As we enter the holiday season, entertaining friends and family takes center stage. It’s also a great time to think about how your home design can make holiday entertaining easier and more enjoyable.
Kitchens are Entertaining HQ
If you’re hosting the family holiday dinner, you already understand that the kitchen is often the central gathering place for everyone. That said, many modern home designs are based on an open concept kitchen and great room concept. These open kitchen layouts focus on center islands with seating on one side and adjacent dining room areas that allow for expanded table seating. Cooks who enjoy preparing grand meals will often include more than one prep area—some with a small sink— away from the main counters to allow for more than one cook in the kitchen.
Double Duty Appliances
For couples who cook for just the two of them, and then on occasion host a dozen guests may find dual ovens to be an efficient way to go. Use the smaller oven space for smaller portions and reserve the larger oven space for the turkey or ham. Having a double oven set-up also allows for easier preparation of multiple dishes at different temperatures. KitchenAid has a great option in their Dual Fuel Double Oven Convection Range.
Multifunctional Guest Rooms
If company is coming for a visit, include some planning for your guest’s bedrooms to maximize the space. Many homeowners position the master on one side of the common living area and arrange guest bedrooms in another “wing.” Positioning a full bath with equal access between two bedrooms makes the most of a second bath. If you’re like many folks, a home office will often do double duty as a guest room. Once great way to convert an office into an extra guest room is to install a murphy bed, which folds up into a wall when not in use. The Original Murphy Bed store has a great selection. They’re so much more comfortable than the pull-out sleeper couch!
Maximize Your Garage and Basement
The space over your garage or an area in a walkout basement can also provide expansion areas where guests can stay. Over the garage, one solution might be to set up a kid’s getaway with bunk beds and open spaces. Minimize heating and cooling expenses for this over garage area by installing a ductless heat pump to efficiently cool and heat when in use. Walkout basements are also great areas to maximize with guest bedroom spaces. Make sure that there’s plenty of good lighting to compensate for fewer windows.
Create Outdoor Spaces to Entertain
Expand entertaining areas to porches, decks and terraces to increase the space where your friends may gather. These spaces are not necessarily limited to summer activities: a cozy fire pit or hot tub can provide venues for winter time outdoor fun. For summertime, consider keeping one area of your porch or deck screened off for times when insects can be bothersome. Planning for an outdoor kitchen can get you out of the house in the summer and keep your grill master happy, too!
Shine a Light
Lighting is also an essential component of many celebrations. If your December decorations are over the top. make sure that the area where you plan to put the tree has enough convenience outlets nearby. Outside lighting needs grounded exterior switches in strategic locations. If your new home is located in a rural area, make sure that your guest can see the driveway, parking areas and walkways with good lighting. Opt for long-lasting, energy efficient LED lighting for low-maintenance lighting.
However, you entertain, there are great options to make family gatherings easy and fun for everyone!