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6 Must-Have Design Elements For Entertaining at Home

6 Must-Have Design Elements For Entertaining at Home

Imagine your brand new home filled with all of your friends and family, enjoying special occasions together, holidays, and even the odd get together just for fun. Imagine having enough space for everyone to mingle comfortably, and just the right function to offer food and drink without everyone having to crowd around one tiny serving station.

Entertaining in your new home is what you’ve always dreamed of, and we have some tips to make it even better.

Indoor-Outdoor Bar 

This design feature is becoming more and more popular, offering the ability to serve food and drinks directly from your kitchen without having to carry everything outside first. A large window opens entirely from your kitchen to the outside, where an eating bar or bar top allows guests to sit right at the “bar” to be served.

It’s a fun place to visit, plus it allows the host to still chat with guests while preparing food or drinks inside.

Oversized Kitchen Island 

must have design elements for entertaining at home - food station imageGuests tend to congregate where the food and beverages are located. Let’s be honest—we’re always excited by good food! Having a larger island that can accommodate both the food and the lingering guests is essential. A large enough space to fit plenty of platters and a large spread will ensure there isn’t a ton of leftovers (due to it being in the refrigerator waiting its turn to come out).

This will also provide enough space for dishes and used wine and cocktail glasses to rest, instead of finding their way onto random surfaces throughout the home. The glass in the bathroom is a puzzler—I’ve had that one a few times.

In-Counter Ice Chiller 

Speaking of oversized islands, a smart feature you can add to this surface is a built-in ice chiller next to the sink. This is a great place to fill with ice for your champagne and wine bottles so you don’t have to take up your sink or find a large bowl. The best part is, it is designed to drain like your sink so you don’t have to dump a huge bowl of ice into the tub at the end of the night.

Liquor Organizer 

must have design elements for entertaining at home - liquor station image

We’re sure you’ve heard of specialty cabinets such as pot-and-pan drawers, utensil drawers, and spice cabinets, but have you thought of a better way to organize your liquor bottles than using a spare cabinet? No doubt you have to dig out ten bottles to get to the rum at the back of the cabinet.

Perhaps you could include a custom cabinet with regular cabinet doors, where inside you’ll find a larger roll-out drawer with dividers at the bottom for all of your bottles, and a shorter drawer at the top for your strainers and other drink-related utensils. Your guests will think you’re a pro.

Outdoor Living Area 

If you plan to have an outdoor kitchen, you know that our Calgary weather can sometimes put a damper on entertainment plans. When designing your outdoor kitchen and living area, considering designing spaces for both sheltered and unsheltered areas. This way if your sunny gathering suddenly turns from sunshine to rain, you can all still enjoy the outdoor atmosphere by simply moving under a sheltered area.

This could be a covered gazebo-type area with plenty of comfortable seating, or your outdoor stove, countertops, and other features could be under a rooftop with sheltered bar seating all around. For unsheltered spaces, perhaps design a fire pit area with plenty of comfortable seating all around.

There are plenty of design options available for outdoor living spaces; this is one area you can get really creative with to meet your dreams and goals for entertaining outdoors.

Indoor-Outdoor Fireplace 

One quite versatile feature you can add to your home is a two-way fireplace from your inside to your outside. Perhaps it is a beautiful stone wrapped fireplace in your great room that opens up to your large outdoor deck. Place plenty of comfortable seating and tables on both sides so you can enjoy the warmth both inside and out, depending on the weather.

When it comes to entertaining friends and family, the easier your home can make it on you to be a wonderful host, the more your gatherings will be a smashing success. Your guests will always want to come back for more, and you might just be the talk of the crowd. Get creative with your space and wow your guests with your unique style and great spaces.


Photo credit: outdoor fireplace, liquor station, food station

About The Author

Lenka V.

Publishing, graphic design, business and real estate round out my professional career and my two teenage boys keep me on my toes at home.

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