Basement Refinishing 101Basement Refinishing 101

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Basement Refinishing 101

When it comes to expanding your home living space, one of the most effective ways to do it is to finish the basement. You can turn a full basement into an entire floor of extra living space. You may even be able to create bedrooms, install a kitchen, and add a bathroom. I created this site to share my experiences with basement renovations and construction. My hope is that sharing what I have learned will help others to see that it's easier than you think to finish the basement and create the space you have always envisioned in your home.

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How To Host A Holiday Gathering In A Small Home

With the holidays quickly approaching, you might be making plans to see faraway relatives or to include your friends in your festivities. If you've wanted to host Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or another holiday gathering but have hesitated because you have a small home, don't despair! There are ways that you can successfully host a holiday get-together even if your home's square footage is in the triple digits. Read on for some tips on fitting everyone in a snug and cozy home.

Plan an Afternoon Gathering

Hosting a big lunch or dinner might be too much if your kitchen is the size of a postage stamp and you don't have a separate dining room. Instead of serving a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, however, you can always host dessert or an appetizers-and-wine gathering. Aiming for a time in the mid-to-late afternoon means that no one will be ravenously expecting a full meal. Focus on foods that people can eat while walking around or sitting in your living room, and you'll find that people will mingle in your small space.

Make Use of the Outdoors

Depending on where you live, it might be freezing cold or nice and pleasant outside. If you live south of the Mason-Dixon line (or if your state is having an unseasonably warm stretch during the holidays), you may be able to open up your balcony, front porch, back deck or lanai for entertaining. This step alone could give you a couple hundred or more square feet, free for the taking!

Even if it's chilly outside, if you are serving hot apple cider, coffee or hot chocolate, people might not be averse to bundling up and sitting on front-porch rockers or on your patio set. Make them more appealing by adding chenille or fleece blankets.

Add Potty Facilities

One logistical problem to overcome is inviting many people over when you have only one bathroom. Particularly if you have children coming who might need to make an emergency visit to the lavatory, not having a backup bathroom could lead to discomfort and embarrassment for your guests. If it's not terribly cold out, consider renting a portable toilet rental and setting it up in your backyard. Since it's only going to be for your guests, it won't become unpleasant during the time that you host your gathering.

Be Creative With Seating

If you're looking around your house or apartment and wondering where everyone is going to sit, remember that you can always improvise seating. Ottomans make good seats; just position them next to other living room furniture instead of directly in front of your couches or chairs. Folding chairs also add seating in a pinch. If you can't borrow the chairs that you need, you could also rent them from a party supply rental store.

Are you lacking a sofa and loveseat in your living room? If you currently sleep on or own a twin bed, you can make an impromptu sofa out of it by bringing it into the living room. Just position it against a wall, put on clean sheets and add some throw pillows for a soft landing place for at least two or three guests.

Finally, just remember that during the holidays, most people don't mind being in tight quarters! The point is to gather with loved ones, and if everyone needs to squish a bit closer in order to enjoy all of the company, then so be it. As long as you have enough seating, adequate bathroom facilities and enough food to eat, you'll find that with a dose of holiday spirit, everyone will have a great time, regardless of the size of your home.