Cookies on the Kitchen Compare website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Kitchen Compare website.

Best kitchen design ideas for entertaining – Part 2

It’s often said that the best parties end up in the kitchen! More and more often socialising and entertaining with friends and family takes place in an open plan environment which encompasses a space to chill and relax as well as a space to prepare food and cook.

Many homes now embrace this multi-functional approach. However, due to Covid-19 it’s been a case of adhering to guidelines, navigating lockdowns and respecting social distancing rather than getting together with family and friends. The open plan design has come into its own in a different way as family members have had to learn to juggle cooking, working, and relaxing in the one space.

While Covid-19 hasn’t completely disappeared, we are certainly getting used to inviting guests back into our homes to dine, celebrate or party together, albeit in a slightly more cautious manner.

Our previous blog featured several top tips for designing a practical yet sociable space. Here are a few more.

Think about storage:

With multi-functional spaces continuing to be very popular, designs that appear less kitchen-like are growing in appeal. There are more handle less units in the market than ever before and combined with in-built appliances, this gives multi-functional spaces a very sleek, streamlined feel. This, however, should make no difference to the amount of storage that is planned within the kitchen – efficient storage is key and it’s important to consider not only how much storage there is, but also where the storage is located - pan drawers next to the hob or oven, dishwasher close to the unit housing crockery and glassware and larder or pantry style unit next to the fridge. If your layout includes an island or breakfast bar, consider including a raised area to conceal cooking debris and keep general kitchen mess out of sight from guests who might be perched on bar stools on the opposite side.

Think about appliances:

If you love entertaining, you’ll no doubt be reliant on decent appliances to help you prepare, cook, and serve your guests. Main points to consider are where they’ll be sited and how they might compromise the use of the space when you want to relax. One good use of space for appliances is to bank ovens side by side or directly on top of each other – this works particularly well if you have a clearly defined kitchen area. When it comes to cooking, an induction hob is preferable in a more open plan setting as it is far safer than an open gas flame and if you have plenty of space and regularly entertain then a second dishwasher is a great asset so you can be loading one while the other is cleaning – a real luxury. Include a wine chiller at the end of the island or in the area between the kitchen and the dining space as guests can then help themselves to a drink without getting in the way of the chef. Finally, a key appliance that often gets overlooked is the extractor fan. It is important to choose a fan that is efficient enough to remove cooking smells once you’ve finished eating and move to the relaxed seating area. Noise is also a consideration – choose one that operates below sixty decibels, the level of normal conversation. If you don’t like the sight of an extractor fan, look out for downdraft extractors which can be built into an island and pop up only when needed.

Think about pre and after dinner drinks:

Entertaining usually involves a drink or two! Drinks trolleys or carts have had a revival in recent years and are a great addition to a social party space. They can easily be moved around but make sure you have space for it to be housed on a day-to-day basis. An alternative option is to take a traditional larder or pantry and turn all or part of it into a dedicated bar adding internal storage at eye-level for glasses and wine racks and drawers below to store the bar accessories. If there’s space, then a small fridge-freezer is ideal to keep beers, mixers, and ice. The perfect feature for entertaining!

28th Mar 2022