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From family gatherings to entertaining friends, what’s cooking in the kitchen usually draws a crowd. If you’re planning a party, making your kitchen presentable yet functional is key. So in between decorating and cleaning, you should find time to properly prepare your kitchen for guests.
It’s not a hard task to do, but finding the time to get fully prepared for a party can be challenging. You’ll want to start with a party planning checklist, to make things go as smooth as possible. And we’ve figured it out for you! See how you can create a plan to prepare your kitchen for a party.
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Create A Party Planning Checklist
When preparing for any party, it’s important to have a plan. That starts with a list. From holiday gatherings to wedding showers, you’ll want to make sure nothing is forgotten. You may want to separate your list by room, so you know what you’ll be putting where.
The main focus of the kitchen will be the food. List the ingredients you’ll need for whatever you’ll be preparing. But don’t forget about serving dishes,
Get Rid Of The Junk
Unlike some other rooms in the house, clutter in the kitchen seems to grow. The counter makes a convenient place to place paperwork, keys, purses and other things that don’t necessarily belong. Before the party, clean up this area and put everything back where it belongs.
Additionally, you will want to clear out your refrigerator as well. Depending on the size of the party and what you’ve asked people to bring, you might need space for storing food until it's ready to be served. You may also have large trays of food you’ll be preparing in advance. Often, guests will bring wine or other beverages that require chilling before serving. If you don’t have enough space in your kitchen, consider moving beverages over to a home bar area.
Think of the last party you went to. When people were gathered in the kitchen, around the food, how often did you hear people ask, “what’s in this dish?” Labeling food in the kitchen not only helps people identify what they are eating, but it also helps direct their attention to the natural flow of the room, especially if you have a separate seating area for eating. You can create labels yourself with printable templates or, get crafty and design them yourself. Here’s a great tutorial from My Blessed Life on how you can make them using scrapbook paper to fit your party theme.
Labels are especially important if you have people attending with dietary concerns or allergies. It might be a good idea to tag items that are gluten-free, peanut-free or are vegan compliant. Properly labeling food allows for all to enjoy the party food without worrying about what they are eating.
Even if you direct people out of the kitchen to eat, it’s likely there will be a few who want to gather in the kitchen. This can be tricky if you’re cooking and preparing food, not only adding to the stress of entertaining but also decreasing safety when you’re moving around carrying hot foods. Providing a few seats or stools in the kitchen can help to ensure just the right amount of people are gathered in the kitchen.
Don’t Forget About Entertainment
While the major entertainment might be in the living room or outdoors, you’ll want to create a fun atmosphere in the kitchen. Music will be the main source of entertainment here, as distractions from cooking and serving food should be minimal. Depending on the type of party you’re throwing, you might want to consider upgrading to a better sound system. It’s an investment you’ll be able to enjoy even after your party! The average cost of a surround sound installation is $969, with most homeowners spending between $300 and $706.
For other entertainment, you could set up a dessert decorating station, where guests can create their own sundaes, brownies and more. Provide sprinkles, frosting and other toppings they can use to create the dessert of their choice. Don't forget to label them!
Safety in the kitchen is the most important thing, especially when many people are gathering. But, it’s not a party without some decorations! The most important guideline to follow when adding party decorations is to never put anything near flames. Keep décor away from stoves, burners and hot plates. Plastics can easily melt if they are too close and tissue paper is highly flammable.
Instead, focus on decorating clear surfaces and shelving. Think about table décor that goes along with your party theme. Holiday gatherings and showers are a little easier since the theme has already been determined. A beautiful centerpiece will stand out and place settings will make all the difference.
Entryway and doorways are good decorating opportunities as well. You can use banners, streamers or even make your own paper pom poms. See the tutorial from Hello Creative Family for DIY instructions.
Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, it makes sense that it would draw guests in to relax and enjoy. With these tips, you can make sure your kitchen is ready to host a special gathering.
Taking the party outside? Read Summer Fun: A Guide To Outdoor Entertaining for more great hosting tips.