Great weather, ocean views, and a relaxed vibe can all be found in the sunny South Bay area. It is a perfect atmosphere for homeowners who enjoy entertaining friends and family from the comfort of their home.
Whether it is the outdoor patio or porch, the open floor plan living room or kitchen, the home theater or even the wine cellar -- spaces to entertain can be found almost anywhere. While some are more naturally suited for home entertaining, even small spaces can be used to entertain if organized with a few of these design elements in mind:
- Traffic flow. Maintaining a good flow of traffic is all about directing how the guests move throughout the house to area where they will be entertained. People should be able to easily move from the front door to the entertaining space without uncomfortable detours down narrow hallways or through other rooms. Once the guests are in the main gathering area, it should be easy for people to move around without bumping into furniture. A good rule of thumb is to maintain between two to five feet between sofas and chairs in seating groups.
- Quality interactions.Whether it is an intimate, one-on-one talk or a lively group conversation, guests should be able to engage and socialize in a meaningful way. Entertaining spaces should include open areas and furniture to accommodate a group of people, as well as well-placed, comfortable chairs for person-to-person interactions.
- Ambience. When creating a space to entertain, remember that an indifferent atmosphere is the antithesis of an ambience designed to elicit a particular feeling. Regardless of the feeling that you are aiming for -- cozy, artsy, laid- back or elegant -- a focal point like an ocean view or a gorgeous piece of artwork can almost instantly evoke a feeling when entering and exiting the space.
- Practicality. Function and maintenance are two things when considering the more practical aspects for creating a space to entertain. Spaces that include smart storage and work areas that streamline the process of certain tasks can make the work of entertaining a bit easier. Kitchen storage will help keep counters uncluttered for food preparation, while wider corridors around central working areas in the kitchen will accommodate more people.
In terms of maintenance, the best entertaining spaces are almost worry-free. Something as simple as choosing an easy-to-clean hardwood flooring over wall-to-wall carpet will give you a peace of mind when a guest accidentally drops a glass of red wine on the floor.
Put this 4-part blueprint to work by efficiently getting your guests to the main gathering area, helping them engage with guests in a meaningful way, evoking a particular feeling that resonates with them and making your job worry free as a host.