It’s true what they say — the kitchen really is the heart of the home. Whether it’s for a family night in or a dinner party with friends, the space where everyone gathers is always the kitchen. So, getting your kitchen design perfect is key. If you’re a regular host, you might want to consider a few extra elements in your kitchen layout to ensure it’s the perfect space for entertaining guests effortlessly. In this guide, we’ll be sharing our expert tips for creating the ultimate entertaining kitchen.

Choose open plan

When it comes to hosting, the layout of your space is one of the most crucial elements to consider. You’ll want to keep the good times flowing without needing to retreat to another room to cook or refill drinks. If you can, opt for an open-plan layout that ensures seamless entertaining. It’s up to you whether you choose to create a fully open-plan kitchen and living space or incorporate your dining area as part of your entertaining kitchen design, but combining your relaxation and hosting areas can make entertaining much easier. This also has the added benefit of making your hosting a more collaborative effort. Cooking your guest’s food within view adds a more authentic touch to your evening and gives you a chance to show off your skills to friends and family.

To create the perfect open-plan space for hosting, it’s a good idea to zone out your cooking, dining, and lounging spaces. You can do this by making use of different materials, colours, and lighting. Our open-plan kitchen and living room ideas offer plenty of expert tips for partitioning your space, as well as other top design advice for removing cooking smells, decorating, and more.

Incorporate a kitchen island

A kitchen island is an integral part of entertaining kitchen design. Not only can it be an eye-catching feature in your room, but it can also double up as a kitchen workspace as well as a seating area or breakfast bar. With an island, your guests can keep you company while you cook. Your kitchen island doesn’t have to be your main dining space either, just somewhere guests can relax with a drink while they settle into the evening. Better yet, you can use your kitchen island as extra storage space, to keep clutter at bay and give you more room for entertaining.

Create the perfect cooking space

Integrating your hob into your kitchen island is one particularly useful entertaining kitchen design idea. By doing this, you can continue to prep and cook food for your guests without needing to turn around. You can continue to face and entertain everyone while getting everything ready. Just remember to keep your fridge and other essential appliances close by to maintain a seamless flow. Hobs with integrated extractor fans also remove steam and smells without interfering with the design of your kitchen.

To create the illusion of ‘zones’ within your island, consider playing with height by having your cooking space and worktop at a lower height than your breakfast bar. This ensures you can stay facing your guests while you cook, without them feeling like they need to be involved with the prep. Adjustable bar stools ensure you can raise your guests to the height of your breakfast bar, while keeping your cooker at a comfortable height to cook at.

Keep clutter to a minimum

When you’re entertaining, you won’t want clutter taking up your kitchen space. Not only can this look unsightly to guests, but it can also make everything much more difficult to find when you need it — especially when you’re focused on refilling drinks, preparing snacks, and keeping the conversation flowing. If you’re designing your kitchen for entertaining, organisation should be a priority. Choose innovative storage solutions to keep your pots, pans, utensils and store cupboard staples in their place. Just take a look at our guide on space-saving kitchen ideas for our advice on making the most of every inch of space, plus our kitchen organisation tips to keep everything tidy.

If you have the room, you might also want to build a pantry as part of your kitchen design to keep everything stored neatly in another area. Take a look at our advice for designing a walk-in pantry for inspiration.

Experiment with lighting

Lighting can instantly transform any space, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Layer your lighting to create the perfect ambience in each zone. For instance, use bright LED task lighting for cooking spaces, decorating entertaining spaces with soft statement lighting. Hanging designer pendant lighting over your kitchen island or dining table will add some wow factor to your space, while also providing just enough soft light for visibility while still maintaining a tranquil atmosphere. For even more ideas, take a look at our guide to kitchen lighting.

Add a drinks station

If you have the room, a home bar can really elevate your entertaining kitchen. If you’re working with a small kitchen, a bar cart or freestanding unit can be a great space-saving option. However, you could also include a built-in home bar as part of your kitchen design.

It doesn’t need to take up too much space either. You can dedicate a small corner of your workspace to convert into a home bar, complete with a drinks fridge. Make use of vertical space by installing shelving to house glasses, bottles, and cocktail accessories. You could also include a sink as part of your design to provide a convenient place to rinse glasses and dispose of any leftovers. Retractable doors can keep your home bar hidden away when not in use but can be opened up neatly for uninterrupted entertaining.

If you envision the heart of your home as a hub for social gatherings, these tips will help you design the perfect entertaining kitchen space for your needs. Now it’s time to bring your beautiful ideas to life. Browse our collection of German kitchens from Schüller and next125 for stylish kitchen inspiration. We also invite you to come along to our Hexham showroom, where you can see our German kitchen furniture in person.