Kitchen Updates for Entertaining

Most of us look forward to the year end holidays, when we spend more time visiting with friends and family. It’s also a time when many homeowners look at their homes and wonder if they should update their flooring, light fixtures or give their kitchen a totally new look. That’s because kitchens truly have become the heart of the home, not just for family time but also for entertaining at home.

kitchen-black-white-600There are many ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look. You might save up for a complete kitchen remodel, or you can make smaller changes incrementally as your budget permits. First we’ll give you ideas for updating the kitchen you have, and then we’ll share some of the most popular features for those who do a lot of entertaining at home.

When you’re not building a new house, or planning to remodel your entire kitchen, here are the different ways that you can give your kitchen a fresh look in time for the holidays.

  • Paint your kitchen cabinets (tips on how from ThisOldHouse.com).
  • Change the cabinet hardware for a fresh look.
  • Replace countertops, which is very popular, with multiple materials gaining momentum.
  • Add a backsplash that sizzles, especially with some of the new glass and metallic tiles.
  • Replace light fixtures with something new and modern.
  • Upgrade flooring to today’s most popular tile, cork or wood.

Features to Consider in a Kitchen for Entertaining

Whether you’re building a house or remodeling your kitchen, here are some features that are popular add-ons for homeowners that like to entertain a lot.

kitchen-features-entertaining-collage

  • Kitchen islands – are taking over the kitchen with 2 islands showing up in new houses. That let’s you keep one island for food prep while the other is for serving buffet style.
  • Custom drink stations – are less expensive than a full fledged home bar. They may include a wine refrigerator, ice drawer or even an extra dishwasher, plus extra storage for more glasses and party gear.
  • Butler pantries – are popping back up with more storage and prep space that can be hidden from guests.
  • Bar sinks – are useful for making drinks, washing glasses and lots of other tasks.
  • Restaurant style gadgets – include a rotisserie, built-in espresso machine or a wood-burning pizza oven.
  • Integrated outdoor space – is great space for guests to gather, especially when you’ve got an outdoor fireplace.

Deciding What You Want in Your Kitchen

Whether you’re getting breakfast ready or a buffet for 20 people, your kitchen design must still focus on food – storage, prep, serving and clean up. The best way to decide what features fit your lifestyle is to list out all the activities that happen in your kitchen.

Next list all the features you’d love to have in your kitchen. Then comes the challenge of making trade-offs, so here are a few ways to assess which features you’ll use the most.

  • Rank kitchen features by usage – For each kitchen activity, put a hatch mark next to all the features used. You’ll want to include features with the most hatch marks, based on all activities and frequency, e.g. if you bake several times a week.
  • Rank kitchen features by importance – Create 3 columns and rate each feature high, medium or low priority. Review your kitchen activities, which might make you change your ratings and don’t forget to include things like enough storage for all your baking tools.
  • Pick one focal point for entertaining – To perk up your kitchen for entertaining, pick one extra feature like a professional stove, pizza oven or a mini-bar. It should be something you’ll use frequently and add that to your family kitchen.

We hope you’re looking forward to the holidays. We’d love to help you make your kitchen the heart of your home and holiday traditions … this year and for years to come.

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About tinagleisner

Tina Gleisner is the founder of the Assn of Women Home Owners and the Assn of Home Professionals. With more than 30 years experience owning homes across the US and 8 years running a handyman business, Tina is building an online community to connect homeowners with home professionals that deliver quality products and services. She is passionate about giving women a comfortable way to learn and plan projects to protect, enhance and enjoy their homes.

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