Category Archives: Design

5 Kitchen Design “Must Haves” for Holiday Entertaining

We asked some of the region’s best hosts for their favorite kitchen design ideas for holiday entertaining.  Significant planning is required for flawless, memorable parties for guests and hosts alike. Having a kitchen that is designed to support guest interaction, food prep, storage and serving top the list.

1) Practical Design Layout – Open floor plan concepts offer sight lines that connect the kitchen to dining and serving areas so hosts can still enjoy their guests while preparing foods.

Open floor plan kitchen
Open floor plan kitchen

2) Ample Work Areas – Have you ever noticed how everyone wants to gather in the kitchen? A large island is a host’s work-horse that adds essential space for food prep and serving. Island stools offer guests seating while keeping them away from kitchen traffic and congestion and the danger of hot dishes and pans coming out of the oven.

Kitchen island with seating
Kitchen island with seating

3) Attractive Built-Ins– Buffets, sideboards and strategically placed cabinetry can be built-in to offer room for laying out a spread of utensils, plates, appetizers and desserts with plenty of room for decorations and the personal touches that make a space inviting. Glass fronted cabinetry offers a pretty place to display china.

Custom cabinetry
Custom cabinetry

4) Themed Organization –Design your kitchen to create serving “stations” such as a coffee station, breakfast bar, or cocktail bar that corral items by theme – specific utensils, serving ware, stemware, barware, small appliances and ingredients for convenient all-in-one access. Below is a whole room designed for a client who loves to enjoy their impressive collection of wines with their guests.

Wine cellar
Wine cellar

5) Butler’s Pantry – A butler’s pantry keeps the mess out of sight and allows hosts more room to store larger sheet pans, serving trays, or seasonal china instead of having to pack it up and haul it out for each use. It’s also a great place to store canned goods and other pantry staples and provides more utility space for mixers and other large appliances. Budget permitting you could even include a second dishwasher and/or a utility sink to wash dishes and prepare cut floral arrangements!

Butlers Pantry
Butlers Pantry

With virtually endless options, designing a kitchen can be a daunting process to undertake on your own. With years of experience and hundreds of happy clients served, our certified kitchen and bath designers can help you bring your ideas to life with less stress. Whether you are looking for the latest top-of-the-line trends and features or you need value engineered options, from concept to build, we will guide you in selecting the right countertops, cabinetry, appliances, and finishes to create a practical and beautiful kitchen. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.

Our Holiday Checklist

 

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Getting your home ready for the holidays only weeks after Thanksgiving can be a bit overwhelming. Focusing on one area at a time and creating a plan of what can be prepared in advance can make things much more manageable. Check out our list below for some things you can do to make the next few weeks go by a little more smoothly.

Update Your Emergency Kit

We’re not just talking band aids, gauze and antiseptic (although it’s important to restock these as well!). But assure that you have these items in stock and ready to go in case of any little accidents:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Good for wine stains. (Blot the spill with a paper towel, then combine one teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Soak a clean sponge in the mixture, squeeze it halfway dry, then gently blot the stain. Continue until the stain lifts. After that, sponge the stained area with warm water)
  • CLR toilet and sink de-clogger
  • An Extra Place Setting: It’s always a good idea to plan for an extra seat.

In the Kitchen

traditional-kitchen

  • Take the time now to organize your pantry to save you the headache of pulling out all of the cans searching for something you’re sure you bought
  • If you’ll be serving the holiday meal make sure you know what you’ll be cooking and what family members will be bringing. Start a master shopping list. Try to do your shopping before the 20th when the stores get even more hectic
  •  Go ahead and set the table a week or so before. Make it even easier by putting a sticky note on each platter that states what dish you plan to serve on it
  • Clean the fridge out as much as possible several days before Christmas.
  • Make a few meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer. The week before Christmas is always hectic. No matter how much you plan ahead, things come up. and you still need to have dinner.  Save yourself a lot of stress and cleanup by having meals all ready to pop in the oven.

Bed & Bath

  • To make any overnight guests feel welcome put together a basket of towels, wash clothes and extra toothbrushes before your guests arrive. This will also save you the stress of scrambling around last minute
  • Keep sets of clean sheets all together by slipping them inside the pillowcase
  • Track down extra blankets and have them handy.

An Inviting Entry

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  • Make an inviting entry while also helping keep mud at bay with a cheery mat outside the front door. Be sure to check the lights along the front walkway.
  • Establish a place to collect all warm weather apparel, including boots. Add extra hangers to your coat closet or designate a room to collect these.
  • You should also consider adding an extra doormat for wet boots. If you plan for this ahead of time your entrance won’t become a cluttered mess upon everyone’s arrival.

Extra Extra

  • Consider putting together some fun things for the younger visitors that you will have. A box of assorted Legos, a stack of colored paper and a box of colored pencils are all simple but can help to keep them busy.
  • Don’t forget to buy batteries for any toys or electronic gifts.
  • Recharge the batteries on your camera or video recorder.

It may not seem like you’re accomplishing 314-holidaya lot in the grand scheme of this holiday season when there is always so much to do.  By checking off some of these smaller tasks in the weeks before  it can allow you more relaxation and less stress on the big day, We hope you & your families have a wonderful holiday!