What’s cooking in The Entertaining Kitchen
August 28, 2018
In the not so distant past, the kitchen served a single function: cooking. The space was limited, it was closed off from the rest of the house, and it certainly wasn’t entertaining.
Trends in home design show all that has changed. Today’s kitchens are often called the heart of the home, and with good reason. They’re larger, more open, and are the focal point of family life.
Think about your own daily routine. You probably start the day in the kitchen with a cup of coffee. Your kids gather there after school to do their homework. It’s where you prepare and eat meals, and on occasion, you might host dinner parties with guests joining in with the cooking. The dining room, once used daily, is reserved for special occasions and has even disappeared in some homes.
Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer, took note of these trends and came up with the concept of The Entertaining Kitchen. It’s our take on creating a more comfortable and efficient space for cooking, dining, and living with the people who are close to your heart—your family and friends.
Rebecca grew up in a home with a traditional design in Baltimore, Maryland. She remembers that her mother would disappear into a small kitchen, behind a swinging door, to prepare meals, only to emerge when it was time to serve. “That was the ‘ta-da’ moment,” Rebecca says. “Now, everything is the ‘ta-da’ moment.”
The Entertaining Kitchen, she says, is “how you prepare the food, how you plate the food, and how you enjoy the food. There’s no door between you and your audience.”
Because kitchens are larger, a central island is a given in new homes and is among the most requested features for remodeled kitchens. Also, many kitchens include additional living space. These trends demand fresh and functional seating and lighting.
For the island, pull up our Grange Counter Stool or Courtly Check Underpinnings Counter Stool. The Grange Counter Stool has a farm-fresh feel to it, with a rustic woven seat of abaca fiber on a frame of mahogany. The Underpinnings Counter Stool is hand-painted by our artisans in Aurora, New York, with a seat upholstered in our Courtly Check linen fabric, accented with brass nailhead trim and twill tape. Add either to your island, and your audience will have the best seat in the house as you whip up your signature dishes.
If your kitchen has living space attached, you need additional seating where you can relax and make a grocery list or check your email on your tablet. Consider our Underpinnings Studio Occasional Chair. Upholstered with fabrics that mix Courtly Check with understated linen and ticking stripes, it’s a perfect choice for a cozy corner.
Also, think about lights over the island and an additional floor lamp or table lamp in the seating area. Some options to consider that blend with the Underpinnings furniture are our Courtly Check pendant lights, which come in designs that include ceramic and enamel, plus our Courtly Farmhouse Floor Lamp, which adjusts to varying heights.
Beyond seating and lighting, we’ve recognized The Entertaining Kitchen with our beautifully patterned enamel bakeware, which Rebecca says is so pretty that it helps to decorate every space in the room, including the stovetop. We’ve also added some new serving pieces. For casual dining, there’s our collection of enamelware coupes. A cross between a deep plate and a shallow bowl, coupes are perfect for one-dish dining. You can serve just about anything in a coupe, and they’re ideal for the informal everyday meals you’ll serve while hanging out in your kitchen or settling in with a good movie or a book.
When the occasion is slightly more formal but still has a casual feel, invite guests over for a glass of wine and a meal where everyone pitches in with the prep. Handy to have on hand is our new Triplicity, a unique serving piece that adds a bit of elevated style wherever you use it. Fill the three removable enamelware bowls with toppings for tacos, baked potatoes or ice cream sundaes and let guests serve themselves.
Remember that today’s kitchen is so much more than just the place where meals are made. It’s the spot where lives are shared and where memories are made. Your kitchen—and we hope it’s an entertaining one—not only ties your home together; it also ties you to your loved ones and the experiences that you share together.