Improve entertaining spaces

Sunday Signal

Some homes are seemingly built for entertaining, while others may need a little help to make them more fit for hosting dinner, holiday gatherings or an evening with friends.

Overall, one-quarter of people entertain guests in their home either daily or weekly across the globe. One-third entertain monthly, according to findings from GFK Insights.

People who open their homes to loved ones may want to make some modifications to their spaces to improve the experience for all involved.

Tame the clutter. Look for ways to reduce clutter in rooms where entertaining takes place. Built-ins with bookshelves and cabinets can hide electronics and wayward toys or collectibles. Focus attention on the entryway, hanging hooks for collecting coats, keys and shoes, so they do not overrun the foyer. Remove any knick-knacks or other breakable items from shelves or on coffee tables to free up more space.

Improve conversation seating. Arrange tables and chairs to create conversation nooks for guests who want to talk and get to know one another better. Consider moving out big and bulky sofas in favor of love seats or comfortable chairs that will take up less room and improve flow in entertaining areas.

Find the pieces you like. Think about how you tend to entertain and then cater your space to those preferences. For example, a large dining table with fold-out extensions or leaves is ideal for someone who regularly hosts formal dinner parties. Renovate a room to include a small bar and club chairs for a lounge feel if cocktail parties are typical.

Improve lighting. Work with an electrician and/or designer who can offer ideas for lighting that can set the mood for entertaining. Rooms that are dull and dim can benefit from overhead lighting fixtures if there are none already available. Task lighting in the kitchen under cabinets can make it easy to prepare food for guests. Wall sconces or focused lighting on artwork can establish a dramatic effect.

Do major construction. Consider working with a builder to make some changes if you simply don’t have the space to entertain. Taking down a wall can open kitchens to living spaces, while adding a deck or three-season room off the kitchen or dining room can provide more space for guests to congregate.

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