We’ve heard it and experienced it a million times. Beautiful formal living and dining rooms sit untouched, and everyone squeezes into the kitchen to enjoy visiting with the hosts, helping prepare the food, and watching the big game on a tiny kitchen TV.
Builders and remodelers caught on and now kitchens, even in older homes, are increasingly being remodeled with more seating and being opened up to surrounding rooms. This also provides more light into the middle of the home, and more comfortable seating and space for multiple activities.
Local party planner Alicia Rutherford, owner and founder of Untangled Events , who for over a decade has been planning everything from intimate gatherings of friends to corporate events, agrees.
“Kitchens with open floorplans and room to gather are great for entertaining. They offer plenty of space to prep and serve drinks and food, while your guests enjoy themselves and you get to enjoy their company. As we all know, everyone ends up in the kitchen at a great party. It always helps to have space to do dishes while friends sip that last glass of wine.”
Someone will spill some red wine or nacho cheese dip or both.
Remember those carpeted dining rooms in the 70s? Wall to wall carpet in living and dining areas goes back way beyond the 1970s, back to the late 1700s in fact. Houses back then were cold, and carpets were used to warm up spaces, and keep down the noise of loud boots.
Luckily, we now have efficient heating and insulation (and rubber soled shoes) and don’t need hard-to-maintain wall to wall carpet everywhere. Gorgeous hardwoods, tile, area rugs and even carpet tiles add warmth and character and are so much easier to clean.
People are drawn to a warm fire, inside or out. Nothing warms up a gathering like a cozy fire. The crackling of a living or family room fire has always brought a wonderful ambiance to a gathering of family and friends. Increasingly, back yard fire pits and space heaters (even rented!) can extend your gathering space outdoors. The adults can sit around the fire with friends while the kids roast marshmallows and play ghost-in-the-graveyard on a gorgeous cool fall night.
With the fall holiday season approaching, we start to think about how our home will handle the family and friends that we want to share the season with.
Check out my listing at 808 Grand View Drive in Alexandria. It’s main level has a wonderful flow between the rooms, providing just the right balance of sociability and intimacy. A gorgeous open concept kitchen with plenty of seating adjoins the comfortable family room. There are hardwoods throughout the main and upper levels, and a cozy fireplace in the living room. The finished basement provides lots of lounging area for the younger crowd. Out back is a great big flat back yard perfect for a fire pit and a game of flashlight tag.