PLANNING FOR ENTERTAINING
Few things in life are as enjoyable as getting together
with family and friends. What could be better than being with others
who are happy
to be with us? So, considering how we like to socialize
is an important element in arriving at a home design with great livability.
some of the principles, we’re using Design Basics’ Mather
Cottage floor plan.
Accommodating various sized groups.
PLAN #42223 “MATHER
COTTAGE” | 2,025 TOTAL SQ. FT.
The Mather Cottage’s unified family room/kitchen/eating
area works nicely for small to mid-size gatherings. The
adjacent dining room space
allows you to invite even more guests. And for larger gatherings,
incorporate the outdoor living area and/or finished space
in the home’s
Narrow home designs often have a longer center
entry hall. To minimize that perception, the Mather Cottage’s front
entry foyer was designed as a gallery, with details and lighting calling
attention to photos and/or artwork lining this space. Should guests
come in through the garage, they’re not greeted by piles of laundry
walking through a cluttered laundry room!
Research from Recon Analytics shows 92% of Americans with
attached garages use the garage door as the main entrance
of their home, suggesting extended family and neighbors
may be coming in via the rear foyer.
Today’s designs typically present a primary, open
entertaining area, incorporating the kitchen and eating area(s)
as well. Focal points, such as windows, a fireplace and large screen
TV are primary considerations when designing this space. Many buyers
prefer to not have a fireplace interrupt a window grouping at the back
side of this space, so corner fireplaces or fireplaces on a side wall
have become popular. A comfortable feeling of symmetry occurs when the
kitchen island is centered with the fireplace.
3. Inward not outward.
Today’s thin flat panel TVs and RF remote controls have made popular
a clean media presentation with everything recessed into the walls, from
display niches to that big TV, hiding the mounting brackets and wiring.
Speaking of wiring, determine where you will place furniture and particularly
lamps to identify locations for in-floor electrical outlets.
The Mather Cottage presents three eating options
- formal dining room, breakfast area and island snack
bar. With its wide openings, the dining room flows effortlessly
into the entertaining space. Problem solved. With no walls
limiting flexibility, large holiday meals
can be accommodated by adding leaves to the dining room
extending into the family room so everyone’s together for
5. Ceiling Heights.
Ceiling heights in entertaining areas today typically start
at 9-feet, but rarely extend more than 11-feet high—even in high-end
custom homes, according to Residential Designer Carl Cuozzo.
Who says you can enjoy taller windows and doors plus dramatic ceiling
without the practical hassles and wasted energy of 2-story-high
6. Outdoor Entertaining.
Outdoor entertaining is just as important as indoor spaces for
some home buyers. Deciding where the door to the rear yard goes is often
a balance between aesthetics and the practical aspect of traffic flow.
Secondary entertaining space.
Having a separate place for the kids,
ideally on a separate level (i.e., basement or second
floor) means their Xbox games or loud conversations don’t disrupt the
Media rooms…rec rooms… even a ballroom…if your
entertaining centers on FUN, identify early on if you envision a wet
bar and/or kitchenette. Finally, you’ll want to plan for specialized
storage, whether that’s for games, media or supplies such as those
for a scrapbooking party!
Minimizing unwanted noise in open layouts
is a challenge. Sounds echo against hard surfaces.
Rugs, carpet and pad,
and upholstered, padded furniture help absorb
Products such as soft close cabinet doors and
drawers, quieter dishwashers, refrigerators,
laundry pairs, exhaust
fans, and food waste disposers, reduce noise levels.
Sound proofing measures
to minimize sound traveling through walls can make a big
difference. So can locating
the guest bathroom away from the entertaining
area for privacy.
With no wall to help absorb sound, specify an extra-quiet dishwasher
when installed in a kitchen island, such as this Bosch model, the quietest
in its class. Photo courtesy Bosch.