Create a Kitchen for Entertaining

When it comes to a party, crowds tend to congregate in the kitchen. Turn your space into a hub for hosting with these inspiring ideas that will help you design the ultimate kitchen for entertaining.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Design an Open Concept

    Come one, come all: Open-concept kitchens just ask for a party. The no-barriers design accommodates plenty of guests and allows you to take part in the action while simultaneously serving up food and drinks with ease. Be sure to integrate your open kitchen with the rest of your home by repeating a hue in the wall color or appliances.

  • Consider Square Footage

    A large floor plan isn't required for a host-worthy kitchen. However, you'll want to take square footage into consideration when creating a kitchen for entertaining. In small spaces, a moveable bar cart or work station can provide extra prep space when needed.

  • Establish Work Zones

    Prep. Cook. Clean. These are the basic areas to devise for a party-ready kitchen that flows smoothly. Well-planned work zones allow multiple people to cook while you entertain. Keep each zone functional by incorporating the necessary appliances and storage.

  • Add an Island (or Two)

    Few kitchen features encourage guests to gather more than a well-placed island. Even small spaces can benefit from a casual spot to sip and socialize. For a kitchen with large square footage, try two islands to separate cooking and serving areas.

  • DIY Kitchen Island

    Not ready to commit to an island? See how a non-permanent, ready-to-assemble island can become a storage dream with a few simple updates.

  • Upgrade Appliances

    When it comes to kitchens for entertaining, it's all about the appliances. A double range ensures all dinner fare gets served at the same time, while double dishwashers accommodate dirty pots and pans. Warming drawers and specialty refrigeration, such as beverage drawers, are a must for entertainers.

  • Build a Wet Bar

    A wet bar, no matter how small, is essential for gathering stemware, beverages, and cocktail fixings in a central location without disrupting the work triangle. Consider a built-in, temperature-controlled fridge to keep wine perfectly chilled, as well as a separate sink.

  • Maximize Seating

    Encourage guests to sit and stay awhile with an eat-in dining room. This home's combination of a banquette, dining table and chairs, plus island seating allows friends and family to move freely from the kitchen and dining areas. Plus, the base of a built-in bench provides additional storage space for linens.

  • Conceal Clutter

    Keep small appliances out of sight and countertops clutter-free with custom cabinetry. Appliance garages make it easy to access coffeemakers, toasters, and other gadgets without impeding on precious counter space so you can set out an impressive array of appetizers or a family-style buffet effortlessly.

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    Display Your Favorites

    Guarantee grab-and-go access to dishware, ingredients, and gadgets with open shelving. Mix with glass cabinetry to display special-occasion dishware or create a hit of color against an all-white backsplash.

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    Easy DIY Open Shelving

    Love the look of open shelves but don't want to spend a fortune? Learn how to convert existing cabinetry into open shelving with our simple instructions!

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    Consider Raised Countertops

    Avoid scrubbing dishes in the midst of a gathering with the help of raised countertops. The high surface hides dirty dishes from view in other rooms and serves as a cooking station on the host side.

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    Establish a Beverage Station

    If brunch is more your style than happy hour, consider incorporating a beverage station with an espresso machine or coffeemaker. Stock with plenty of teacups, mugs, and latte bowls, and let guests choose their own mix-ins.

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    Create Quick Cleanup

    Apron-front sinks, such as this modern stainless-steel model, let you pile in the dirty dishes to soak while you continue socializing. Try a double-basin sink to separate pots and pans from fine glassware.

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    Upgrade a Pantry

    Outfit an existing pantry with a sink and plenty of cabinetry for a storage oasis away from the main work area. The L-shape countertop in this butler's pantry makes it easy to prep small bites and beverages and store until ready to serve.

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    Add Tech-Savvy Touches

    Treat guests to tech-minded touches to expand your party possibilities. A television lets friends and families watch the big game while grabbing a bite; built-in speakers set the mood with your favorite tunes; and a built-in charging station ensures that no device battery goes drained.

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    Feature Luxe Lighting

    An existing kitchen can be made into an entertaining hub with the help of a few stylish light fixtures. Create a focal point over an island with oversize pendants or above a banquette with a sparkling chandelier.

  • Next Slideshow 16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay

    16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay

    Just because it's trending doesn't mean it's not timeless. These gorgeous kitchen trends -- including minimal upper cabinetry, sparkling quartz counters, and one-of-a-kind ceiling treatments -- are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
    Begin Slideshow »
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