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Make Your Kitchen the Ultimate Gathering Place

What is it about kitchens that give them the power to draw in family members and visitors alike? We tend to put the choicest seating and the most inviting amenities in great rooms and rec rooms and then everyone ends up clustered around the kitchen table! So if kitchens are for living too, embrace that reality with changes that make your kitchen party-ready and hangout worthy.

Have you ever wondered why friends and family congregate in the kitchen? This room, once designed solely for utility, has been called the heart of the home… an epicenter… and even the new living room! In most homes today, the kitchen plays a lot of roles. It's the family hub, a place for casual socialization, an art studio, a workspace and more.

Or can be. Because the kitchen as the heart of the home is a relatively modern concept not every kitchen is set up for family gatherings or entertaining. But whether you're poised to begin a kitchen remodel or you're more interested in décor-based ways to enhance your kitchen, there's plenty you can do to turn it into a center of warmth, fun and productivity.


A New Layout Can Reinforce Connections


Remodeling is the easiest (though not the simplest) way to turn your kitchen into a family gathering space. Closed off kitchens made sense back when this utility room was purely about prepping and cooking food but entirely separate kitchens force everyone to squeeze into an enclosed space.

So while it's true that closed-plan kitchens are making a comeback in new construction, it's also true that opening up interiors is still a popular home mod. Knocking down walls between kitchen and living room makes it easier to stay connected with family or guests when you're doing the necessary work of cooking and cleaning up.  


Fresh Seating Gives Everyone a Place to Relax


If you've had the experience of children playing underfoot or party goers milling around the kitchen with drinks in hand, you can imagine how lovely adding even something simple like bench seating on one side of the table can be.

The sky is the limit when it comes to kitchen seating, however – from vintage bar stools to custom upholstery to mid-century modern rockers, look beyond traditional dining table seating to create a space that looks and feels as welcoming as your living room.


Bring in the Bells and Whistles


If family and friends are spending time in your kitchen when they could be in the living room why not bring a little of that living room fun to the people? There's no reason why your kitchen – beyond space constraints – can't be outfitted with an entertainment system that makes dinner and a movie a lot more fun.


Utility Can Become Beauty

The kitchen is a workroom but that doesn't mean it can't have a style all its own. Bright lighting is conducive to cooking and a beautiful pendant lamp can provide all of the illumination you need. A big modern serving tray or a beloved heirloom bowl can become a place for important papers and keys so countertop clutter is kept to a minimum. Replace drab dishware and cookware with brightly colored alternatives from brands like Le Creuset and let copper cookware be your wall décor. And replace closed cabinets with glass doors to display your favorite pieces.

Who needs objet d'art when your cooking tools are beautiful?


Your Kitchen Is a Room Worthy of Accessorizing


Double dishwashers, wine coolers, beer kegs, a built-in wet bar and warming drawers make putting together parties easy. But even if your parties are ultra exclusive or family-only, extra amenities can make spending time in the kitchen more festive and less stressful for everyone, young and old.

The kitchen may naturally be the heart of the home, just because, but with a few improvements it can become not just a simple gathering space but also so much more.
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