Here's How You Can Host Noche Buena In A Small Space

Get a little help from designers and solve your small space problems with these creative solutions

Photography: Dairy Darilag (Main Photos)

Saan tayo magno-Noche Buena?

Christmas is only a couple of weeks away, and if this detail hasn’t been settled among your family, remind yourself to tick it off your list real soon. Celebrating Christmas as a family is a longtime tradition we grew up with, and we want younger generations to grow up with it, too. But with living spaces becoming smaller, finding one that can accommodate a big family (or even a large group of friends) has become more challenging than ever.

We turned to designers and creatives for help in coming up with solutions to the most common problems encountered by those hosting Noche Buena in small spaces. Find your way out of tight spots with these tips:

Problem: No formal dining area

Solve it: Use a kitchen table or prep area as buffet table

Design consultant Grace Moslares says that in her home, their mom’s home-cooked specialties like pancit sotanghon, spaghetti, and barbeque would be served at a round table in their kitchen. “Every guest can just get food and slouch anywhere they want—in the garden, living area, or even the bedroom! They are welcome to use all areas of my home,” adds Grace.

Problem: No single table that can seat all the guests

Solve it: Create small nooks

In Grace’s home, a small patio in front is everyone’s favorite spot to have long chats over cold beer. “I place Christmas décor and fuchsia bead lights to create a Christmas vibe,” Grace adds. In addition, there is also an area with a daybed where guests can gather. Pillows and futons make these nooks homey.

Problem: Not enough matching chairs

Solve it: Go eclectic with a mix of stools, chairs, and a bench

No need to make excuses for mismatched chairs—they’re very much on trend. Kat Erro, founder and designer of KATRE, a line of handcrafted leather items, does this trick so “more guests can squeeze in at the table.”

Problem: Limited buffet area

Solve it: Use fruits as centerpiece; have a separate table for drinks

The difficulty of finding enough space to place food and drinks is always a party host’s dilemma. Kat suggests you keep the menu to a minimum: three to four main courses, a rice bowl, and one or two dessert items. Incorporate fruits into the tablescape, and set up a small folding table to hold drinks.


Problem: No more room to cook

Solve it: Order from a trusted caterer

So you’ve set up the buffet and dining areas, and created small nooks—now where do you do the cooking? Kat suggests, “Order in advance from a reliable caterer or your favorite restaurant.” If you can, pay ahead of time, too. Opt for a supplier who delivers the food to your doorstep so you can spend more time prepping your home and not getting stuck in traffic.

Problem: "Kulob" smell

Solve it: Use diffusers

Go for essential oils that add to the festive holiday feel of your home: pine, cinnamon, or peppermint. Kat says these overpower the odor of a lived-in home, and make guests feel the Christmas spirit the moment they step inside.

Problem: No room for decor

Solve it: Decorate the ceiling and walls

Interior designer Nikki Audine says you should make use of every available space to give off that cheerful holiday vibe. Put on some wall décor (wreaths, garlands, etc.), use a Christmas-themed tablecloth, and light some candles. Kat adds that you can also decorate the ceiling. Try hanging décor with an almost-invisible nylon string.

Problem: Limited indoor space

Solve it: Bring the revelry outdoors

Bel Alvarez, food stylist, ACME Visual Productions, says that if you have a yard or a garage, by all means, use it. You can use the indoor space for food and presents, and set up chairs and tables outside. Use long and narrow tables instead of square or round ones in order to maximize space.

More on

5 New Ways To Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas

Table Setting 101: How To Lay A Buffet

4 Tips on Setting a Stylish Christmas Table


Latest Stories

5 Plants That Can Repel Mosquitoes

Keep your home safe and these pesky pests away with these natural solutions

This One Home Appliance Can Cause A Fire

Hint: Did you straighten your hair this morning?

Would You Live Inside This 9sqm Water Pipe?

This modern designer studio unit (inside a water pipe!) in Hong Kong may be the home of the future

Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray Is An Awesome Artist

We discovered the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe winner has some mad painting skills!

8 Properties That Will Make You Want to Move to Pampanga ASAP

When it comes to investing in real estate, Pampanga is the place to be right now

Team Kramer Gives A Tour of Their New Home

The house will have an elevator, an infinity pool, and a classroom for the kids

17 Important Loan Terms That You Should Know

Buying a house? Here’s an A-to-T glossary of financial terms that won’t leave you in the dark.

A Loft-Type Bachelor Pad Found Inside a Family Home

The owner worked with interior designer Erika Uichanco to transform an ordinary bedroom into a remarkable, condo-like personal space

This Hostel in Makati Has Calming Bedrooms Perfect for Staycations

The bonus? You get design ideas for the different rooms in your house, too!

Lazada Plans to Launch an Online Grocery This Year

Shopping for the home will be easier as the e-commerce startup aims to build cold storage hubs in Metro Manila and nearby provinces

What Kind of Furniture Do Millennials Look For?

Are they all about aesthetics or do they care about functionality, too?

The Ultimate Kamuning Shopping Guide

Once the go-to place for affordable fabric and tailoring, this Quezon City district is now a happening place and a treasure trove of hip vintage stores, cool furniture shops, and more
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!