Is your home the place where everyone gathers to watch the big game? At parties, most people gravitate to the kitchen, and why not? This is where the best smells come from, with coffee brewing and food cooking in the oven. You as the host also spend a lot of time in the kitchen, getting food ready, bringing out drinks, or clearing up. Your guests want to be nearby to chat to you. The stakes are higher when you are hosting guests for a big game, because no one wants to miss the latest score while socializing or getting food and drinks. If sports are important in your household AND you love to entertain, make sure your kitchen design is up to the task. Here are 5 steps to get a kitchen design that is game day ready!
1. Layout is key.
Layout is the foundation of any home living space and is especially crucial to a kitchen designed for entertaining. When game day arrives, an open plan kitchen is ideal as it offers a fluid living space with zones for food preparation, dining, and entertaining. Guests can relax and watch the game while easily moving around to get drinks and food. You want to be part of the action too, and the open plan format means you can prepare food while talking to your guests and keeping an eye on the score.
A well-planned design also maximizes available space for customized storage accessories. This means you can easily access your cooking essentials, serving platters, and glassware, especially those items that only come out for special occasions. Pantry storage, deep drawers, and corner storage accessories all simplify your access to the ingredients, small appliances, and serving platters you need. Even the ones you don’t use very often, like your football shaped serving tray, will be easy to find once they have a designated spot in your kitchen cabinets.
2. Sights and sounds.
Everyone wants to be able to see and hear the game, so make sure your television and sound system are ready to go. In an open plan kitchen design, be certain everyone can see the television from all key seating areas. Don’t forget those seats beyond the living area, like the island and kitchen table. If it is not possible to see from all angles, consider installing two televisions – one in the living area and one in the main kitchen space. A wireless sound system means you can broadcast the game, but also play music before and after to entertain guests. Think about a designated space to keep and charge electronics, like a customized drawer with USB outlets or a section of counter space with outlets and docking stations.
3. Seating arrangements.
Speaking of seating, no one want to stand around eating appetizers and watching the game, so make sure you have ample, well-positioned seating for all your guests. Barstools at the island or a kitchen table are ideal for people eating while keeping an eye on the score. In the main entertainment zone, be sure your couch and chairs are all positioned to maximize a view of the game. If you bring in extra seating to accommodate all your guests, check it doesn’t interfere with the flow of traffic in and around the kitchen.
4. Food and beverage.
Whether you are serving chips and dips or a full meal for your guests, think about what you need, where you will prepare it, and where you will serve it. For a casual event like this, an island, peninsula, or adjacent buffet is the perfect place to lay out self-service food for guests. Leave space to put out napkins, cutlery, and dishes or paper plates, plus any condiments. A beverage bar is the ideal place to keep your cold drinks, coffee, tea, and glassware or cups. If you have space, include a full-scale beverage bar with an under counter refrigerator, sink, and perhaps even a second dishwasher. Put your coffee maker here or install a built-in coffee machine for barista style delights. Make sure you have plenty of glasses, cups, spoons, sugar, and anything else required, and that this area is separate to the main kitchen workflow.
5. Don’t forget the powder room!
Other than the kitchen and television area, the room guests are most likely to visit during your big game party is the powder room. Get it ready for visitors by creating a design that is welcoming and stylish. This small room is the perfect place to express your personality with a bold color scheme or unique style, maybe even based on your favorite team’s colors! Make sure your powder room has a vanity cabinet or other storage to hold extra towels, toilet paper, and a few emergency toiletries for guests.