As the 1978 Jona Lewie song goes “You will always find me in the kitchen at parties.” and, if your Christmas and New Year festivities, were anything like mine, this is exactly where you’ll have found yourself!
Kitchens are often the ideal space in which to entertain and have guests round, even if they weren’t specifically designed for that function. So why not turn your kitchen into a place worth entertaining in?
Whilst we’re not suggesting you start putting on plays or even singing in your kitchen, it is a room that, if fitted out correctly, can be in total harmony with the rest of your home.
But how do you turn a space, designed to be hardwearing and functional, into a place fit for a party? Which materials are right and what should you be looking for in a kitchen work top?
Wood is good
To create a space in which to entertain, the level of furnishing in your kitchen should match the rest of your home. Wood flooring is always a good way to create a warm, welcoming look and feel, and this can certainly extend to your worktops. Cheap finishes should not be tolerated, instead opt for a material that looks as good as the surfaces in the rest of your home. Whilst solid wood kitchen worktops are great, if you really are on a tight budget, laminate worktops come in a range of beautiful colours and finishes which replicate the more expensive materials.
If you have the space, an island kitchen is absolutely ideal for those long and lazy get-togethers, bringing a focal point to your room. High stools will provide you with the perfect place to lean in and enjoy a good natter. It’ll also give you a handy spot to pick at food, play cards or enjoy a drink or two.
If cooking forms part of the show when you’re entertaining, a raised kitchen worktop is a great solution, forming a divide between the cooking area and the counter top.
Kitchen heating can often throw up a number of dilemmas, when it comes to creating a space that is warm and welcoming. As a room that isn’t exactly designed for long periods of habitation, the kitchen can often end up feeling cold and as far from cosy as you can imagine.
One solution could be fitting an AGA cooker. With its combination of heating and cooking functions, it’ll help to keep your whole kitchen warm, whilst giving your guests a treat when it comes to some serious dining. If an AGA isn’t a realistic choice, you could add a stove or woodburner to keep your guests nice and comfortable.
Cook up a storm
Whilst we’re on the subject of cookers, parties where cookery actually forms part of the entertainment itself are becoming more popular. Think childrens’ cake making or cookery clubs. If this sounds just your cup of tea (and slice of cake of course!) it is worth thinking long and hard about the set up of your new kitchen. A good fan oven at chest height will help save your aching back, whilst a large worktop directly adjacent to your oven will provide ample room for preparation and cooling.
If you’re serious about entertaining, and enjoy the odd tipple or two, a wine cooler is the perfect place to keep those bottles of white, rosé and bubbly on display. Not only will it free up space in your food fridge, but it’ll certainly leave a lasting impression on your guests. You take entertaining seriously!
Gone are the days when children were “seen and not heard”! If you’re throwing a family party it is often a wise move to reserve a corner of your kitchen for the little ones. A chalk board, easel, paints and other crafty items can be provided, keeping the kids occupied, while you catch up with other grown ups!
So, when it comes to creating a kitchen for entertaining, there’s no need to make a meal of things. Simply choose the right worktops, materials and layout and you’ll soon be the host who can boast the most!