Kitchens for Entertaining: Design Tips for Party Hosts

6 March 2024Kitchens for Entertaining: Design Tips for Party Hosts

No matter how lavish the interior décor is throughout your home, guests always seem to gravitate towards the kitchen. If you’re a regular party host, there are plenty of aspects to consider when designing a kitchen that caters to your hosting requirements.

From layout patterns to technological innovations, our designers have put together a list of things to take into account when designing kitchens for entertaining.

Which kitchen layout styles are best for entertaining?

Open floor plans are generally the go-to option for clients that like to entertain, but creating individual zones within an open plan space helps to develop social hubs and creates seating areas that guests naturally gravitate towards. Your layout should promote flow and make movement between these areas seamless.

If space is limited, a large kitchen island with bar stools is often an excellent solution. An island gives you the best of both worlds, providing ample food preparation space that can transition into an informal seating area when guests arrive. Your kitchen island should be directly between your social area and your cooking zone. This creates three different zones, each with their own ambiance and purpose.

Our Barnsdale design serves as the perfect example of the importance of zoning. The large, open plan barn conversion has a kitchen, dining table, and a seating area all in one space. We added a raised circular breakfast bar to the kitchen island to separate the social area from the cooking zone, and we used bespoke cabinetry to ground other areas, ensuring each space was given its own unique feel and purpose, in spite of the cohesive colour palate.

Kitchen seating arrangements

Seating should be comfortable, versatile, and strategic. Banquettes are an excellent choice as they allow you to make the most of your space, enabling hosts to accommodate more guests than standalone chairs.

If your space will allow it, a mix of seating options at varying levels can cater to different guest preferences. Bar stools at a kitchen island provide an informal seating option, and backless chairs encourage guests to chat with those behind them as well as those seated at the counter. Remember to create separate spaces for casual mingling, dining, and perhaps even a quiet corner for private conversations.

The designers working on our Kingsmead project embedded a seating area into the kitchen island. The curved banquette bench faced the sofa seating area and the large windows, drawing focus to the view out onto the orangery. Two different zones, joined together by their orientation. The banquette seating would feel just as full with six guests as it would with eight or nine.

Essential storage for your bespoke kitchen

When hosting, you want to ensure that everything has its place. A separate pantry can hide bulkier items, and your home cocktail bar will guarantee you’re equipped with all the essentials. Extra fridge and freezer storage spaces are a must, as no host wants to have to choose between prioritising food storage and keeping drinks cool. Integrated solutions like pull-out spice racks, vertical tray storage, and built-in recycling bins keep things organised and out of sight.

Our Stamford project recently received an award at the International Design and Architecture Awards 2023. The storage solutions incorporated into this design in particular were second to none.

Everything had its own space, which meant that there was no clutter crowding the worktops when the cabinet doors were closed.

Using lighting to curate your ambiance

We recommend layered lighting for guests who like to entertain. This way, lighting options can be changed to suit the tone of your event.

Ambient lighting from ceiling fixtures can light up the room when dinner is served, softer lighting under cabinets can better illuminate food preparation areas, and accent lighting, such as soft LED strips or statement pendant lights, can help set the mood. Dimmable switches also allow hosts to control the ambiance of their event.

The statement lights in our Winchester design draw attention to each individual seating area. These bright pendulums can be dialled down to a softer glow in an evening, so that under-cabinet lighting can take over instead.

What kitchen features make entertaining easier?

Our Eastgate project featured a pop-up gin bar, which is sure to be a showstopping centrepiece for any social event! This certainly makes it easier to serve drinks, but we also like to focus on the smaller details that make entertaining a breeze for party hosts.

It goes without saying that a home bar, equipped with a wine fridge and storage for glasses and spirits, will come in handy at a cocktail evening. An elegant dining area will create an inviting space for guests to chat. And state-of-the-art appliances will make every dish taste extra special.

However, many hosts forget to consider how they’ll transform their cooking space into a social area, where they’ll stash dirty dishes or empty glasses, and how they can make sure everything is ready on time. At Krantz, we think about every scenario, and we’ll discuss the intended use of the space with our clients at length.

Every feature incorporated into our design will be geared towards making our clients’ lives easier, and this is no exception for those that like to entertain.

Essential kitchen appliances

High-quality ovens with convection or steam functions ensure dishes are cooked to perfection. If you host large parties, two ovens may come in handy. Two dishwashers might sound excessive, but they’ll be put to good use at larger gatherings.

Warming drawers keep dishes at the right temperature for serving up and, when serving drinks, wine coolers or glass fridges can be indispensable.

There are many different appliances that can be added to create a kitchen that’s perfect for hosting, but the options selected should always be chosen with the client’s specific needs and preferences in mind.

Digital integration and smart devices for your bespoke kitchen

From Alexa-integrated appliances and state-of-the-art sound systems to automatic taps and soft-close doors, there’s no limit to the technological advancements we can incorporate into our kitchens.

While quality appliances have always been part of a Krantz kitchen, we’re increasingly adding more subtle integrations into our designs, such as built in charging drawers and bespoke lighting systems.

Bespoke kitchens are created with you in mind, and our designers consider anything and everything that might make your life easier – down to the smallest details.

It’s amazing the difference that a curated environment can make when it comes to putting on a perfect soirée. Book a free consultation today, and we’ll discuss the many options available.

 

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