No matter where you plan on hosting the party, everyone ends up hanging around the kitchen. Whether they’re chowing down on appetizers or just get caught up in conversation while going to grab a drink from the fridge, the kitchen tends to be the focal point of most friendly gatherings and holiday parties. Even a small kitchen tends to draw crowds, but this is nothing to worry about when making your kitchen a perfect space for entertaining.

When you’ve got your eye set on a remodel for entertaining, ask yourself a few questions about the kind of events you’re likely to host. Are you having a few close friends over for cocktails? Is your home the go-to for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties? Do you need space for platters of snacks, or will you be showing off your cooking skills to the group? Keep these in mind when you’re deciding on which of the features below you’ll want to include.

Glenview kitchen

This Glenview kitchen shows off a great kitchen island for guests to lean, sit, and chat near. Provided you’ve got the space, islands are one of the best entertaining features you can add to your space. While a lowered cooking station is more conventional, if you’re showing off your chef skills, a level island would work even better.

Also illustrated above is point-of-service refrigeration; notice how the fridge and cook’s appliances like the range, oven, and even microwave, are separated from the guests’ seating and gathering areas. Even in a small kitchen, you’ll want to keep beverages and food somewhere accessible and out of the way of the cook, or generally in areas that won’t get congested or force people to shuffle around.

If you’re willing to sacrifice some kitchen cabinet space, consider adding a TV for larger functions. Whether you’re watching the big game or the latest episode of your family’s favorite show, a flat-screen that runs flush with your cabinets or along an accent wall gives you space a fun and futuristic look. After all, the living room party always eventually moves to the kitchen, might as well move the best part of the living room to the kitchen!

If you’re looking to have some swanky cocktail parties, a dedicated area for drink mixing adds an extra touch of class and convenience. This Naperville home prefers a neatly stocked wine fridge, but small areas of cabinetry and a bit of counterspace can be easily converted into a fully loaded wet bar. This also keeps guests from storming the fridge.

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Kitchens have always been a great place to entertain, whether it’s for a big group or a small, intimate gathering or large party. Make sure your next renovation sees your kitchen getting the attention it deserves as a classic and timeless gathering spot for all occasions. If you’re itching to renovate your kitchen, or just looking for new design ideas, check out these kitchen remodeling ideas for inspiration.