How to Create a Home Designed for Entertaining

How to Create a Home Designed for Entertaining

If you love hosting parties or family gatherings, you know how the space you’re in can make or break your hosting experience. From a home’s layout to its features to even its finishes, there are so many factors that can either make hosting a breeze or a downright struggle. So, how do you create a home that’s the ultimate entertaining hub? Here are our top recommendations to consider when building or renovating to create a home designed for entertaining.

butler's pantry in chicago home for hosting and entertaining

1. Create some behind-the-scenes magic with a butler’s pantry

Discover the game-changing magic of a butler’s pantry, no bow-tie required! A butler’s pantry is a small area (typically in between the kitchen and dining room) that can be used for food prep, storage, and/or staging. Butler’s pantries provide a designated space to make everything picture-perfect, away from the hustle and bustle of the party itself. Plus, they serve as great storage areas for items that are only used when entertaining like serving platters, china, wine glasses, etc., that you don’t want taking up precious cabinet space every day in your kitchen. 

Butler’s pantries are also great to have near large entertainment spaces, perhaps next to a  recreation room or family room located on a separate level from your kitchen. Having remote refrigerators, dishwashers (even dishwasher drawers), and storage for popcorn bowls and juice glasses saves time in hauling these items from the kitchen to the recreation/entertainment areas of your home.

double islands in chicago kitchen built for entertaining

2. Break up the crowd with double islands

In homes with open floor plans, the kitchen tends to be a primary gathering area, especially if you’ve set out drinks or hors d’oeuvres for your guests. Double islands give you twice the counter space and help to break up the congestion that can sometimes build in the kitchen when guests are filling up their plates.

Not only do double islands come in handy during the event, but they’re also extremely useful when preparing food ahead of time! Double islands mean double prep space, a dream come true for those who love to bake or cook. We love the look of these contrasting countertops, adding beauty to this home designed for entertaining!

3. Take the party outside

The party doesn’t have to stop at the door! Expand your entertaining area by creating an incredible outdoor entertaining space. A quality deck or paved patio area with comfortable seating, soft lighting, and an outdoor fireplace or heater is all you need to make your guests feel cozy even on chilly evenings. Level up your outdoor space with a stereo system, wood-burning pizza oven, or water feature to really impress your guests and make your back deck party central.

chicago rooftop patio for home entertaining

4. Find some flow

An outdoor entertaining area is great, but only if it’s actually used! Consider the indoor/outdoor flow of your home when designing your space to ensure that guests can fully utilize your entire space. Options like garage door-style windows, bi-parting sliders, or folding glass doors create a versatile space that provides easy outside access and gives your home an elegant look even when the doors are closed. Incorporating outdoor heaters or fireplaces allow guests to feel comfortable outside and makes the transition of going from inside to outside much less harsh during cooler months.

chicago living room with french doors leading to outdoor patio for entertaining

5. Choose flooring to simplify cleanup

The last thing you want is for your house to look like it’s hosted a few too many gatherings. Opt for hardwood floors in high-traffic entertaining areas to prevent carpet from getting worn out or dingy (plus you won’t have to worry about pesky wine stains!). Hardwood not your style? Go for a more modern, industrial look with epoxy-coated floors that makes clean-up a breeze, or select a high-end tile to add a bit of pattern and flair to your home’s design.

6. Keep the party going with a top-notch lower level

We all have that one friend who has an epic lower-level living area; you can be that friend! Create the ultimate man-cave, an immersive home theater, a fully-stocked game room, or whatever fits your fancy. The lower level is your chance to get creative and go all-in on whatever interests you most. A well-equipped lower level can serve as the entire entertaining space for smaller gatherings, watching the big game, or hosting a movie night. It can also support becoming the house where “the kids gather” (didn’t we all envy that house growing up?). Consider building in a wet bar or even a full second kitchen to avoid trips up and down the stairs for drinks and snacks and to help keep your focus centered on being present with your guests.

chicago lower level living area with golf simulator and wine cellar home designed for entertaining

Creating a home designed for entertaining is simpler than it may seem with a few intentional choices during your home building or remodeling process. Think about how guests will move throughout your home and try to anticipate what needs may arise, then get ahead of it by designing solutions into the fabric of your home. If you’re in need of more ideas or are ready to start creating your own dream entertaining home, contact us to get started!