Tips for Designing an Entertaining Space

by Karen LeBlanc
Tips for Designing an Entertaining Space

Those of us who have company at our house frequently know that entertaining is a skill. It requires organization, social tact, and the ability to multitask. Those who master these skills can keep their guests having a good time almost anywhere.

Even so, that doesn’t mean we want to make entertaining harder than it has to be. And the easiest way to make entertaining easier is by setting the stage. Our tips for designing an entertaining space will help you do just that.

Identify Your Entertaining Style

Some people enjoy hosting an elegant dinner party. Others throw a side-splittingly hilarious game night. Whatever your entertaining style is, it will inform how you design an entertaining space. Here are a few design questions to ask yourself as you create a space for your style.

  • What kind of foods do you usually serve? Appetizers or full plates?
  • Are your guests serving themselves and eating on their feet? Or is everyone sitting down to dinner?
  • Do you need a bar for drinks?
  • Do you tend to host gatherings where everyone is actually watching a screen?
  • Do people tend to move between different spaces? (For example, from the living room to the patio or from the dining room to the family room).

Knowing the answers to this question will help you decide on the type of layout, how much seating you need, and other necessary features such as a wide table for serving food or a side bar.

Emphasize Space

When it comes to attending a get-together or dinner party, no one wants to feel cramped. While it’s not always possible to make your house bigger physically, you can do your part to make your space feel bigger. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Emphasize light colors with your paint and furniture choices
  • Use light-colored window trimmings
  • Add wall mirrors
  • Use furniture that sits low to the ground
  • Paint the ceiling a lighter color than the walls
  • Choose a minimalist aesthetic

You can also emphasize vertical shapes in your room. For example, adding a tall bookshelf or painting stripes on one of your walls will trick your eyes to look upward, making the room feel bigger.

Consider the Flow of the Space

Even if a space feels spacious, that doesn’t mean it will be easy to navigate. And having a space where people are constantly bumping into each other isn’t exactly fun. The key is to visualize how people will move in a space.

Look at where chairs and other furniture pieces are placed. Make sure there is enough room between furniture pieces for people to get up from their spots and move around the room. Also, look at places where you expect people to serve themselves. Make sure there is enough space for people to walk along the line without getting in the way of others.

Entertaining is no easy business. Fortunately, with enough ingenuity and creativity, you can create a space you love to entertain in, and your guests will love to visit.

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