Tips for a Kitchen You’ll Love to Entertain in

With the open-design kitchen, it’s easier than ever to entertain. But don’t fret, you don’t need to have an open-concept kitchen to maximize your entertainment value. A few extra pieces added to any layout can have you hosting an amazing gathering and wowing your friends and family. Designing a kitchen for entertainment can be easy and make entertaining more fun.

These kitchen must-haves are essential for entertaining

Kitchen island, peninsula or prep cart— If you love to entertain, a peninsula, kitchen island or kitchen cart to separate the working area from the mingling area is important. The design must allow you to move from the kitchen to your seating and dining areas with ease. You’ll want to make sure there’s as much space as possible between the different zones. A good layout of your working triangle is essential.

Enough seating—an island or peninsula extension will help with seating arrangements as well. It’s also helpful to place your table in an area that allows diners plenty of room to push their chairs back at the end of a meal without crashing into walls or blocking a walkway.

Second sink—A second sink is ideal for prep, cleaning, and serving. Install it on an island where it’s handy for washing produce or rinsing out drink glasses. You could place it near your baking station for fast cleanup after prepping your pie crust. Prep sinks are especially convenient when more than one cook is working in the kitchen at the same time.

Wet bar—Drink carts or allocated space as a bar, complete with fridge, mini-freezer, wine storage, and internal storage for glasses and bar accessories, is perfect if you love entertaining. These niceties allow you to mingle and serve while staying in the conversation.

Buffet or serving station—your grandmother’s buffet might start to make sense if she loved to entertain. Whether you have small intimate gatherings or big parties, you’ll want different solutions. Having a dedicated island will help if your catering for lots of guests. You can include cupboards or drawers facing out towards the dining area for easy access to dishware, linens, glasses, and flatware without impeding the cook. Consider adding a side table that hangs off the island when entertaining a smaller crowd.

Storage—Every kitchen could use more storage. When you entertain, this is even more important as you want all the essentials close at hand. Dedicated space for dishware, flatware, pots, pans, and garbage bins will help you prep, cook, and clean like a champ. Remember, proper storage for your pantry as well. With various sizes of upper and base cabinets that have specialized roll-out shelves, you can rock your storage options.

Appliances—Having great appliances can make entertaining a breeze. With appliances installed in the proper location and considering how they open into the kitchen area, prep and cooking for a crowd is easy. Also, consider the noise they produce when they run. To hold a normal conversation around an operating dishwasher, you’ll want the noise to be below 60db. You can take advantage of the island or peninsula space with below-the-counter versions of a refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven.

Pot filler-This is a handy tool if you love to cook over your range. Having a hard piped pot filler gives you access to running water right by the stove without having to walk over to the sink. This speeds up your cooking process and can prevent unwanted messes.

Lighting—It helps to install brighter task lighting in your cooking and cleaning up areas, ambient lighting like pendants for areas you’ll be sitting, and accent lighting in the kitchen to relax when you’re done with dinner. LED strips under a breakfast bar or on an island can be helpful task lighting.

Having guests over for a fancy dinner or casual dining experience can be easy and fun with a few kitchen renovations. Working with a designer to go over the kitchen layout, identifying the best areas for prep, cooking, cleaning, and dining can help you decide which changes are right for your kitchen.