Also, I love makeshift lounge areas. Whenever there's an open bar, people tend to congregate by the bar, so this breaks up the crowd a little bit by giving them someplace else to congregate. It also gives the event more of a 'home'-y vibe:
I really hope it's in our budget to incorporate both of these ideas. The lounge might be the tough part... we could always do IKEA furniture, but we could save a few hundred bucks by finding some really good yard sale finds... thoughts?