The holidays are approaching, and one of the traditions that so many celebrations center around is food. Whether it’s Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie, or a roast turkey fit for a king, every family has unique styles and approaches to the food they enjoy, providing both classic tastes and new concoctions. While the eating may occur elsewhere in the house, the true magic occurs in the kitchen. It’s the place where everyone congregates when they first arrive, where long-awaited hugs are given, and where family members both young and old congregate to enjoy the delicious smells mixed with warm conversations. The thing is, the vessel for all this happiness, the kitchen, can either encourage or hinder these types of encounters, not only at holiday get-togethers, but at events all throughout the year. With the right upgrades, your kitchen can reach the next level of being entertainment-ready, to ensure the enjoyment of you and your guests for years to come.
A Space for Everyone
A kitchen doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of an open-concept design to be great for entertaining. As already mentioned, a kitchen will become a place where people congregate, no matter what size or shape it is. However, a kitchen that flows well will certainly encourage people to linger for longer, and provide more opportunities for those special conversations. Features such as a traditional island, or an island or peninsula with a raised countertop create a natural area for people to gather and converse. If not in an open-concept, a layout which is wide enough to allow people to pass each other and provides easy access to any adjoining rooms will allow everyone to enjoy their own reasonable amount of personal space. Not only that, but unconventional features such as a large-screen television can help separate the space into a cooking and an entertaining area, allowing more people to feel comfortable staying around a while.
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Not only can the right design make your kitchen comfortable and convenient for your guests, it can also make it comfortable and convenient for the host, you. Especially useful features include warming drawers and refrigerator drawers, which allow you to keep countertops free from clutter, while also keeping food at the proper temperatures until it’s ready to be served. Other handy additions include double dishwashers to decrease the time it takes you to clean up, and an espresso machine or high-end coffee maker to ensure everyone has exactly what they need to enjoy their post-meal refreshments. Simple but quality appliances are adequate for the entertaining most people do, and won’t overwhelm the room as much as commercial appliances, leaving more space for glass-faced cabinets to showcase beautiful dishes and other conversation pieces, or perhaps a wine cooler to provide easy access to these drinks, as needed.
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Another, more behind-the-scenes element of a great entertaining kitchen is the quality and placement of primary and accent lighting. Use dimmable overhead lights to be able to set the right atmosphere for the occasion, whether a casual family get-together, or a formal evening soiree. Under-cabinet lights add loads of drama and warmth to your space, creating an inviting vibe that draws people in, no matter how full the kitchen already is. Lighting in glass-faced cabinets can accent unique conversation pieces, and provide a dramatic secondary lighting source for those evening events. All these light sources can add up to a lot of switches, so do your best to conceal them in a discrete area, so your guests feel that they’re walking into a warm, inviting space, and not the cockpit of a 747.
Keep the Clutter at Bay
No matter how well-planned the different elements of your kitchen are, they can all be quickly muted by having cluttered countertops. To be sure, some clutter is necessary when preparing for a get-together, but make sure you plan for specific areas to store items like magazines, backpacks, shoes, small appliances, dishes, and cleaning supplies that can so easily find themselves stranded on countertops. Even in an average kitchen, just de-cluttering the countertops can make a dramatic difference in the enjoyment of your guests at a party.
Speaking of an average kitchen, if you’ve been reading this and realize that, while you like to entertain, your kitchen might be hurting, rather than helping make the most of events you host, then contact us at Signature Kitchen & Bath to see how we can transform your spaces into something spectacular. We partner with quality brands, use experienced and reliable designers and installers, and stand behind every job we do to ensure you’re completely satisfied, and entirely blown away by the results you receive. So go ahead, dream big, and see just how much a new kitchen can rejuvenate your next get-together.