Five ways to turn your new kitchen into the ultimate gathering place for every holiday

Five ways to turn your new kitchen into the ultimate gathering place for every holiday​

Kitchens, traditionally, are gathering places within homes – and it’s certainly the case as Thanksgiving approaches. But now, more than ever, homeowners are designing these welcoming spaces to include luxurious and contemporary amenities geared toward entertaining groups of all sizes, year-round. The heart of a home is found in the kitchen, where people inherently feel relaxed, comfortable and eager to connect with each other on a unique level that a great room or lanai can’t provide.

And, whether you’re designing a beautiful custom home with Lee Wetherington Homes or another builder, this is an area that will require thoughtful planning to ensure all your needs and dreams are met to perfection. You’re welcoming guests for dinner, hosting football watch parties in the fall, preparing spreads of delicious food for every holiday and more. Your new kitchen should be functional for any scenario – and there are plenty of points to consider when creating the optimal space for entertainment!

Square footage that’s spacious

Kitchens designed for entertainment were initially implemented in the 1990s, when building firms popularized open floor plans. Now it’s an exponentially growing trend that will likely endure for years to come. Allocating enough space for countertops, appliances, and seating is the first step toward creating a kitchen that draws people together.

Kitchens typically double as a dining and serving area. Our Inspiration Homes – models we created to spark your imagination while designing a custom build – are resourceful, readily-available examples that demonstrate how much space you should devote for ideal entertainment.

Islands emphasizing entertainment

Most open floor plans include an island – or two! These features can serve a wide variety of functions, such as extra space for prepping and serving food. Two-tiered islands can include a bar, slide-out cutting boards, large sinks and more.

And, if your floorplan features rooms that flow seamlessly together, islands can serve as a clear separation between an expansive great room and spacious kitchen.

Storage space is essential

Plenty of storage space is essential for kitchens designed to entertain. Ingredients, food, dishes, silverware and small appliances all need dedicated storage areas that aren’t an eyesore and don’t hinder functionality.

Walk-in pantries offer an array of storage options, and we recommend this feature for countless homeowners who trust us to build their dream. Islands can also incorporate deep cabinets for convenience and cutouts for appliances.

Investing in sleek, modern appliances

Selecting high-caliber appliances, from styles to certain brands, can help boost the resale value of your home when and if you decide it’s time to place it on the market. And the latest available technology now puts entertainment right at your fingertips.

Wall ovens, double dishwashers, warming drawers that maintain food quality and refrigerated wine coolers provide next-level luxury during those large gatherings and special moments with family. A premium overhead ventilation system, built above the cooktop, is a must-have installation as well. Beverage stations, which are areas devoted to coffeemakers and espresso machines, provide an extra layer of entertainment for brunches or your holiday get-togethers.

Create a comfortable kitchen

Kitchen designs now factor in comfort – not just functionality – for, perhaps, prepping the perfect turkey. Large, cozy booths and plenty of barstools located around your island create an inviting experience for guests as they savor that last bite of pumpkin pie.

And, ultimately, this keeps your company enjoying fun conversation and avoiding sequestered lounging in the great room. Quality sound systems are also a viable option for creating a comfortable, energetic atmosphere in your kitchen!