3 Steps To Create The Perfect Country Kitchen
Tell us if this scenario sounds familiar: You’re throwing a party. You spend a whole day cleaning and decorating, even in rooms where guests aren’t likely to find themselves, because you never know where company might wander.
Then the day of the party comes, the guests arrive, and no matter how big your living room or clean your dining room, everyone congregates in your kitchen.
It’s not surprising. The kitchen is the most communal room of your home, the center or heart of your house.
It’s where meals are made, fueling conversation and nourishing our families. It’s where we hash out ideas and try new things. The kitchen is where families have serious discussions and play goofy games. Why wouldn’t your friends gravitate to the kitchen?
Here are some tips from Piper Classics to help your guests feel even more welcome in your kitchen the next time you entertain.
1. Be Prepared
The kitchen-as-the-center-of-the-party situation presents you with a conundrum: You can’t stop working, but you can’t get your guests to pitch in either.
“Your guests are there to be your guests, and just because they’re in the kitchen, they shouldn’t be made to work,” entertaining expert Lulu Powers told Elle. Of course, there’s no law against them volunteering either.
But at any rate, Powers suggests having most of your work done by the time guests arrive.
And a big part of that means getting organized. Make sure all the appliances you’ll need are in good working order. If you can move anything you’re not going to be using for the party out of the kitchen, all the better. It gives you more space and gives your kitchen a less utilitarian look.
Make sure everything is cleaned up. It not only makes your kitchen look more inviting, it gives you more space to put out food. (Everything we’ve read on this topic stresses space, space, space which makes sense, since we’re essentially talking about hosting a party in one room.)
Give your guests space to move around as well. Even in a small kitchen, moving a little table in the corner can make a big difference.
And of course last but not least, make it visually appealing through attractive country décor. We carry a number of items that will help you organize things in the kitchen while adding pleasant country touches.
Store your spices in our aged tin Lazy Susan Pocket Organizer. Keep snacks, or pasta, in our Black Glass Jars. Keep fruits and veggies in one of our Downstairs at Downton baskets (a good way to bring up what you think might happen in season 6 of Downton Abbey.)
2. Set up a bar, and serve simple snacks
Again, from Powers: Turn part of your kitchen into a bar, whether you use your countertop, table or island. Put out a few ice buckets and drink ingredients, and make sure you offer guests a drink when they arrive. After that, the bar becomes self-serve.
And serve simple snacks, Powers advises: a big bowl of chips, or popcorn with some truffle oil in the butter. It’s “cheap and chic” she says, and will help your guests feel at home.
3. Create an atmosphere
One more quote from Powers: “Your kitchen is so much more than a work-space.”
She suggests switching your light bulbs to a soft pink, burning scented candles (nothing that would compete with what you’re cooking.
Giving your kitchen a little personality might be as simple as adding a fun dishtowel, like the ones from our LOL Made You Smile Collection. Dip back into our Downton collection and put out a vintage table cloth. Wear our Country Star apron if you’re going to be cooking and hosting at the same time.
And try to get people comfortable. Some experts suggest moving sofas or love seats into the kitchen. If that’s not feasible, try a few of our Chair Pads.
Of course, there are also places to sit elsewhere in your home, and part of making your guests comfortable is letting them feel comfortable roaming around.
So the next time you throw a party, don’t panic if everyone makes their way into the kitchen. It just means they like it there, so get organized in advance, and then relax and enjoy your guests.