Whether you’re having the whole extended family over or just hosting a few friends, December almost ALWAYS brings some kind of event you offered to host.
Entertaining people in your home starts with your invitation list and loads of excitement, but then moves FAST into the menu, the preparation, and the day itself when you get dressed up to greet the first guest.
If you plan right, entertaining can be a total pleasure…sure, there’s work you put into it, but spending that time with people you care about AND showing off the best of your home is pretty satisfying if you feel prepared going in.
In the same way you put thought into the menu and what shoes to wear with that dress, there are specific ingredients that turn your kitchen (and adjacent spaces) into the PRIME entertainment space…the goal is to make a night of it and have fun once guests arrive!!
Even if you aren’t planning on inviting people into the kitchen when they come over, you KNOW that crowds tend to congregate there. Here’s how to turn your kitchen into the perfect space for a host extraordinaire…
Overall Kitchen Design for the Host Extraordinaire
The last two decades have cemented the home lifestyle where the kitchen acts as the heart of the home.
It’s not where Mom’s tucked away anymore, hidden discretely behind a wall so she can “do her job” and cook.
Now, the kitchen is where whole families eat, socialize, serve drinks and—yes!—even host.
A kitchen design today has to be thought out to accommodate this new and more versatile purpose. That combines practicality and style with comfort (for guests and for other family members, not just for the person cooking).
Key design features of the most functional and comfortable (and luxurious) modern kitchens include:
- Large, functional islands
- No wall between the kitchen and living area
- “Eye candy” pendant lights above the island
- Dimmers on lights (working lights and decorative)
- Custom cabinet pull-outs for personalized storage
- A place in those cabinets for EVERY small and medium cooking appliance
- An oven hood (for the needed ventilation so guests don’t smell like garlic)
- AND easy-to-clean surfaces, including a good-sized backsplash
Not Remodeling Right Now? You can still do this…
Did you notice that ALL those “must have” kitchen design features require some kind of renovation or design work?
Yeah…if your home is older than 20 years, it probably needs some of those updates!!
BUT, there are still things you can do NOW to prepare your kitchen for the holiday season. The following are the details you can take care of while you wait for that bigger kitchen remodel…
You want AMPLE seating in the kitchen, and you want to make sure that seating is all out of the way of the cook’s “choreography!!”
The best seating design offers places for people in multiple spots, like in window seating and nooks and bar stools at the counter…
Be sure that the seats you have ALL have access to a surface where people can leave drinks or plates (that won’t be in the cook’s way), and that people can sit comfortably without having to scrunch every time the cook needs to go by.
Lights, Camera, MOOD
Lights are EVERYTHING when it comes to setting the mood in any room. The kitchen is no different.
It’s true, the kitchen has more functional light than any other room in the home. Still, details like breathtaking pendant lights glittering above the island, or illuminated cabinets, add beauty as well as function. And you need more can lights in your ceiling than you think!
The key? Install DIMMERS on every single light.
Depending on whether your event starts at lunch or at night, you need to be able to set the lights just right for any mood required. This is even more magical if you have a layered lighting setup like the one described above…
Not only can you set the mood, with dimmers but you can easily up the lights for the night’s best selfies and group photos, too. Remember that there’s little-to-nothing you can do to correct a grainy photo taken without enough light, so put those smiles on, slide the dimmer up, then slide it right back down when it’s time to go back to relaxing!!
Keep Counters Clutter-Free
Maybe you don’t have your dream custom cabinetry YET, but you still need to ensure now that your counters are totally clear leading up to entertaining in your home.
You can keep items out that you know you’ll use, like your mixer if you have those amazing mash potatoes…or the blender for your margaritas…but anything you can hide away, find a temporary home for it before guests arrive.
This goes for your Mason jars and decorative plates and other trinkets, too. Minimize what you have out on the shelves so that the space looks more open and inviting AND so that you (and your guests) have space to leave whatever!!
Set the Bar…Higher?!
Always ensure you have a tidy (and perhaps a little showy) space for your bar setup!!
Think about one worktop space that you can devote to bottles and ice bucket. This will absolutely become another place where people congregate, mind you, so be aware of that when you select the space.
Your bar can be on wheels or in shelves, too! Check out this U.S. News article with its very own Robin Burrill quotation on the subject of home bars…
To add an even bigger “wow” and leave lasting impressions with your guests, there’s another way you can REALLY elevate your kitchen layout: introduce nature.
Bring a little nature into the kitchen with your choice in décor, or (better yet) with a window view into your yard. If your looking view isn’t the best from the kitchen, but you live in an area with pleasant holiday temperatures outdoors, herd your guests outside!!
These outdoor lighting ideas can get you REALLY excited about the mood you can set outdoors…
There are smaller details that you can play with to impress your guests, too…just check out our list with DOZENS of ideas, from slippers to hand towels and more!!
Hosting dinners and events can be a TON of fun if you feel good about the space you prepare to entertain.
If your kitchen isn’t up to your standards of hosting, you now have plenty of ideas above from big to small to up the ante!
Ideas? Comments? Start the conversation with us on Facebook!!