Social Kitchen: Create Hubs for Entertaining

written by Ashleigh Garris
last updated: October 8, 2019

The kitchen is the chameleon of the home; it transforms into whatever homeowners and families need it to be. It’s got many uses for the family, but one thing’s for sure, it’s the hub of activity. Some congregate in the kitchen for a celebratory party or friendly gathering. They use it for completing home business or education-related tasks, or fir merely dinning. Whatever the many uses of your kitchen, you’ll want a design that accommodates everyone’s social needs.

Essential Design Elements of the Social Kitchen

At any given moment, family and friends may gather in your home, and your kitchen will quickly become the hot spot for social activity. It is the heart of the home after all, and with food prep and conversation flowing, you’ll want a space that accommodates everyone. If you have a kitchen with a layout that doesn’t easily permit a flurry of activity, consider these design ideas to transform it into a more social space.

Size is certainly not a prerequisite for a great entertaining kitchen—though square footage will determine whether you can include features like an island or butler’s pantry if you’re not the cook for your parties. When designing a kitchen that functions as a sufficient entertaining space, it’s all about the specialty features that are integrated into the area to make serving food and beverage easy.

Kitchen Island

If the kitchen becomes whatever you need it to be, the kitchen island complements that idea matching whatever you need in the space. A stationary island or a rolling cart can instantly create a more social kitchen. Depending on the size, you might have the focal point and gathering spot for all your friends and family. Not to mention the extra cabinet storage you gain for food, pots/pans, appliances, and other kitchenware. An island can store items directly related to social activities, such as party decorations, games, and books. It can also provide extra countertop real estate for food prep and non-cooking tasks. The bottom line, it gives you the extra space you crave for all your social gatherings.

Incorporate a Beverage Station

Wide, open spaces make it easy for traffic to flow in and out of every area. You’ll never be closed off from the action when you have a clear sightline to everything that’s going on. But, if you’re not into having all that open space, or want more distinction between rooms you could incorporate half-walls with shelves into the design. Better yet, a glass cabinet or wall gives the impression of open space but still allows for division of space.

As seen in photo: Madison Square, Maple, Sherwin William's Mature Grape (6286), Charcoal Glaze with Antique Finish Technique

purple entertainment and beverage station

Conceal Clutter

A social kitchen means you’re getting a lot of use out of the space. To be sure you can entertain for years to come, you’ll want to select materials that are durable and long-lasting. Homeowners with little ones around know the importance of resilient products.

Add a Homework Zone or Message Center

Think about crafting out some room for a homework zone or message center for your kids and family. While you’re prepping dinner, they can be getting their homework done. All you need is a spot for a table and a few chairs—it could be separate from where you eat. Incorporate some shelves for books, or even paint some chalkboard paint on the wall for notes and help during homework sessions. A cozy spot for everyone to gather and work together makes it easy to keep an eye on little ones, while you’re getting things done.

Set the Mood with Lighting

One of the best ways to make guests feel relaxed is by choosing your lighting thoughtfully. It’s important to avoid harsh overhead illumination, yet you don’t want the room to feel dingy.

A layered lighting scheme is vital, with pendants and downlights overhead, and LED strips beneath the wall cabinets. Cabinet lighting adds depth, dimension, and visual interest to a variety of spaces. An ideal lighting design goes beyond a centralized ceiling fixture and includes multiple layers of lighting.

Thinking about how you could make your kitchen more entertainment-friendly? Let us be your guide to choosing the right entertainment cabinetry for your home! For additional social kitchen design ideas, click here to find a dealer nearest to you.


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