With Covid-19 having thrown the last year into disarray- cancelled birthday parties, family gatherings up in smoke, Christmas and New Year's wildly different to the norm- we can safely say we're looking forward to having guests in our homes again.
If you're planning on entertaining family and friends when it's safe to do so, we've rounded up our top suggestions on how to make sure your kitchen is as welcoming, ergonomic and show-stopping as possible.
Open-plan living is an ever-popular trend which turns an often smaller kitchen and adjoining rooms into a spacious and family-centred hub. Not only is it a modern design option, but as parties and gatherings tend to be focused on food and drink, it's also a practical and functional layout, allowing for clear zoning.
Incorporating an island into a kitchen redesign offers valuable work surface area, and separates the cooking from the dining. Installing a hob or sink into the island avoids isolating the chef from the guests and allows freer socialising. An island is also perfect for serving informal buffets, nibbles or drinks with its 360-degree access.
When considering seating, options for guests is key. Bar stools around the island encourage casual conversations with the host, while a traditional dining table set back from the cooking areas defines the different spaces. With this in mind, guest comfort is crucial- if you're hosting a spectacular dinner party, ensure your family and friends are comfortable around the table with lush soft furnishings, cushions and throws. Whereas linear seating emphasises the proportions of the room, circular or oval shapes encourage easy conversation. Bar stools can be less luxurious, as they're more of a temporary perch before the main event.
Appliances can play a significant role in your entertaining, so it's essential to think about how to truly take advantage of them. Stacking ovens means easy access for checking and serving, or if you're a wine connoisseur, installing a wine fridge and wine racks is a sleek and glamourous option. Glass-fronted cabinets allow you to showcase your favourite glassware and bar tools, enhancing the home bar feel.
With doors leading into the garden or patio area, you can offer further seating options for your guests, another zone entirely for after-dinner drinks, and allow fresh air to flow and eliminate any cooking smells. Al fresco dining adds an elegant touch to any summer soirees.
An up-and-coming kitchen trend we're seeing everywhere is the installation of a 'nook'. These hidden away areas can be used for many functions such as a breakfast area with toaster and coffee machine, or a drinks station with everything necessary to allow guests to help themselves. These nooks can be easily concealed and revealed, often with folding doors, and are best positioned outside of the main cooking area, to create a natural flow and keep out of the cook's way.
While it may seem daunting to redesign a kitchen around entertaining, these suggestions can help you determine what matters most to you when hosting guests. With this said, it's important to consider how your kitchen will work no matter the occasion, including functionality, layout and decor. If you would like some guidance with planning your ultimate entertaining kitchen, get in touch with us today.