A Warm Welcome


ConferoTransforming a home into the perfect party space.

by Christopher Confero   

Photo by Chuck St. John

 

No matter where I travel in the world, my home lies within the heart of the Highlands here in Birmingham. The productions I create for clients mean going all out with the glitz and glam. That’s why my cozy condo has become a sanctuary where I can refresh my creative spirit and rest my body.

Living in a small, private space is what I find works for me, and through this I’ve learned what I need to make it personal. Adding certain elements and finishing touches that speak to me has taken years to cultivate, so don’t worry if you don’t get exactly what you envision overnight.

My home features stark white walls covered in vintage designer scarves that serve as artwork with a mix of classic and contemporary furniture, like a pair of Kartell acrylic chairs. I’ve come to love the process of curating special pieces from my travels, whether from an antique store in Birmingham, a bazaar in Greece, or a gallery in New York. And because my color palette of black, white, and gold can read very muted, I make sure to always have some type of green plant to bring life to the room.

With all the restraints that come with living in a small space, you truly have to understand how to utilize every nook and cranny when you’re preparing to invite guests over. Even though party planning is what I do every day, I love to entertain when I have a weekend off. Here are my top five tips and tricks to make entertaining enjoyable for both you and your guests when dealing with a small space.

 

1. Mood Lighting: If you are entertaining during the day, it’s important to let the natural light illuminate your home. If you’re planning an evening get-together, then I would find a way to avoid using overhead lights. I just find that they are harsh for the energy! You want people to feel comfortable around one another, not like they are being spotlighted. Utilize lamps, candles, and lanterns that can double as décor pieces.

 

2. Small Plates: For my events, I love the idea of a sit-down dinner, but sometimes the venue is better suited for small plates instead. The same premise applies to a party at your home. There’s so much creativity to be had coming up with a great tapas menu.

 

3. Room to Move: Don’t be afraid to move around the furniture to maximize standing room. I usually move my armchair into the bedroom for the night of a get-together. Additionally, you’ll catch me clearing off display and side tables for extra countertop space. Viola! Now, these surfaces serve as additional room for extra hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

 

4. No Screens: I understand how television has become our way to escape work and responsibilities. However, I’ve realized that there’s nothing a great party can’t fix. To keep people mingling, I don’t even keep a television in my living room. I rather have guests socializing with each other than have their eyes glued to the screen. We spend too much time doing that anyway! Instead, set out some of your favorite coffee table books and magazines to illicit conversation.

 

5. Neighbor Notice: I’m incredibly lucky to live in a building surrounding by warm, smiling faces. I love to return the respect by giving a notice or even extending the invitation to the neighbors when I’m expecting guests.

 

At the end of the day, the square footage of your home will not affect the reason we all come together to nourish our bonds with friends and loved ones. So squeeze into tight spaces, rub elbows, and have an intimate conversation over great cocktails. But be sure to invite me over when you do!

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