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Designing party space fit for a king

Smaller rooms invite elegant entertainment
Published on May 21, 2004

Almost any large room will seem like a great space for entertaining, if the party occurs at night and the place is jammed with people. But the same space in the cold hard light of day can be a different proposition altogether, and that's what you will live with on a daily basis, said Michael Sloan, an architect in Millbrook, N.Y., an area where many people from New York City have weekend houses and frequently entertain in them. Without a big budget, Sloan said, "you will be in a big, bland, vanilla box." Even worse, he adds, homeowners who have the big spaces complain of their impracticality. The space is hard to clean–who has the equipment to get dust bunnies off a 16-foot-high ceiling, for example? The big party spaces are hard to furnish because you need oversized everything. When you have a large party, the sound generated by 50 people talking at the same time reverberates off the walls, which can make it hard to hear what the person right next to you is saying. The final ...

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