How to Design Your Kitchen for Entertaining

September 1, 2020

Choosing to build a custom home provides the opportunity to evaluate each aspect of the design and layout to best meet your lifestyle. Custom homes result in highly functional and aesthetically pleasing living spaces that enhance the quality of life. If you like to do a lot of entertaining, your kitchen will need to be able to keep up. Here’s how to design your kitchen for entertaining:

1. Dedicate the Square Footage to Ensure You Have Enough Space

When entertaining house guests, it is important to have a kitchen that is large enough to operate efficiently and also accommodate a certain amount of foot traffic. Food preparation, serving, and more are much easier in a kitchen that has adequate space.

So, as you are planning out the kitchen in your custom home, make sure that you allocate enough square footage to the kitchen area. Kitchens often double as a serving area. There are several kitchen design layouts that work well for entertaining; you just need to consider which one is the right fit for you.

2. Get the Right Appliances

There are many things to consider when choosing kitchen appliances and whether you have a big family are will be entertaining guests are some of them. Entertaining a large number of guests may well require a kitchen to have larger or different appliances than a standard or regular kitchen needs.

Entertaining may require that more than one person is in the kitchen cooking multiple dishes at the same time or it may require that certain food items be finished before others. For these reasons, if you plan to entertain, you should consider incorporating things such as warming drawers, larger stoves with six or more burners, and more in your kitchen.

Additionally, a double wall oven can add a great deal of convenience and utility to the kitchen when a lot of meal prep is occurring at once. You can also organize your kitchen appliances in a way that helps you better handle your needs. 

Two Dishwashers

Depending on the space and layout of the kitchen, it might be a good idea to include two dishwashers instead of one. Large families and a lot of gatherings mean a lot of dirty dishes. Two dishwashers will ensure that clean up after a large family gathering is made easier.

At a minimum, a larger capacity dishwasher is in order, so that dishes and utensils that are used for food prep and serving can be quickly washed and put away to reduce clutter in the kitchen. Having two dishwashers in the kitchen will allow for washing these types of dishes while guests are dining while leaving the second unit free to accommodate the remaining dirty dishes after the meal is over.

Large Refrigerator

A large refrigerator is another important aspect of a kitchen if you will be planning to entertain guests regularly. Not only does a large refrigerator provide the capacity for dessert dishes and other food storage, but it also allows for the accessible storage and dispensing of drinks for guests.

If your kitchen will connect conveniently to your garage, another option is to have an additional refrigerator and/or freezer in the garage for additional cold storage. This will give you the space you need to buy things in bulk and store them ahead of time for your gatherings. It will also make sure you have enough space for things the day of the event, and especially if you are hosting a potluck-style gathering.

3. Include a Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is another valuable feature to include when you design your kitchen for entertaining. There are many ways to use a kitchen island, which makes it a versatile and highly functional addition to your kitchen design. Not only does an island provide additional storage space for large serving-ware, pots, pans, and dishes, but it can also double as a prime place to set food in a serving or buffet line.

There are many types of kitchen islands that can be a great fit for a kitchen designed for entertaining. Two-tiered kitchen islands are especially beneficial when it comes to this style of serving food. The lower tier of a two-tier kitchen island provides beneficial counter space. Also, incorporating a bar or prep sink on the island is another beneficial component that promises to enhance the efficiency and convenience in the kitchen when you are hosting guests.

4. Create Stations and Workspaces

Take the time to consider both the workflow in your kitchen along with the traffic flow of your guests. Having enough counter space, and having it oriented so that workstations can be established for efficient food preparation, will be key. You can even incorporate elements of wet and dry kitchen design for specific workstations, efficient use of space, and separate zones.

Likewise, having a place for hors d’oeuvres or other snacks to be set out while guests wait for the main course meal will keep foot traffic out of the prep area of the kitchen and make life easier for the cook(s). Similarly, a beverage bar or a hot drink/coffee station is another feature that will add convenience to the kitchen. Plus, dedicated stations like are useful for your family even when you aren’t entertaining guests, which is why it’s one of the tips to design a kitchen for a busy family too.

5. Add Enough Storage

Storage is important in any kitchen, but it is absolutely essential to have enough storage space if you plan to entertain guests on a regular basis. There are several types of kitchen pantries that can help you get enough storage. A walk-in pantry is a popular choice that can add a lot of convenient storage to your kitchen.

A walk-in pantry will provide adequate storage space for the volume of ingredients, food, and kitchen utensils that are required for entertaining. If a walk-in pantry isn’t the right fit for you, there are plenty of other options to add more storage to your kitchen design. Strategic cabinets, built-in shelving, a kitchen island, and more can all help you get the storage you need.

Entertaining guests requires a high functioning and efficient kitchen that can accommodate a greater volume of dishes, cooking, and people. Keeping these things in mind can help you design your kitchen for entertaining.

If you’re ready to start planning your new custom dream home from start to finish, give Custom Home Group a call at 717-284-4090!