How to Renovate a Kitchen for Entertaining

The cook space is the heart of the home—and the party

Hosting friends and family in your home is a big job with a seemingly endless to-do list, from the cleaning marathon the day before to the inescapable, last-minute trip to the wine store. One way to make the whole process easier: design your kitchen with entertaining top-of-mind. These homeowners, who all renovated with Sweeten, did just that when remodeling their culinary spaces.

Keep it open

Let’s face it, the host shouldn’t be hidden away from guests while prepping hors d’oeuvres. A layout that leaves the kitchen exposed to the dining area allows you to enjoy your own party while keeping the food and drinks flowing. Marie and John wanted their Brooklyn adobe to accommodate their friends, children, and grandchildren, so they optimized their kitchen layout, leaving the dining and living areas open to the kitchen. Dawn and David reconfigured their kitchen to do the same, and built a central island that divides the room while also creating a central gathering spot.

kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above) Open dining area and kitchen

kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above) Dividing kitchen island

Double up

Two of anything is almost always better than one. The double oven in Bellamy and Zak’s was a “non-negotiable,” and for good reason. Anyone who’s cooked multiple dishes at once knows the struggle of balancing oven time. Two appliances eliminate the hassle of planning around such restrictions. The same thought can be applied to sinks. Nilda and Brian’s kitchen has two of them, one in the main cooking area and another in the wet bar. A central sink can hold the inevitable pile of dirty dishes, while the other stays free for cleaning glasses for fresh drinks.

kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above) Double ovens

kitchens renovated for entertaining
kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above) Double sinks

Think smart storage

When you’re rushing to set the table before guests arrive or putting the last touches on a meal, you’ll be grateful dishes and utensils are in sight. These Sweeten homeowners (and avid entertainers) installed open shelves in their L-shaped kitchen, making it easy to grab-and-go as needed—not to mention they look pretty, too. Other creative ideas include shallow bottoms drawers, like these renovators, installed for storing serving platters, or a pull-out pantry next to the fridge for access to dry ingredients.

kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above) Open-shelving

kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above)
Shallow drawer


(Above) Pull-out pantry

Make it work

Placing the workhorse of your kitchen (the stove) in a central location like an island or peninsula allows hosts to put the last touches on a meal while talking to their guests. Sonali and Shalaj’s peninsula and Ainsley and Simon’s island are such examples of an ideal set-up. “We like that the stove is in the peninsula now, because it allows us to cook and interact with guests when we have them over,” Sonali said.

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(Above) Working island

kitchens renovated for entertaining
(Above) Cook space island

A final note: Use these suggestions and ideas as guidelines for your own kitchen renovation. Layout, budget, and space are major game-changers when it comes to remodeling, so for some, an open floor plan or giant kitchen island may not be an option. The most important thing is to design a space you love.

 

For more entertaining tips, check out 6 Home Bar Ideas That Deserve a Toast.

Refer your renovating friends to Sweeten and you’ll both receive a $250 Visa gift card when they sign a contract with a Sweeten general contractor. 

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.