OK, I know not everyone likes to entertain. A friend just canceled a baby shower because she was so intimidated by the idea of having a party in her home. But I suspect she’s in the minority. Most people I know loooove to entertain, including me. There’s just something about creating a fun atmosphere for your friends and feeding them well, plus a little bit of showing off too, if we’re honest.
Not that it’s not work! Entertaining can be a lot of work, but the smiles on friends’ faces make it all worthwhile. And when you’re designing a new kitchen, you can take steps to build one that’s set up for entertaining, so it’s less work but still just as much fun.
We combed expert kitchen designer resources for ideas on creating a party-ready kitchen, and list our five favorites below. Whether you prefer casual or formal, football games or fine wine tastings, intimate dinners or busy brunches, you’ll find tips you can put to use in your new kitchen design…
- Include a kitchen island in your design. With a kitchen island, you’ll get extra storage space, plus counter space and seating. An island can be just about any shape you can imagine, even when you’re using semi-custom cabinets. Although a rectangle shape works, consider an L-shaped kitchen island or even a U-shaped one.
- Factor in storage. If you entertain large crowds, you’ll have more dishes, more glassware, more booze and more food to store. Work with your kitchen design or kitchen cabinet manufacturer to come up with clever storage for everything entertaining.
- Add in appliances. Could you use a wine fridge? What about a second oven? A warming oven? Do you need two dishwashers after a big to-do? Make room for the extra appliances you’ll need when partying as you plan out your semi custom cabinets.
- Consider the traffic flow. People congregate in kitchens. There isn’t anything you can do about that. The kitchen is the heart of the home all the time, but seems to be even more so during a party! Make sure you’ll still be able to cook and clean even with guests around.
- Count on your countertops. For those who like to entertain a lot, trouble-free countertops are a must. You don’t want to be worried about red-wine stains when you’re trying to be a pleasant host or hostess. But also think about how much countertop you’ll want when it’s party time. Will you have enough prep space? Do you use countertops for seating at the kitchen island? Will you serve up buffet style? Get creative to meet your needs. You can include pull-out counter or table space in your kitchen that hides away when not needed, for example, and appliance garages that get clutter out of the way.
Above all when designing your new kitchen with entertaining top of mind and semi custom cabinets at the top of your list, make sure your choices will maximize your fun as well as your guests.