If there’s one thing we all love about the Christmas season (and there’s lots!), it’s the opportunity to invite your friends and family round for some wonderful festive parties! Of course, before your first guest arrives at the door it’s worth a bit of planning first, to think about how best you can utilise your space to keep your guests comfortable and entertained. That’s where we’ve got you covered!
Now, it’s true that kitchen flow is an important factor in the design process, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely redesign your kitchen in time for Christmas. (Let’s be honest, you’d be lucky at this stage!) You can do a great job by just making a few small adjustments to your existing layout.
The last thing anyone wants at a party is to have to elbow their way to the buffet or the area where the drinks are laid out. These two areas of the kitchen will be probably be the ones most heavily populated when you’re hosting a party, and easy access to both will keep everyone happy. For that reason, it’s important to put some thought into where each ‘station’ should be, in order to encourage a natural flow of foot traffic within the space. Ideally, you’ll want your guests to select their food and then move on promptly to the dining area, rather than milling around the food preparation space.
The easiest way to subtly encourage them to do this is by simply by setting up your stations in a certain way. For example, placing your plates next to the starters and arranging all the food sequentially, in the order you’d like them to move through it. It might sound very technical and boring, but there’s a method to it! You won’t want people moving from starters, past puddings, getting their mains and then going back to puddings. It’ll be chaos! Instead, arrange it all so they’re following a natural route that leads out into the dining area, which will prevent your kitchen from becoming too crowded all at once.
There are all sorts of factors to consider when creating the right atmosphere for your party. There’s lighting, music and decoration just to name a few! But before you settle on any specifics though, it’s important to think about the atmosphere your kitchen already has.
It’s a good idea to include party features that are in-keeping with the existing theme of your kitchen’s aesthetic. For example, if your kitchen is traditional in design, traditional Christmas food and methods of decoration (like those we’ve recently outlined in this post) will fit the mood beautifully. In a more contemporary kitchen, on the other hand, you might want to try some recipes that are less conventional and more experimental.
The same can be applied to your drinks menu. Gin is all the rage at the moment, so a stylish selection of different gins and tonics would be a great match for a modern kitchen space and could encourage guests to experiment themselves with unique flavour combinations. For a traditional Christmas kitchen, you can always rely on the festive favourites – mulled wine, German beer or eggnog will have your guests feeling merry and festive all night long!
The most important thing to remember when hosting any party, not just at Christmas time, is to allow yourself to enjoy it! Remember that no matter what happens, you’ll be surrounded by people who love you. It’s not a performance art! So stay relaxed, try not to become too consumed by being the host, let the stresses slide and have a good time with your guests.
All these little adjustments to your kitchen might even give you some great ideas for a future kitchen redesign. If you’re thinking about a makeover for your kitchen in the New Year, we’d love to help. Feel free to stop by any one of our designer kitchen showrooms in Blackburn, Manchester or Barrowford for a chat with one of our designers, who’ll be only too happy to discuss your ideas on how to make your dream kitchen a reality.