Host-Worthy Home: How to Design a Kitchen for Entertaining
Hosting dinners, gatherings with friends and game-day watch parties is a ton of fun. But if your kitchen isn’t set up to host and entertain guests, it can be a recipe for stress. The kitchen should be an inviting and stress-free place where friends and family congregate.
But instead, a 2009 survey found that 57 percent of people who entertain friends for a meal were more stressed out while entertaining than while commuting to work. Some even felt hosting was more stress-inducing than a job interview, and 44 percent of people surveyed felt dinner parties were more nerve-wracking than meeting with a bank manager. But you don’t have to be among the group of stressed out hosts. Having dependable kitchen appliances and a kitchen ripe for hosting will make the experience all the more enjoyable, and with a few simple tips and tricks, you can transform your kitchen or renovate your current kitchen to make it perfect for entertaining guests.
Create an Open Layout
An inviting kitchen should be spacious, airy and one in which guests can walk around with ease. While an island is great to have when cooking and potentially when serving, it’s more important that you use the space in your kitchen wisely and don’t crowd it with tight corners or walking paths. A kitchen with no doors will also help to make the space one that welcomes people in. People often gravitate toward the kitchen when at a party, so if you have the luxury of space, keep the floors open and free of design elements that take away from the space your guests will have to congregate in and enjoy the kitchen.
Invest in a Wine Fridge
Your refrigerator will likely be filled with copious amounts of delicious foods when you’re hosting guests. Instead of trying to squeeze in bottles of wine, consider purchasing a wine refrigerator for the kitchen that serves as a convenient and easy way to ensure you always have chilled wine ready to serve. What’s better than easy access to the wine when your guests walk in the door? If you collect wine or have limited storage space for the wine in your home, a wine cooler fridge is a no-brainer.
Keep it Airy
When you have a lot of guests in your home, you may realize it gets steamy more quickly. An oven filled with food will only add to the heat. Having a window or door in the kitchen will help to keep air flowing through the kitchen and will help your guests avoid overheating or complaining about the temperature. A window will also make the space feel bigger while bringing in lots of natural light to keep the kitchen bright.
Opt for a Large Kitchen Island
If you do have the space for an island in your kitchen, it should serve multiple purposes. The island can act as a countertop for food, a space to serve up a buffet meal, a bar or even a table with stools surrounding it. An island can be a great tool for hosting if you have space for it.
Use a Trendy Bar Cart
If you don’t have the space for an island, or if you just want even more counter space, a bar cart is a great way to keep alcoholic beverages and soft drinks out of the way in the kitchen. You can place the bar cart right outside of the kitchen or in an area of your home where you want people to congregate. A bar cart will naturally draw people together to chat as they make drinks. As the party winds down, you can even use it as an espresso, coffee and dessert station (don’t forget the coffee machine). A bar cart can be a surprisingly effective way to manage the flow of people in and around the kitchen and space out your party.
Be Strategic with Storage
Keeping your kitchen clean and organized is essential when hosting guests. A great way to do that is to have plentiful storage options, whether it be cabinets, drawers, hanging pan and pot racks or canisters that you keep on the counter. Once you have a storage plan in place, make sure you remember where you stash everything away for easy access when you’re hosting a party. You may want to hide small kitchen appliances, so they’re not taking up valuable counter space while you’re hosting. You’ll also want serving platters and silverware to be easily accessible. Before a party, it may be best to take them out of their storage spot and set them on the counter, so they’re ready for use.
Consider Investing in a Warming Drawer
It can be tough to keep food warm when you’re cooking for a group. Warming drawers will effortlessly keep food warm as it comes out of the oven and until you’re ready to serve. If you have a big family or host parties frequently, it will pay off to get a warming drawer for your kitchen.
Set the Party Mood
Good lighting is key to a party. You don’t want it to be too dark or too light, so a dimmer may come in handy. Additionally, smart lights are a great feature for a host as you can change the color and settings based on your mood and party vibe. A sound system that plays music throughout the kitchen and the rest of the house is another consideration for frequent hosts.
Hosting a party doesn’t have to be intimidating or anxiety-inducing. Clear out the clutter from your kitchen, make sure the space is clean and use the tools you’ve put in place to ace your next dinner party. If you plan properly and design your kitchen as a true host would, you’ll be set up for success when inviting over friends, family, and even strangers for a gathering at your home.