These days, all the entertaining takes place in the kitchen. Whether it’s family dinner, a holiday event or an all-girls brunch, the kitchen is practically the heart of the home. However, you might not be sure whether your kitchen is ideal for entertaining. Here are some tips to make your kitchen space the perfect place to host your next event at your home!
- Increase your storage space. Storage space in any kitchen is absolutely essential for entertaining. You need to have enough space to store all the pitchers, serving dishes and event-specific items. Make sure you’ve installed quality cabinets in your kitchen that can withstand the weight of any additional serving and entertaining items as well!
- Install an island. Kitchen islands are where all the action happens. Big or small, a kitchen island is necessary for entertaining. Use it as prep space, eating space or even serving space. It’s important to have an island because it allows everyone in the kitchen to congregate together without you, the host, missing anything important! If you live in an apartment or a home with a small kitchen, consider getting a portable island. You can still have all the features, just without it taking up so much space. After your party, you can push it up against the wall and tuck it away without worrying about not having enough room for your daily kitchen needs.
- Have a seating area. Barstools, a pub table or a breakfast nook are all necessary for a kitchen that’s perfect for entertaining. How else are you going to encourage people to spend time in your kitchen with you while you cook if you don’t have seating available for them? Focus on finding seating that’s comfortable for guests of all shapes, ages and sizes. You don’t want your 85-year-old grandmother to have to sit on an uncushioned round barstool without a back! Making your seating as inclusive and cozy as possible will encourage guests to focus on the kitchen as the space you entertain in.
- Consider opening the space. Depending on the layout of your home and your renovation budget, consider opening the walls between your kitchen, living room and formal dining space. You can make your kitchen larger by taking up some wall space from the dining room, and guests can enjoy all the areas without you feeling closed off while you cook. Be cautious here, though. Many homes without an open floor plan will need to install a large beam to support the structure since many walls in the kitchen and dining area are called “bearing walls,” where the load and weight of the floor or roof above is on that particular wall. To prevent any structural damage, you’ll need to put a beam in or keep the wall and just cut a portion off. Many homeowners will choose to keep at least half the wall up and, in kitchens, install a peninsula instead of an island. That way, you still have an open portion of the space, making it look larger without sacrificing structural integrity and budget.
- Install unique lighting. Unique features in your kitchen, such as the lighting, can draw guests in and keep them in your kitchen space. Install hanging pendant lights, recessed lighting, lights under the upper cabinets or even a focal starburst piece in the center of your kitchen to achieve this. This will be perfect for your kitchen entertaining desires! Make sure you choose lighting that goes with the rest of your design, though. A rustic farmhouse design probably wouldn’t look great with a starburst light in the center of the kitchen because that’s too modern and contemporary for the rest of the design. A wrought iron square-shaped chandelier with an antique yellow light is perfect for a rustic kitchen, though!
- Add a butler’s pantry. A butler’s pantry is basically a space with a countertop and cabinetry in a hallway between entertainment spaces. It’s great for putting bar items, such as glassware and tools. You can also store specialty items, such as your grandmother’s china and your mom’s hand-painted casserole dish that you only bring out on Christmas. This will help free up storage in the other areas of your kitchen, and adding glass doors to your kitchen cabinets in this space is a great way to cohesively integrate the butler’s pantry into your kitchen entertainment experience. Converting a large hallway into a butler’s pantry is a unique idea that will only add value to your home. Make those walls useful!
- Install open shelving. Open shelving is great for entertaining in kitchens. Because there aren’t any cabinet bases or doors with open shelving, you can add practically anything you want to those shelves. It’s probably best to put items that you frequently use on those shelves, though. Otherwise, they can collect dust and require constant cleaning. Glassware, dishware, bakeware and anything else that you use frequently should go on those shelves.
- Add doors to your back porch. Is your back porch right off your kitchen? Consider installing some French doors or sliding glass ones! This will integrate your outside entertaining area with your kitchen like never before. Your guests will love it! Plus, it makes it much easier for you as the host to entertain any outdoor parties. Instead of having to carry all the food from your kitchen, through your mudroom or laundry room and outside, you can easily go back and forth between your backyard and your kitchen. And, if you don’t have a deck or outdoor entertaining space yet, now’s the time to install one!
- Keep some of your counters clear. Store away some of your countertop kitchen appliances in your cabinets, such as toasters and blenders. This will free up your counter space so that you can easily lay out food, prep for parties and keep your kitchen feeling relatively clean and uncluttered! Only bring out items as you need them and put them away after.