How to Host a Party in a Small Home

And if your house is too small to host a gathering, here’s a list of local restaurants with private and semi-private dining spaces.

illustrations by tom froese

It’s not how big your home is that matters, it’s how you use it. Take it from [consumate host] Clare McWilliams. “Small spaces are the best; they’re cozy and warm,” she says. “I’ve always lived in small spaces and it’s never stopped me from hosting parties for two or 102. I currently live in a 650-square-foot condo and I’ve hosted a sit-down dinner party for 20.”

Prove your small-space prowess by inviting fewer people, removing large furniture items and being strategic about where you want your guests to end up. “Pick a guest-count you can manage, then de-clutter your space,” says McWilliams. “I remove furniture that blocks pathways. Then I set up different stations – in one part of the room or out on a patio, I’ll have a beverage station so that it pulls people toward that area and keeps everyone moving.”

If your home really is too small for the type of event you want to host, look elsewhere – whether that means borrowing a friend’s house, renting a venue or booking a private room at a restaurant.

Most importantly, be unapologetic about what you’re working with. “Feel confident regardless of your home’s size, postal code or decor style,” says McWilliams. “When your guests are made to feel special, the setting is inconsequential.”


These are just some of the local restaurants with private and semi-private dining spaces if your home won’t suffice


Anejo Restaurant

Estrella Room seats 55.

2, 2116, 4 St. S.W., 587-353-2656,


Bonterra Trattoria

Main room seats 80; wine room seats 30.

1016 8 St. S.W., 403-262-8480,


Centini Restaurant & Lounge

The Artist Room seats 22; Puccini Room seats 40.

160 8 Ave. S.E., 403-269-1600,



West Room seats 35 to 40; North Room seats 60.

618 Confluence Way S.E., 403-452-3115,


Deane House

Garden Room seats 8; verandah seats 45; library seats 24; private dining room seats 10.

806 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-0595,


Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar

The Alberta Room seats 16; den and library each seat 24.

The Core (8 Ave. and 3 St.), 403-663-3363,


La Chaumiere

Banquet room seats 100; basement wine cave seats 24.

139 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-5690,


Last Best Brewing & Distilling

Dining room seats 50; Beer Shop seats 40.

607 11 Ave. S.W., 587-353-7387,


The Living Room

Basement room seats 32.

514, 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-9830,


Model Milk

Private dining room seats 18; The Parlour seats 50.

308 17 Ave. S.W., 403-265-7343,


Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

Private dining room seats 64.

521 10 Ave. S.W., 587-354-3441,


Q Haute Cuisine

Multiple private rooms seating 20 to 40.

100 La Caille Pl. S.W., 403-262-5554,


Redwater Rustic Grille – Macleod Trail

Private dining room seats 18; fireside space seats 30.

9223 Macleod Trail, 403-253-4266,



Cocktail Lounge seats 48; Private Lounge seats 110.

101 8 Ave. S.W., 403-537-1160,



Opera Room seats 50.

200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012,


Trolley 5

The Barrel Room seats 40.

728 17 Ave. S.W., 403-454-3731,


Vin Room Mission

Private wine cave seats 16; main floor and second floor seat 38.

2310 4 St. S.W., 403-457-5522,


Vintage Chophouse & Tavern

Legacy Room seats 26; Beringer Room seats 12.

320 11 Ave. S.W., 403-262-7262, 

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