The kitchen is the natural hub of any home, and when it comes to getting people together to celebrate people tend to gravitate towards it. The literal centre of your dispensing of hospitality to friends and family, the right design can really enhance the time you spend together socially. If you want to create a modern kitchen perfect for hosting parties and entertaining, you need to start the redesign with this end goal in mind. There are lots of tweaks you can make to the layout that will facilitate people coming together. And if budget is a barrier? Well, there are also some little touches to take on board that will help to transform the feeling of your kitchen and create a more welcoming space.
Open Up to Open Plan
Any kitchen that is ideal for hosting guests will be open-plan. Not only does this allow people to flow around the space and arrange themselves in conversational groups much more easily, but if you are preparing food, you can remain part of the action while you work. If you include an island unit, perhaps with beautiful granite worktops and a boiler tap, it can become a perfect base for your buffet or drinks station as well. However, this option isn’t always suitable if it leaves you short of storage space as you can’t have as many wall-mounted cabinets, or if you don’t have any place to hide mess and clutter. A good compromise in some cases is to look at opening up one side of the kitchen only as a compromise between the two states.
If you use your home often for entertaining, you may want to consider a double oven or even a pair of dishwashers. A steam oven or wall appliance matched with a range cooker can be a great way to keep on top of prepping large amounts of food at once, especially if you bake a lot, and it allows you to time large meals perfectly or keeps food items warm while others are being cooked or plated up. Similarly, a second dishwasher makes big clean-ups a breeze, which may even encourage you to host parties more often – but if the water line isn’t in regular use, the appliance can break down through neglect. If you don’t have the space in the kitchen, you could consider adding it to the garage, but take care the convenience isn’t cancelled out by having to ferry the dishes to and fro. You could also think about adding in a wine refrigerator alongside your regular one. These coolers will keep drinks at the perfect serving temperature and mean you can stock up before a party to avoid ending up running down to the cellar or another part of the house. If you don’t have the budget for an integrated one, a countertop wine cooler is a less expensive option.
The Finishing Touches
Going for long benches with cushioned tops on allows people to get comfy how they like without the formality of a dining table, and you can design them to conceal storage for extra plates and glasses. Fresh flowers always add a sense of welcome and occasion without costing a fortune, and the right lighting also helps –strip out harsh overhead fluorescents and go for a mix of LED downlights and cosy lamps instead.