Entertaining Spaces: 5 Top Design Tips

Whether it’s a casual weekend barbecue, a big birthday bash, or pizza and a movie with a few close friends, entertaining at home calls for a space that is comfortable, practical and stylish.

Here’s a quick design checklist to help you create the perfect at-home entertaining space for groups large and small.

1. Blend the indoors and the outdoors:

After - Outdoor Living Area

(North Perth, home renovation and extension)

There’s nothing better on a sunny day than throwing open the doors and taking the party outside. Sliding doors, stacker doors and bi-folding doors are all great ways to open up your indoor living and entertaining area to the alfresco. Servery windows make it easy to pass drinks and food between the kitchen and the alfresco, and they make clearing up easier, too. Being able to merge the indoors and outdoors is ideal when you’re catering for large groups as you’re effectively making your party space much bigger. An indoor/outdoor connection can also add a resort-style ambience to more intimate gatherings.

2. Go open plan:

(Mt Hawthorn, home extension)

Spacious open-plan kitchen and living areas are not only perfect for everyday living, they’re also ideal when friends and family come over. Cooking, eating and chatting can all happen in the same space, making sure the family chef stays connected to the socialising and guests feel part of the action. An island bench makes a great focal point, while sculleries or larder-style pantries help keep the mess and food prep out of sight. It’s a good idea to bring some definition to large open-plan areas, treating each space as if it were its own. Furniture, rugs and varying ceiling heights can help define individual spaces used for dining, conversation, games and food preparation. Remember to avoid clutter so that each individual space still looks open and inviting. Perfect for big groups, open-plan designs also have the benefit of making small spaces look bigger, with good airflow and lots of natural light.

3. Balance integration and separation:

(Archipelago I, display home)

If you want to separate the kids from the adults when you entertain, it’s important to think about how you can divide spaces without anywhere feeling too closed off. The same goes for heating and cooling, and containing noise or cooking smells. If you don’t want to take centre stage when cooking for friends, you might also want to consider how you can create some privacy in the kitchen without feeling shut off.

4. Push the boundaries:

Nelson I Display Home

(Nelson I, display home)

Bringing an illusion of space and grandeur to your entertaining area is certain to impress your guests. By keeping spaces feeling connected you can visually extend the eye, even if you use features such as room dividers and open bookcases to define individual areas. There will be plenty of room for your guests to mingle, while keeping your everyday spaces practical, comfortable, light and open. You’ll all enjoy spending time together – whether you’re entertaining two people or 20 people.

5. Keep it versatile:

Mt Hawthorn Extension - Living After

(Mt Hawthorn, renovation and extension)

It’s much easier to host a variety of soirees and get-togethers if you have an adaptable living and entertaining space. The days of formal dining rooms and sitting rooms have disappeared in favour of easy-going, open-plan spaces that connect indoors and out. Keeping your layout flexible means you can easily host a sit-down dinner for a few close friends, or throw a celebratory party complete with bar, buffet and dance space.

Book your FREE one-hour design consultation and a Dale Alcock Home Improvement Design Consultant will visit you to provide clever ideas, rough design sketches and a ball park cost estimate. 

For more inspiration, call 08 6555 7558.

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