Dinner parties and in-person book club brunches may be the stuff of daydreams right now, but consider this mandated pause on hosting the perfect opportunity to get your kitchen in shape for its post-quarantine debut. Gathering with others will be at the top of the to-do list when social distancing rules relax, so now’s the time to make sure you, and your kitchen, are ready to rock.
Togetherness—something everyone craves right now—has always been one of IKEA’s core values, and the retailer strives to give homeowners and renters the best tools to be able to bring friends and family together in their own homes. The kitchen is always the hub of socializing, so here’s how IKEA can help you turn your kitchen into party central.
To entertain even a small number of guests, or just your family, you need appliances that are true workhorses. A wide French-door refrigerator allows for easy storage of crudité trays, sheet cakes, and extra party snacks. A double oven lets you simultaneously roast and bake multiple dishes at different temperatures, while a five-burner stovetop ensures you have plenty of room to boil, sautée, and fry all at the same time. (And appliances from IKEA, like dishwashers, ovens, cooktops, and refrigerators, come with a free limited warranty—handy when they are getting so much use these days.)
There’s nothing worse than ending a fun night with a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink. A high-capacity, efficient dishwasher is every entertainer’s savior. If room allows, consider installing two dishwashers and two sinks, one for prep and one for clean-up.
Even if you have a formal dining room, chances are that guests will congregate in the kitchen, so incorporate seating for a designated gathering spot. Carve out a nook with an eat-in table, or add bar stools to a kitchen island or counter.
IKEA has dozens of dining tables, chairs, and stools so you can mix and match to find the perfect combination to fit your space. In a smaller kitchen, choose a table with a drop leaf to create more space when guests are over, and opt for backless stools that can be completely pushed under the counter when not in use.
Keep in mind the National Kitchen and Bath Association guidelines for spacing when plotting out seating: In an area with no walkway behind a seated diner, you need 32 inches from the edge of the table or counter. If there is a walkway behind a seat, you need 36 to 44 inches.
Entertaining items like large serving dishes, punch bowls, and cake stands can be annoying to store. They take up a lot of space, often can’t be stacked, and wind up being in the way when not in use. The solution? Designate one cabinet or shelf as the “party pantry.”
Use it to store drink dispensers, ice buckets, paper napkins, and birthday candles. Organize items by category—backyard barbeque, Mother’s Day brunch, Thanksgiving dinner, etc.—and store smaller grouped items in boxes. This way, party supplies won’t jam up everyday storage areas, and everything will be easy to find when the next event comes around.
There are endless ways to personalize your kitchen design to meet your style of entertaining. If chilled champagne or seafood is always on the menu, consider adding an ice trough to your counter. If you’re an oenophile who regularly hosts tastings, a wine refrigerator is a must.
Add a glass-fronted cabinet with wine racks and interior lights to showcase your glassware as well. Cocktail connoisseurs will want a dedicated wet bar. Beer lovers: consider installing a tap (it’s simple, and totally worth it if you’re going to be entertaining more than a dozen people at a time). Amateur baristas can incorporate a coffee zone, with storage for mugs, beans, and an espresso machine.
It’s your party: customize your kitchen the way you want to. Whatever that means to you, IKEA Kitchen Services is here to help. Schedule an appointment to get started.
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