How to create the perfect party kitchen

With staying-in being the new going-out, here's how to create the perfect party kitchen.

It’s true to say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and never is this more so than when you have a houseful of guests. However often you suggest that people venture further into the house, inevitably they love to loiter in the kitchen. Perhaps to stay close to refreshments and the company of their host, the kitchen is always the busiest room of the party.

Open plan designs work really well for entertaining as they provide plenty of space to relax. Kitchens that flow into a dining or living area can create the perfect multi-function space, and if there’s opportunity to access the garden or patio area too, then all the better! 

We design kitchens to take the flow away from the cooking area. It’s all about zoning; a cooking zone, wet zone, entertaining zone. And if you have the luxury of space we will position a convenient food fridge in the cooking zone and a drinks fridge that’s accessible to the entertaining zone for guests to access without interrupting the chef.

When planning your kitchen design it’s important to think about how you’d like to use your space. Sit down meals with intimate groups of friends or more informal buffet style parties which allow you to invite more guests. Also consider how many people like to get involved in the cooking, having ample preparation space will create a more relaxed environment. An Island unit or breakfast bar creates a natural divide between loitering guests and activity of the cooking zone. If you have food preparation to do while your guests are watching, you’ll all feel more relaxed if there’s a barrier between the sharp knives and hot pans and your lively audience. 

There’s a host of innovative cooking appliances such as induction hobs and combi-steam ovens that improve our results and reduce cooking times, giving us more time to enjoy our guests. Having small appliances to hand will help us be effortless hosts too; built in coffee machines, boiling hot water taps, fridges with ice makers and cool water dispensers will save you time and make your guests feel relaxed that they’re not causing you extra work. And for the serious wine connoisseur, a wine cooler will store your favourite bottles at the perfect temperature without getting in the way of the food in the fridge.

Storage matters too and deep drawers, corner carousels and tall larder units all make the most of available space and keep things accessible. Whether you like to have all your things tucked away behind sleek, clean lines for a super sparse look or prefer to showcase your favourite glassware and crockery on open shelves, having your dishes within easy reach will make your life much easier - and avoid those awkward expeditions into the back of a cupboard to retrieve that perfect china platter. 

Lighting can play a key part in creating an environment and will give you the control to go from direct task lighting while you’re preparing food to a soft glow for relaxed atmosphere later in the evening.

And we’ve said it before, but colour really is the easiest way to update your kitchen. Opting for neutral surfaces and worktops allows you to have fun decorating with accessories to create the perfect party place, whatever the occasion.

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For more information on kitchen design and how to renovate your tired kitchen into a stunning new room with a kitchen makeover, please contact Angela Bower at The Kitchen Design Workshop on 01789 459013 or visit www.kitchendesignworkshop.co.uk

For further inspiration, don’t forget our Pinterest boards and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

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