1.30.2012

the entertaining posts




How about a theme week?
Are you up for it?






Fresh from a wonderful weekend filled with some of our favourite friends,
and one which we were at their houses, not ours,
my thoughts today are all about entertaining.

Of course, the company always makes or breaks the evening,
but I love to go over to a friends home and try out a new gem of a recipe,
or enjoy an old favourite,
to relax, inevitably, around the kitchen table,
and catch up over a bottle of wine...

It makes our family happy to have our home filled with the laughter of those we love,
and so we have company almost every weekend.
I think that D and I tend to be attracted to people who, like ourselves, are very relaxed about entertaining.
Are you the same?
Even at holidays, while the table may be a bit more spiffy,
the atmosphere in our home is always one of relax, eat (I am half-italian, after all!), and be merry.
It's all about the food and the company.








That said :) I'd like to know how you all entertain.
This week I am going to open discussions about what type of kitchen you prefer, where you entertain in your home, what's on your table, the cocktail area,
and entertaining with children, and see where you stand.

Sound good?

Let's start with the kitchen.

Are you an open kitchen or closed kitchen sort?







Do you choose to serve food that can be prepared in advance and left to roast away in the oven,
 while you are off somewhere else?
Or too you chop merrily away while chatting with your guests?

I tend to do quite a lot of prep ahead of time, and always try to have some appetizers ready to go,
but no matter who comes over, we always settle in at our kitchen table,
or if the kids have claimed that space,
our dining room table, which is also open to the kitchen.

The country style kitchen, with the table literally at the centre of it all,
is the most intimate type of dining.









As a bit of a klutz, I love an open kitchen, but one where the cooking are is clearly delineated,
so that you don't end up with major traffic while you whirl around with pots of boiling water
and enormous, sharp knives.











And in smaller spaces, the galley kitchen is perfection.










and of course, somewhere comfortable to sit is an absolute must - entrer dans la banquette.











Now let's hear about your kitchens -
do you spend a lot of time there when you have company?
What do you love about your space?
What would you change?






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13 comments:

Giulia said...

We have a pretty closed off kitchen and were considering opening it up to the dining room. We decided against it and built a corner banquette with a custom table. Now we extra seating, storage and place for people to gather.
I usually end up having to finish a couple of things while guests are there, so they can join me in the kitchen but I'm also not displaying my mess to the whole living room.

NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

oh, this is such a HUGE topic.

As a family we've lived in two homes already. The first house had a HUGE eat-in area in the kitchen and that is where we had our dining room table (for 8 ppl) + the cooking area was separated by an island and helped hide the mess a bit. Still we were limited in accommodating large groups (12-16).

In our house right now we have two distinct areas: kitchen eating and dining room entertaining. And i'm not really happy with it.

When entertaining everyone always ends up smooshed in the kitchen while we cook/finish dinner. ALWAYS. And this is really inconvenient as the kitchen table only seats 4. So we just end up standing around and chatting while the rest of the house is empty.

if we were to move again (uh, oh!) my priority would be to get a huge custom harvest table to sit in an open concept living/dining/kitchen room. I feel that it would work better for us as we will have room for crafts/arts/homework while making diner during the week, AND it would accommodate a larger crowd of friends.

This set up would also help keep an eye on the little one while I'm in the kitchen. Right now this is not possible and is quite inconvenient.

I've been giving this topic WAY too much thought lately :) sorry for the rambling!

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

One of the main reasons we bought our current home is that the kitchen, dining room and living room are all one big open space. It is so perfect for entertaining, no matter how many people are here. I absolutely have to prepare everything ahead of time because as soon as I get a glass of wine and some friends I'm completely distracted from cooking. I have been known to serve dinner after midnight at times!

Tatiana Doria said...

Such lovely kitchens you showed!
I had my kitchen separate from the dinning room, and I always felt I was there alone listening to all the laughgs from the other side of the wall, so I tore down the wall and now I love it!! And I feel I part of the party!

www.tatianadoria.blogspot.com

The enchanted home said...

Such a great and thorough post!! A keeper...I am a closed kitchen, love to cook so really enjoy the process, and take my appliances as serious as I take my ingredients! With friends I do like doing some of the work while they are in the kitchen with me, if its casual otherwise I get things done well ahead of time.......as long as someone is comfortable in their workspace there is no right or wrong.
Great post!

Christel @ Captivated by image said...

These are some beautiful examples. Personally I love to eat on a big table in the kitchen. I like to enjoy my company so preparations are important, but I don't mind very much to cook and chat at the same time. Except for when its complicated cooking;) We haven an open kitchen but if there's one thing I could change I would close it.

Carissa @ the Fabulous Design File said...

I am still wrestling with this one! My last house had a big open kitchen/dining/great room situation, which I loved. But my current room has a fairly open kitchen/eating 'nook'/living room, plus a formal dining room. I've warmed up to the dining room. We still usually gather in the kitchen/living area before and after eating, but it makes clean-up easier after the meal... you can leave it all and tackle it later without having to see the mess.

Danielle Barbe said...

oh man... dream kitchens! these are just too beautiful. i find that when people come over they all congregate in the kitchen. we have so much seating, and that's where everyone wants to be! the food must bring everyone together.

your blog is beautiful. i'm your new follower!

Haley @ Cardigan Junkie said...

I dream of a kitchen with an island and room to have people sitting around, but our galley layout means that only me and my husband can really work in there while everyone else mills around the dining area and yells at the television (our people like sports). I'm not a good enough planner to have everything ready at the same time and still hot when people are ready to eat, so I cook (with help) while the friends arrive.

Love all the inspiration in this post!

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Nada Hamad said...

I love the kitchen and dining areas that you have posted, I do not have my own place, yet, but I do love spending time in a well lit well designed kitchen. I believe that it's the heart of the house and that it makes it a home.

I'm a big fan of your blog and I've featured your post on my Facebook page, please check it out

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and I have 10 rooms as one of my must see websites on my blog
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Becca@groutcleaningmelbourne said...

These are very lovely kitchen... How I wish I have one of those.

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