Christmas is the perfect time to start thinking about whether your current kitchen is meeting your needs. While you entertain in style and cook up a storm, it’s great to take note of things that don’t work (or could work better) so that when you are planning your 2023 renovation you’re well informed about how your kitchen performs under pressure.
This year, we asked our Mint Kitchen Group design experts for their tips on how to create the ultimate entertainer’s kitchen that will undoubtedly add some cheer to your next Christmas event.
If you are considering renovating your kitchen and love entertaining, now is the perfect time to start planning. Our practical and innovative kitchen design ideas will ensure your kitchen not only looks incredible but is also highly functional and the perfect entertainer’s hub.
Getting Started – Tips for Inspiration
The easiest way to get inspired for your new Christmas delight is to explore all the things you love about your existing kitchen and all those features you don’t. Keeping a list close by when you are entertaining is also an excellent way to examine what aspects could be improved in your existing kitchen to allow a seamless flow when preparing, storing, cooking, and serving. For some homeowners, this could be a better layout, more suitable storage solutions or additional major appliances.
Now is also the ideal time to consider your layout. Think about precisely what you want to achieve from an entertainer’s point of view. This could be in relation to bulk catering or more intimate dinner parties, to family functions and weekday dinners.
Beautiful Benches & Storage
Ample bench space is a must. Your bench will be your prepping, cooking and serving area, so, depending on how many people you intend to cook for, your bench space will need to be clutter-free and easily accessible. To increase bench space, good storage is vital. Plan for clever large drawer and cupboard options. Also, contemplate inner drawers for larger drawers to help sort and find items easily. Planning your storage is also essential. Consider what items you use the most during entertaining and keep these located in one, easy-to-reach area. You can even have storage just for entertaining; a place to store additional cutlery, plates, and all those items you only tend to use when extra people come knocking.
Island benches are also a big hit for entertainers. Providing additional prep and service space, and island bench is also perfect as a place to guests to sit while interacting with the cook but keeping them out of the busy kitchen space.
Entertainers will know how vital a well-organised pantry is. Having enough space to store all of your everyday cooking needs and cope with extra ingredients and food during festive times is essential. Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of having a pantry that can only cater to the day-to-day operations of a kitchen without considering the entertaining aspect. For an avid entertainer, consider more space or clever storage solutions to cope with additional food or tableware items.
You’ll want a balance of open and closed spaces – open shelving is great for accessibility but there are great storage solutions within drawer compartments. Mix and match your storage solutions for your pantry to get just the right fit for you: think lift-up or pull-out options and even swing-out solutions that utilise every inch of space.
If you have the space – consider a butler’s pantry or scullery option. This can be custom designed to house secondary appliances such as an extra dishwasher or oven, as well as a hideaway space from any preparation mess or clutter. Plus, a butler’s pantry can store all your additional items, such as crockery, cutlery, and everything in between.
Appliances Big & Small
Entertainers will attest – your appliances need careful consideration for your kitchen. One oven is never enough! Catering for significant events will require additional large and small appliances to ensure your next event is seamless and non-stressful. Double ovens are great; however, you must ensure these will work to your advantage. Many entertainers opt for two separate ovens to maximise cooking zones, rather than one large oven. Having two ovens can help you cook different courses and keep food warm during service. Stackable options are also an excellent solution for the entertaining king or queen and provide a cohesive design aesthetic.
Also, think about the types of foods you like to prepare. Steam ovens and sous vide options can be an excellent addition to an entertaining kitchen and allow for more possibilities for your culinary needs. Don’t forget a beverage centre or wine fridge – not only can these be set to specific temperatures but they also save space in the main fridge for all your food items.
If you have ample smaller appliances for entertaining, also ponder where these will be stored for easy access. Having specially designed drawers and cupboards to keep your most used appliances close at hand will cut down on your footwork when in preparation mode.
The most important part of coming up with a workable and usable storage solution is to understand that every family is different. In general the goals is to always keep items that are used together located in a similar location, to ensure ease of access and to cut down on the number of steps you’ll need to take. But it’s also about understand what needs to be stored, how often these items are accessed and when they are used.
When it comes to entertaining, the most important zones in a kitchen will be the preparation zone, the serving zone and the clean up zone. So, make sure you talk to your kitchen designer about the style of entertaining you prefer, whether you usually cater for a crowd, how you like to serve up (ie family style or individually-plated), how you like to clean up (some prefer to clean as they go, others prefer to dump and then deal with the mess after everyone goes home).
You can transform your kitchen into a Christmas delight with the right professional advice and, at Mint Kitchen Group, it’s our goals to ensure your next festive feast is a stress-free harmonious event. We are booking 2023 installation dates now so get in touch over the Summer break to start planning your kitchen renovation.