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Wide Open Kitchen: Design for Entertaining

November 3, 2014No comments

Now is the Time to Define Your Style as a Host

Whether it means having two or three friends in for wine and cheese, or preparing a full holiday dinner for 20, entertaining puts you—and your kitchen—on stage. If you are planning a remodel, the entertainment season is an excellent time to define your style and design for entertaining.

large open kitchen with peninsula, island, bar and look-through wall to living area

Design by Sammi Lindemann


The Open Kitchen: An Entertaining Natural

An open kitchen design is the most popular solution for today’s casual, inclusive hosts. The kitchen pictured above is a perfect example, with work island, beverage center and breakfast bar, open on three sides to the dining and living room. It handles a few or a crowd with aplomb.

cherry kitchen island with black granite countertop and under-counter beverage cooler

This cherry island creates an inviting hospitality center in a modest-sized kitchen.

If your current kitchen is fully or partially enclosed, consider eliminating one or more walls between kitchen and living/dining spaces. Replace that absolute barrier with an island or peninsula. This will create a friendly boundary that defines your work space while inviting visitors to gather round.

Consider the activities that go on when you are entertaining. You may want a bar/beverage station outside of the cooking work flow. A second sink will prevent traffic jams during food prep and cleanup. Trash and recycling should be accessible. You will want a landing space for dirty dishes near the dishwasher.

Positioned between the kitchen and dining areas, a bi-level island or peninsula will be a natural serving buffet. Be sure you allow enough counter depth to handle your largest serving platters.

An open kitchen will have a major impact on your home’s style. Your designer will have tips on how a furniture look in a built-in buffet or bar will create a graceful transition to the living area. Subtle decorative effects on an island, such as turned legs, decorative feet or a section of open shelves, will convey the concept of a free-standing piece of furniture.

What is at the top of your wish list for an entertaining-friendly kitchen? Post it here and see if our readers can help.

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