted backs or somesuch, just like canes and wheelchairs (get it? *chairs!) Rugs, throw pillows, low tables, that's the thing.
posted by rainy at 10:01 PM on January 9, 2009


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