It’s that time of the year again – a time spent with family and friends, and who can forget about the food! No matter what size it is, guests always seem to congregate in the kitchen. Make yours, whether big or small, one for entertaining.

The Entertaining Elements

Kitchens in older homes are often treated like Cinderella – the unwanted stepchild.  In the past, kitchens were hidden from the more formal parts of the home.  Families today want more open, casual home designs that enable communication and connection among family members.  Open kitchens are a perfect way to integrate the kitchen into the rest of the home.  Making your space feel open and connected is the primary way to create an ideal entertaining space.

The Chef’s Entertaining Kitchen

Chefs love to cook for friends and family. A big island can create effective work stations and give guests a place to relax and enjoy appetizers while they chat with the chef.  It’s much easier to socialize when the chefs can face their guests across an island than if they are stuck in a corner with their backs to them.

The Small Entertaining Kitchen

Just because your space is small, doesn’t mean it can’t be cozy and functional. Something we would consider with you would be knocking down the walls that separate the kitchen from other rooms in the house. We could consider keeping a peninsula that will separate the space while leaving a usable feature in the kitchen area.  This open concept will make your kitchen feel bigger.

The Elegant Entertaining Space

Open floor plans have many advantages, but they’re not for everyone.  They can be noisy, hard to heat, and are typically very casual and can remove more intimate, elegant entertaining spaces from the home. Formal dining rooms, on the other hand, create an intimate, dedicated space for family meals and gatherings with friends.  They don’t have to be “state dinners” on the good china, but meals in a formal dining room feel cozier and worth dressing up for.  They encourage conversation and keep guests from seeing the dirty dishes and cooking mess in the kitchen.

It Doesn’t Have to be All or Nothing

Homeowners with open floor plans can bring a little of the formality and intimacy of a formal dining room with some careful choices, too.  Adding half-walls between the cooking and dining spaces can separate the spaces without compromising the open feeling of the room.  Color choices, furniture placement and floor treatments can also help mark the boundaries between the casual kitchen area and the formal dining space.


When redesigning a home space such as a kitchen, we have three main areas of focus:   your wants and needs, your budget, and the personality and layout of your home. Magazine images can be great as a style reference, but don’t get too hung up on the details. Maybe your kitchen is smaller than average, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have the same functionality and look of a large kitchen. Any of these ideas can give your small kitchen that large kitchen feel.

An efficient entertaining kitchen is a dream that can come true in your home.  Our design team has created many entertaining kitchens in many Twin Cities homes. Contact us today to see how we can help you.