Im­prove en­ter­tain­ing spa­ces

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - COMFORTS OF HOME -

Some homes are seem­ingly built for en­ter­tain­ing, while oth­ers may need a lit­tle help to make them more fit for host­ing din­ner, hol­i­day gath­er­ings or an evening with friends.

Over­all, one-quar­ter of peo­ple en­ter­tain guests in their home ei­ther daily or weekly across the globe. One-third en­ter­tain monthly, ac­cord­ing to find­ings from GFK In­sights.

Peo­ple who open their homes to loved ones may want to make some mod­i­fi­ca­tions to their spa­ces to im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence for all in­volved.

• Tame the clut­ter. Look for ways to re­duce clut­ter in rooms where en­ter­tain­ing takes place. Built-ins with book­shelves and cab­i­nets can hide elec­tron­ics and way­ward toys or col­lectibles. Fo­cus at­ten­tion on the en­try­way, hang­ing hooks for col­lect­ing coats, keys and shoes, so they do not over­run the foyer. Re­move any knick­knacks or other break­able items from shelves or on cof­fee ta­bles to free up more space.

• Im­prove con­ver­sa­tion seat­ing. Ar­range ta­bles and chairs to cre­ate con­ver­sa­tion nooks for guests who want to talk and get to know one an­other bet­ter. Con­sider mov­ing out big and bulky so­fas in fa­vor of love seats or com­fort­able chairs that will take up less room and im­prove flow in en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas.

• Find the pieces you like. Think about how you tend to en­ter­tain and then cater your space to those pref­er­ences. For ex­am­ple, a large din­ing ta­ble with fold-out ex­ten­sions or leaves is ideal for some­one who reg­u­larly hosts for­mal din­ner par­ties. Ren­o­vate a room to in­clude a small bar and club chairs for a lounge feel if cock­tail par­ties are typ­i­cal.

• Im­prove light­ing. Work with an elec­tri­cian and/or de­signer who can of­fer ideas for light­ing that can set the mood for en­ter­tain­ing. Rooms that are dull and dim can ben­e­fit from over­head light­ing fix­tures if there are none al­ready avail­able. Task light­ing in the kitchen un­der cab­i­nets can make it easy to prepare food for guests. Wall sconces or fo­cused light­ing on art­work can es­tab­lish a dra­matic ef­fect.

• Do ma­jor con­struc­tion. Con­sider work­ing with a builder to make some changes if you sim­ply don’t have the space to en­ter­tain. Tak­ing down a wall can open kitchens to liv­ing spa­ces, while adding a deck or three-sea­son room off the kitchen or din­ing room can pro­vide more space for guests to con­gre­gate.

• In­stall a guest bath. Up­date or add a bath­room near the main en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas. This al­lows guests to dis­cretely use the bath­room and keeps them from roam­ing in ar­eas of the house you would pre­fer they avoid. Ar­ti­cle cour­tesy of MetroCreative

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF METROCREATIVE

A few im­prove­ments around the house can make en­ter­tain­ing more com­fort­able for hosts and their guests.

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