Creating a Kitchen for Entertaining

Kitchen Design

Creating a Kitchen for Entertaining

Kitchen design is an essential component of creating a kitchen for entertaining in the modern home, as today’s kitchen is often the main place for socializing and entertaining. Read on to learn about renovations and tips for maximizing your kitchen’s entertainment potential.

Ideas for Efficient Prep and Cooking Space while Entertaining in the Kitchen

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or having a casual dinner with family, a well-designed kitchen can accommodate guests without interrupting the cooking process, even in a small kitchen. How your kitchen space is divided, the tools and appliances you use, and other kitchen features all benefit efficient cooking and entertainment.

Dividing Space in Your Kitchen for Preparing Food and Entertaining

A kitchen designed for entertaining will have a natural flow that separates the cooking area from where guests will be. Open, multifunctional spaces combining a kitchen and a living room or a dining room are not only popular but also represent the best layout type for simultaneously entertaining and cooking.

An open kitchen design usually includes a kitchen island or peninsula to divide the space and separate the areas used to prep and those used for socializing. U-shape designs are also efficient for dividing your kitchen by function. These elements help create a logical and efficient kitchen layout.

In addition to how the space is divided, certain appliances can add to both the entertainment value and efficient organization of your kitchen. An ample refrigerator allows you to prepare more things in advance. Double ovens will allow you to prepare several things at once and focus more on your guests. You can also consider adding an undercounter craft ice maker or wine or drinks fridge. These can turn your island into both a bar and prep space.

Finally, consider where appliances such as the refrigerator, oven and dishwasher are in your kitchen. For easy access, locate these appliances in areas where guests will not congregate.

Accommodating Guests with Functional Kitchen Features

Some kitchen features will be useful even when you’re not entertaining.

Seating and table areas should be both functional for everyday use and useful for entertaining. A dining table or breakfast bar are practical both for when guests are around and when it’s just you and your family.

A crucial factor for the vibe and utility of your kitchen is lighting. Your kitchen should have ample task lighting in prep and cooking areas. Lighting should also be welcoming. Consider adding ambient lighting, even accent lighting, to enhance your kitchen’s atmosphere.  

Kitchen Island and Countertop Ideas for Maximizing Entertaining Space

Kitchen islands are not only one of the best design trends for dividing the kitchen area, with an island, you can prepare food while interacting with guests. An island allows you to reach appliances, prep, and cook—all while entertaining.

Using Your Kitchen Island or Countertop Space

In itself, an island creates a natural space for cooking and entertaining. Nevertheless, you can further enhance your island and countertop space. An island countertop can include a sink or hob (a heat surface within a work space). Both of these will allow you to face your guests while prepping and cooking. Additionally, an island hob is a good way to involve your guests or show off your cooking skills.

Maximizing Vertical Space

Maximizing your kitchen’s vertical space is one of the best ways to increase the size of your kitchen, allowing you more room to entertain.

Cabinet space can be made more efficient. Remodeling your cabinets so they include shelves spaced for your needs will allow for better organization. Open shelving can be added to unused wall space, allowing you to show off your array of spices or spirits. You can even use such shelving for a sound system. If you love wine, consider adding an overhead wine-glass rack.

Maximizing Your Kitchen Space for Entertaining

Perhaps the most important change you can make is to create an open kitchen. You can’t use your kitchen for entertaining if it’s disconnected from other areas. If your kitchen is already part of a multifunctional space, you may be able to improve it by adding counter space or including a table or island seating. 

Kitchen Seating Ideas for Entertaining

What your kitchen offers in terms of seating is just as important as the kitchen layout. The arrangement of your seating will determine how comfortably you can entertain your guests.

There are three primary seating types you can incorporate into your kitchen design. These are the traditional dining table and dining chairs, island or peninsular seating, and banquette-style seating. The dining table is the classic choice. Island and peninsular seating—such as bar stools or a breakfast bar—and banquette seating are great alternatives and can also be used in conjunction with a dining table. 

Choosing Kitchen Seating 

If your space allows it, a dining table is a great option. A dining table is intended for socializing and typically provides ample room for guests to eat. This is also a great way to go if you require seating flexibility: the table and chairs can be easily rearranged. And, of course, a dining table is practical when entertaining a larger number of guests.

Island and peninsular seating can save space and can be built-in or movable. A benefit of this type of seating is that it’s in the prep area of the kitchen, allowing for easy socializing. It also makes it convenient for your guests to participate in preparation. In addition, island seating is more relaxed than a dining table, which may better fit your entertaining style.

Another possibility is banquette seating. Banquette seating is practical in spaces that are smaller or have unused wall space. It’s multifunctional and can even double as a place to relax.

Arranging Seating for Entertaining

If possible, seating should be near the prep area in the kitchen. This is why kitchen islands are so useful for entertaining. However, an open space with a dining table or banquette seating is also good for socializing, especially with larger gatherings. These seating types allow many guests to interact with one another

Tips for Easy Kitchen Cleanup after Entertaining

Entertaining usually entails cooking for many people. That means cleaning up the kitchen will require extra effort.

Fortunately, some kitchen design elements will make for easier cleanup. Not all kitchen countertops are equally easy to clean. Nonporous countertops require less special care than other surfaces. Glass and quartz are your best low-maintenance options. Undermount sinks and induction stove tops both allow for easier cleaning than other options because of their flat, smooth surfaces. Finally, designing your kitchen so the garbage is near the sink is a good option for efficient cleaning.

The Kitchen for Entertainment

Creating a kitchen for entertaining can be accomplished in a number of ways. What ultimately works best for you will depend on your space, needs and lifestyle. Ready to get started on your kitchen design? Schedule a consultation now!


About Drury Design Kitchen and Bath Studio

Founded by Gail Drury, CMKBD in 1987, Drury Design’s Client-Focused Design™ approach integrates design recommendations, materials selection, and construction management into one seamless customer design, project management, and build experience. For kitchen, bath, and home remodeling ideas view Drury Design’s design portfolio or stop by the studio at 512 N. Main Street in downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois.