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Do you remember having a formal living room as a kid? Maybe seeing one of these old ritualistic features at a grandparents house even? It’s safe to say dedicated space to a formal anything for entertaining is dead. Even those who have them can likely never attest to using them.

Formal living spaces are characteristic of the old trend of the “american dream” large 4-bedroom home. For the majority of the next generation moving into their adulthood and midlife, this is no longer the desire. We don’t want 2,500 sq ft to take care of. We’d rather travel and invest in experiences instead. Many millennials are a little more nomadic in nature or less tied to one living space. The nature of the workforce has us changing jobs four times in our first ten years of our careers.

We’re on the go, outside the house, and our spaces reflect this. Though we may not be into extra space and useless rooms, we are into entertaining. We are more connected and it’s easier for us to make plans than other generations. Our spaces, though smaller, need to be ready for entertaining.

Here are some tips from FATHOM, a Millennial design firm, on how to make your space bold, unique, and entertainment ready:

Make seating an option but not an intrusion:

In the past, huge sectionals and couch sets were the must have for entertaining spaces (remember the tacky ones with a million cup holders and buttons?).  But now with millennials forgoing big spaces, this is not necessary. They don’t work for creating open and accessible entertaining spaces. Instead of oversized seating that breaks up space, opt to increase seating while also not taking up space. Bar stools that can be stored or pushed under tables are great. Smaller, eclectic chairs that can be arranged as needed are awesome.

This island kitchen and bar stool unit is incredible:

The Carol chair from Noir Furniture is an easy, space-conscious, and cool occasional:

Open up the kitchen and living space:

Separate kitchen and living spaces is not only outdated but it’s annoying. Who likes to serve from the kitchen during a party? It’s much more interactive and social to have the kitchen open up to the living area and for there to be mutual space between the two like a bar or island. It provides you with more surface area for entertaining and also keeps you with your guests while you be a good host.

This is an extreme example but we LOVE how it demonstrates both drama and simplicity with functionality:

Simplify your room layout or make it easily adaptable:

For your entertaining space, having a simplistic layout with the minimum furniture and big pieces needed is best. When you want to entertain, you don’t want it to be a huge hassle to move things around. With really cool, really well designed and interesting pieces, a place doesn’t need more to look complete and set a mood:

Don’t underestimate table and counter space:

Surface space is greatly appreciated when entertaining. Don’t forget to incorporate enough of this into your layout. There are ways you can double up on this here and there. Ottomans that include option table tops are easy ways to add a place for extra drinks and food.

This is an awesome ottoman/table top from Bria provides surface space when you want:

Create ambiance with killer lighting and art:

The smaller the space, the more opportunity you have to make it really impactful with lighting and art. This sets the mood for your function. Everyone’s been to a get together where everyone notices the room first and we’ve all been to something at a more lackluster space. The difference is in the ambiance you create. It’s easier to have fun in a space that looks fun.

Big art that sets a “backdrop” for entertaining is awesome. Large pieces from companies like Left Bank and Art: Addiction are plenty and not typical landscapes and city scenes like we’re used to seeing. You can find something interesting that will fill up your wall and make the space more dramatic. Art is also an opportunity for conversation. Our opinion? Shop local and take a look at local artists. You can find something no one else has that has a story guests will love. We’re in NYC. For us, Uprise Art is awesome for showcasing emerging artists.

With lighting, you can really make a huge difference in an entertaining space. It can bring two spaces together and create the ambiance you’re looking for.

Check out this hidden lighting. It makes this room such much more luxurious with this simple detail. It also looks awesome at night with guests over.

Statement lighting is also ideal for entertaining spaces. When you want to keep as much space available as possible, lighting is overhead that creates ambiance as well as stays out of your way is perfect. Check out these pendant lights from DelightFULL. They make this space both interesting as well as take up very little space:

Incorporate convenient tech:

With a smaller space, it’s easier (and more fun) to splurge on tech features that make your space the ultimate entertainment hub. Millennials are huge on tech that heightens experiences. There are plenty of well-designed, high quality speakers that fit right into your look. We’re not talking about your dad’s old Best Buy speaker set.

Check out these OD-11 Cloud from the MoMA design store:

Think about your guests as well. How many times has someone asked for your charger or a place to plug in? There are ways you can incorporate this into your entertainment space. There are countertop charging stations that blend discreetly into your design like this one from Crate and Barrel (who is clearly jumping on Millennial design).

Millennial doesn’t mean cheap looking and cookie cutter “modern”. Millennial style is unique, functional, and expressive. For entertaining, we look for function and style in one. We hope these tips and ideas are helpful in creating your perfect entertaining space.

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