With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, our thoughts turn to hosting family and friends for holiday entertaining. Even if this year’s gathering is more scaled back than normal, now is a good time to plan for future events with a kitchen design that is entertainment-ready. Here is our guide to planning a remodel that will make hosting events a pleasure.
Open plan living is a very popular choice for kitchen design and is ideal for entertaining. Opening up your design and creating a smooth flow of traffic from kitchen to dining to living areas and even to an outdoor entertainment area creates a more sociable atmosphere. It also means you can be part of the action even when you are preparing food. Removing unnecessary walls and incorporating an L or U shape design with a peninsula or island ensures your remodel is functional and stylish, and allows you to create work and entertainment zones. You can check on the beverage bar and prep food as you mingle with guests and enjoy watching the game or television season premiere on the big screen. Keeping your kitchen design open doesn’t break up the party and demand your presence in different rooms
Islands are the center of a kitchen design and often the center of a party too. They become the place to prep and present food and people naturally gravitate towards them to chat to the host. Islands are invaluable for working on, storing necessities in, and creating casual dining space, among other things. Your kitchen design expert can make your island work for your everyday and entertainment needs.
It’s essential to plan storage throughout your kitchen remodel. Custom storage works for you on an everyday basis and fits your requirements to clear any clutter and have surfaces party ready. There are a multitude of internal storage solutions available to customize your kitchen cabinet storage from swing out shelves to mixer lifts and spice storage to tray dividers. Open shelving is a huge trend this year and can take care of anything you want to display or have close at hand from plates to curated ornaments. Consolidating items further into pantries and beverage bars means your floors and countertops are clear and ready for action, and everything you need is easily accessible and visible.
The tone of an event can be dictated by where people sit. Walk through where seating would work best for both casual and more formal dining and plan your kitchen remodel to accommodate this. Island seating should be comfortable and dining chairs shouldn’t be too heavy to move. Make sure armchairs and couches are cozy but not too big for the living space. Along with banquettes in the kitchen or barstools at the island, your living room seating is the perfect way to add a pop of color. Seating outside and in a hallway gives people a quiet area to catch up without obstructing the flow of traffic. Make sure everyone can see the screen during viewing events, and arrange seating in curves, rather than rows.
Incorporating technology into kitchen designs makes life easier. It’s possible to set ovens, lighting, room temperature and playlists from your phone. You can restock groceries via a smart fridge and get a robot vacuum to clean up when everyone’s gone home. Ovens and coffee machines are becoming more sophisticated by the day, taking the stress out of catering. Integrated sound systems let you decide exactly where you want the music or movie to be heard. With so much technology, comes devices that require connectivity and a place to charge, so devote cabinets or drawers to concealing charging cables, modems, and docking stations.
Music, food, and seating help to create a great party, but lighting is key. A multi-layered lighting design helps define different areas and makes your kitchen design look amazing! Put strong task lighting over stoves and countertops. Ensure you include dimmer switches to adjust different parts of your open plan kitchen’s lighting, since some areas will need softer lighting than others. To highlight art or display cabinets, install uplighting or spotlights. Embrace this year’s trend of statement lampshades too and go large over your island or on a floor lamp. As your island is the center of your kitchen design, why not uplight it so it appears to float? In cabinet lighting adds another dimension to your design and highlights the contents of glass front cabinets for display.
Any kitchen, large or small, can be designed with entertaining in mind. Once you’ve created a design where it is easy to host a party, day to day living is more than catered for in your stylish and functional remodel. Check out our kitchen remodeling gallery and contact us today to start planning the kitchen design everyone will want to be in.