Kitchens are recognized as the heart of every home, and during the holidays they become even more important. While kitchens should be designed to support all the activities that go on there day after day, you also want to include features that will create the perfect kitchen for entertaining. Thought should also be given to how guests will mingle in the kitchen, because even if you serve the food in other rooms, everyone seems to gather in the kitchen.
Placement of key features like the refrigerator, is important. You want to make it easy for everyone to get in and out of the refrigerator quickly. People should not have to walk through the entire kitchen to get to the refrigerator, which was one of several issues that made me remodel the kitchen before moving in. It was easy to move the refrigerator near the entry and now someone getting something to drink from the refrigerator, doesn't have to walk past the stove or the sink.
Features to Consider in a Kitchen for Entertaining
Whether you're building a house, remodeling your kitchen or just want to make a few updates, some planning will help you get the biggest bang for your investment. So here
- Strategic refrigerator placement – isn't about adding a second refrigerator, but moving the refrigerator adjacent to, but outside the working kitchen (see the extra refrigerator in the pantry above).
- Kitchen islands – are perfect for interaction between you and your guests. They're also great for serving buffet style, and now it's becoming popular to have 2 islands.
- Custom drink stations – are less expensive than a full fledged home bar. You can include a wine refrigerator, ice drawer, extra dishwasher and s that fit into your base glass storage above for family and guests.
- Butler pantries – are popping back up as they're a great solution for adding more storage and prep space in your kitchen. This space is perfect for parties where you can lay out a buffet and keep your island free for guests to eat at.
- Bar sinks – serve many purposes from making drinks, to washing glasses and blenders.
- Restaurant style gadgets – based on what you love, might include a rotisserie, built-in espresso machine, pasta drawer or a wood-burning pizza oven.
- Integrated outdoor space – is becoming more popular, so not only do you have more space for guests to gather, you can also use an outdoor grill, pizza oven, fireplace and other outdoor features.
Picking the Right Features for Your Kitchen
Whether you're getting breakfast ready or a buffet for 20 or more people, your kitchen design must still focus on food – storage, prep, serving and clean up. When designing your kitchen for entertaining, you'll also want to drill down on the type of entertaining you do, to help you decide what features best support your style.
- What types of gatherings do you host – casual buffets or sit-down dinners?
- How many people do you like to entertain at your parties?
- Do you like to serve the food, or invite guests to serve themselves from a buffet set up in the kitchen?
- Who prepares the food, and when/where is this done?
- Do you include guests in food preparation? And yes, I usually run out of time so I plan ahead, deciding which dishes can be prepared with the help of my guests.
Have you changed your mind about using your kitchen for entertaining? Are you going to host more parties at home? Do you want to update your kitchen now, to make entertaining at home more fun? We'd love to hear what kitchen features you love (or dream of) for entertaining.
Looking for other kitchen tips on appliances, remodeling or … Here are our most popular kitchen articles.
- The Kitchen Work Triangle
- Kitchen Lighting Design Key to Good Kitchen Design
- Kitchen Decorating Means What?
- Outdoor Kitchen Ideas to Fit Your Lifestyle