More and more the kitchen is used as the main entertainment area of the home – how many times do you invite friends over for a casual dinner, a special occasion, or a holiday meal and EVERYONE ends up congregating around the kitchen? A lot! Here are five great tips to layout the kitchen space for maximum entertaining:
CREATE A SEPARATE BAR AREA
This area should be complete with under-cabinet beverage fridge, glassware, bar sink if there’s space, and bottle storage. This is typically on a separate wall from the working kitchen triangle, ensuring that as you prep the appetizers or meal, your guests don’t get in your way. These bar areas also serve as a great staging spot for appetizers or buffet meals.
This bar area tucked away from the main kitchen triangle gives easy access to drinks and snacks while entertaining, allowing guests to be self sufficient while the host and hostess get to work!
USE A PANTRY FOR PREP AND STORAGE
When space allows, an adjacent walk-in pantry, ideally behind the kitchen’s main area, is a great option so that the main open kitchen area stays clean and presentable when entertaining. The prep mess can be closed off in the pantry while you entertain, to be cleaned up after the party’s over and you’re finished enjoying your guests!
In this project, the pantry cabinets including sink, fridge, and storage are all in a small separate room tucked away behind beautiful wooden barn doors.
EMBED A TV IN A HIGH CABINET
This is a great use of those high, hard to reach areas of a kitchen – whether it’s over a refrigerator or in another area of the kitchen. With a built-in flat screen TV those guests hanging out in the kitchen don’t have to miss a minute of the Superbowl or Final Four.
CREATE A COFFEE STATION
When hosting overnight guests (or grown children home for the weekend) it’s nice to have a separate area of the kitchen for the coffee and morning beverages. Keeping these important weekend options out of the working triangle allows you to chef up the big family breakfast without houseguests under foot.
This could be an entire post (and it will be!) – when designing a kitchen for entertaining, think carefully about how to use your island – do you want a two tier counter – one level for prep and the other for guests, or a larger counter area by keeping it one level? If you don’t eat at your island, consider not adding a counter overhang, making it easier for guests to stand at the island while entertaining. Double islands are another way to separate working area from entertaining area while keeping the design and flow open.
This kitchen did it all - double island with raised area for seating/guests. This keeps the guests away from the action of cooking while at the same time keeping the chef close to the party - win win for everyone!
Bonus tip …
Integrate a family workstation into your kitchen!
What family doesn’t need a computer at the ready in the kitchen? Whether it’s for checking emails, googling a recipe, or updating the family calendar, having a computer at the ready in the kitchen is often essential - but where to put it? We designed this spot integrated into the family’s pantry area to be a stand-up computer station for the whole family to access without taking over important work space.