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The Cheap Party: Eight on the Floor

In Williamsburg, a massive loft turns cozy with some red silk, slow-cooked pork, and an inverted Christmas tree.

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Eight Guests, Six Courses = $500

Caleb and Mawn Scott moved into their 2,500-square-foot Williamsburg loft with three roommates when it had just emerged from its previous existence as an architect’s office. “Our bedroom was once the conference room,” says Caleb, an actor. “The space is odd; it’s almost like a Lake Tahoe house in the sixties.” They renovated as necessary, and he built some furniture, including the coffee tables repurposed (left) as the dining table. And they threw parties—lots of parties, like the Jamaican-themed party and the Saint Patrick’s Day party and their two annual holiday parties. The first is for tree trimming, when friends bring over “cheapie little toys” to use as ornaments. One year, the tree toppled twice, felled either by overdecoration or the cat. “It becomes a weird, crazy art tree,” he says. The second, for New Year’s Eve, starts out as a smallish dinner party for about fifteen and usually ends up in the street for firework igniting. Conveniently, the apartment also includes a recording studio, so their D.J. friends will mix up an eclectic list for dinnertime listening, with big-band jazz, bluegrass, reggae from the fifties, and punk from the seventies. Caleb cooks and Mawn, a schoolteacher, bakes; friends bring wine or salads, help in the kitchen, or contribute to the budget. “We’re not trying to be crazy with blowout events,” says Caleb. “We entertain in order to be around people we like without spending a lot of money.” Our experts created the sit-down dinner, pictured here, and broke the budget by only $50.


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