The people having the most fun at holiday parties always seem to be in the kitchen. And so, the long-term evolution of kitchens to becoming the magnetic, connected, enjoyable heart of the home that we have come to expect today has contributed a lot to making the holiday season more enjoyable than ever. If your kitchen does not yet give you the feeling that you are enjoying yourself when you spend time in it, that you are glad to welcome guests to see it, and that you don’t have to leave them to go back to the kitchen, then we can help. It is not unreasonable today to want a kitchen that is in the front row of your home’s hospitality.

The Kitchen Came a Long Way

It took a long journey for the kitchen to become the life of the party. Just a few generations ago, the kitchen was, in many cases, not even part of the house. In the days of cooking over open fires, kitchens were sometimes a separate building, out back, to keep the danger of fire away from the home.

Even when kitchens came inside, there were decades in which the kitchen was designed and treated as a place where someone else did work behind the scenes. Food was presented as a finished product, sometimes signaled by a bell set near the host or hostess’s chair at the table. Things began to change when meal preparation became a family affair. The swinging door between kitchen and dining room came down. Then the wall came down and was replaced by a pass through, then a countertop. Now kitchens are designed from the start to be an integral part of the family’s day, and part of the focus when guests are invited.

The connection between the kitchen and the party today is direct. Let’s look at a few of the design innovations that make this work.

To Have an Island and Not Be an Island

The kitchen island has, in many designs, served to keep the conversation going between kitchen and living areas, while still providing the storage and workspace that formerly was confined to cupboards and countertops. The island might contain some of the surface units for cooking to take an even more active part in the meal preparation itself.

Extending this concept even further, custom kitchens occasionally now extend that island into the hospitality space to become a countertop for seating, and even a casual dining table option in itself. The way this outreach from the kitchen into the meal or the celebration takes shape becomes more and more imaginative, it seems, with each new household’s inspiration.

The Freedom to Design a Feeling of Fit

People we know who take great joy in the time they spend in the kitchen, for whom meal preparation is a way to relax and express themselves – who get energy from cooking, rather than spend energy cooking – design and arrange their kitchens the way a drummer sets up his drum set, setting it up so that things come to hand intuitively, so that the places where things belong flow from their own feel and techniques.

Their sense of enjoyment is the basis for a kitchen’s ergonomics, and this is the basis of the best kitchen designs. Let’s get together and talk about using holiday entertaining as the way to discover a kitchen design that suits you personally, all throughout the year.