When it’s time to renovate the kitchen, the design and layout will depend on how this area will be used. Those who seriously love hosting dinner parties and entertaining at home should design a different kitchen to those who see it purely for the family. Here are some ideas if you long to entertain guests with your kitchen.
If the cooking is to be part of the show, then a central island with a hob and wet bar is ideal. Choose a glass extractor hood, so the view isn’t restricted. It’s pleasant for guests to be able to interact with their hosts face-to-face, plus it means you don’t feel left out. If space allows, the island should be large enough to double as a breakfast bar. If you prefer your cooking not be scrutinised, have the dining side of the island raised by 30cm.
Kitchen Units & Appliances
Unless ‘money is no object’, then it’s important to shop around. There are high quality, cheap kitchen units available, particularly if you buy on-line. If the budget is very tight, then try to reuse the old carcasses and opt for replacement kitchen doors. The finish is up to you, however high-gloss looks modern and efficient, plus it is easy to keep clean. No one wants to see you on your knees rummaging in the back of a cupboard, so include pan drawers, pull-out larders, carousels and especially magic corner units, which allow storage in an otherwise inaccessible area.
A stainless steel range looks professional and there are many configurations available. You will need a minimum of two ovens, preferably with a separate grill and warming oven. Top chefs use gas hobs and electric ovens; gas burners can be controlled instantly, while electric ovens produce a constant heat. A dual-temperature wine cooler is a must, as you can store both red and white wine in the same fridge. If the need arises to wash glasses or crockery during the evening, there are dishwashers available with two drawers, that operate separately. By quickly stacking and setting them off after a course, you could end up with everything clean by the time guests depart. While installing a large fridge-freezer is a given, there are fridges that have no static shelves, just drawers, which makes accessing that bottle of olives at the back so much easier. Similarly, French-style models have a pull-out freezer drawer at the bottom, which allows a greater capacity for the fridge. Whichever type is chosen, a water and ice dispenser should be included.
You can’t serve instant coffee after your haute cuisine, so invest in a good Italian coffee maker, that does both espresso and regular strength, with a steam frother. If you can’t afford a built-in model that a barista would approve, one of the pod machines will suffice. While it might be considered too philistine, depending on the type of entertaining you do, you may wish to have a flat-screen TV for watching sports. Ambient music is important and while a Sonos wireless system is the ultimate, you can simply sync music from your phone to a Bluetooth speaker.