One of our main goals as designers is to seamlessly blur the line between form and function. Creating a home that is not only built for you, but also for guests and gatherings has been one of the main focuses of our work, especially during the pandemic. As bars and restaurants closed their doors, homeowners were forced to open their homes to friends and families alike. With that, it became absolutely essential for us to approach the design of homes with a perspective of hospitality and entertainment. Entertaining is an art, but so is ensuring that your home is party ready.
A Worthy Entrance
For those of us who love to host, the home needs to function both as a venue and a haven. In hospitality design, the entrance, or lobby, is perhaps the most critical element in setting the tone for paying guests. Just the same, your at-home “venue” should strike your guests the moment they step through the doors; it should welcome them with open arms, encourage conversation, activities, relaxation, and all the joys of a good gathering. Creating an entrance that “wows” your guests can be a fantastic way to set the mood for any event. When contemplating the schematics of a new home we love to take a non-traditional approach. Relying on a winding staircase for that grand entrance may just be a thing of the past. Although a more contemporary approach, we adore the idea of dazzling your guests with the feel of a gallery upon their arrival. A minimalist sanctuary for art and that perfect rug is a marvelous way of greeting company. Not only can this be a powerful conversation starter, it can encourage a sense of calmness right off the bat. Another architectural element we’re loving is the indoor breezeway entrance, or even a large picture-window directly across from the front door to perfectly frame the landscape outside. Utilizing nature in interior design, through intentional window placement trumps just about any piece of furniture or art.
Think about Flow
Depending on how large or small your parties tend to be, it’s important you think about how YOU want your guests to interact, where they congregate, and if you want the kitchen to be the main gathering locale for your party. At the same time, it’s important to understand how you and your family function without any guests in your space; Your home should allow for opportunities to rest, to share quiet moments, and accommodate privacy when desired. Designing for flexibility can be challenging, but so rewarding. Think about how rooms relate to each other, what types of barriers & furniture will encourage easy movement and even how ceiling heights may influence mood and behavior. We favor open-plan living, but only when done with extreme carefulness in its layout. Creating fluidity between your kitchen, dining, and living areas can create an unmatched sense of togetherness, but when done incorrectly can feel cluttered and tasteless. Developing designated zones with rugs and deliberate seating arrangements will help to break up expansive open-plan concepts. The key to developing the ideal entertainment space is to create options with sitting and standing areas, openness to move around, conversing and all other types of group activities.