Turning Your Kitchen into the Entertaining Hotspot
By Ryan Horvath
With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the social kitchen. The kitchen has gone from being hidden away to being front and center. It’s the social hotspot for holidays and special events. Food preparation and conversation flow seamlessly in today’s kitchen. This week’s blog is covering how to turn your kitchen into a social kitchen.
SOCIAL KITCHEN LAYOUT IDEAS
If we’re talking about a social kitchen, we must talk about an open concept kitchen. Opening the kitchen up to the rest of the house has multiple advantages. It’s easier for traffic flow and allows the cook to be part of the group. Expert designers say that a U- or L-shaped kitchens are perfect for open kitchens. They provide the cook additional prep areas and a spot for guests to hang out. Below are examples of each layout. Click on the images to enlarge.
An open concept gives you the opportunity to add a kitchen island. Adding a kitchen island helps create a focal point in the kitchen. It also provides you extra storage options for your pots and pans. You can also turn it into your activities hub. Add a wine and beverage cooler so that guests can serve themselves. Consider adding a breakfast bar at the end of the island. A breakfast bar becomes a multi-purpose area. Guests can use it for socializing without getting underfoot. Kids can use it as a homework station or craft area. Most importantly, it keeps everyone out of the “Work Triangle“. If your space doesn’t allow an island, consider using a rolling cart. They’re perfect for an extra prep area and can be stored away easily. Use one of the drawers in the island as a charging station for your guests’ devices.
If an open concept kitchen isn’t an option, consider widening the walkway and adding an arch. An arched opening creates a sense of an open space. Also, half-walls are another design idea. They open the kitchen up, but also provide extra space for cabinets and countertops.
CHOOSE LONG-LASTING MATERIALS
The amount of foot traffic in a social kitchen requires it to be made with quality materials. When looking at materials, look for durability. For countertops, you can’t go wrong with either quartz or granite. Both will have their pros and cons, so take some time to research them. Also, consider adding some pop-up outlets. These outlets expand your prep area while allowing guests to charge their devices.
Cabinetry is one of the biggest expenditures in a kitchen remodel. You’ll want to choose a cabinet company that uses quality construction. Look for cabinets made from all wood and use dovetails on their drawer boxes. Also, check to see if they’re assembled using pocket screw joinery. These cabinets not only will look great but stand the test of time. Oh, and by the way, all cabinets from Choice Cabinet are built this way. Check out our Quality of Construction page for more information.
Stainless-steel appliances not only look great but are smudge-proof. A stainless-steel refrigerator will look great no matter how many times your guests open it. Show off your social kitchen with adequate lighting. The right lighting will set the mood and create a dramatic atmosphere. Consider using natural lighting as well. Skylights or a French door that leads to your backyard garden are perfect ideas.
With the holidays right around the corner, I’m not expecting you to tear down your kitchen. However, as you entertain, look at how your kitchen is functioning. As families grow, what worked a few years ago might feel cramped now. If your kitchen is no longer functional, it’s time for a change. Push through the holidays and we’ll be here ready for your kitchen remodel.
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