How to Create Space for Entertaining
Sometimes, home is the greatest hangout space. But if your home doesn’t have the right components to make it entertainment-friendly, gatherings can be stressful. If entertaining is important to you and you’re planning on making some changes to your home or searching for a new one, you’ll want to check out these tips on creating warm, welcoming spaces for your guests.
It would be a mistake to overlook the importance of the exterior of your home. Outdoor spaces provide areas where loved ones can get some air, engage their senses among fresh scenery, and participate in activities.
Thoughtful landscaping is about far more than just boosting curb appeal. Gardens can be great conversation starters! Blooming flowers generate curiosity, and people always appreciate fresh parting gifts when a veggie garden has been particularly productive.
However, it’s important to consider safety and convenience when planning your garden or landscaping endeavors. Raised beds shouldn’t obstruct the natural flow of your yard, and owners should keep in mind that everyone has their upkeep limits. Sometimes less is more! Overgrown plants can become safety hazards. Vines may crawl along walkways, and flowering bushes placed near doors or paths will need to be routinely trimmed. An experienced landscaper can help you choose low-maintenance plants that will give you all the benefits you’re looking for without all of the fuss.
Room to Swim
Even if a backyard with a pool isn’t important to you now, it could be years from now. You don’t have to go all-out with an inground pool, either. Just having a place to cool off when Houston’s temperatures skyrocket will make your house a pretty popular spot! Keep in mind, however, that a pool may not increase the value of your home, can impact what you pay for insurance, and will require some safety features like gates or fencing. The only good reason to have a pool is because you want one.
When searching for homes, keep an eye on the size of the backyard. It’s easier to plan ahead for a pool than it is to pack up and sell your home later on down the line.
The outdoor oasis at 1509 Longacre Drive features a gorgeous pool, two built-in grills, a sink, refrigerator, and bar seating.
Patios and Porches
When considering the utility of a patio or porch, think about overhead protection and lighting. Overhead protection will be appreciated when rainclouds roll in, especially if you’re barbecuing on the patio! Adequate lighting will also help keep you and your guests safe by preventing trips and falls.
Also consider the quality of outdoor materials and the layout of your spaces. Outdoor materials are especially prone to weather damage, so paying attention to the durability of flooring, furniture fabrics, and other materials is crucial. When placing stone for patios or walkways, always ensure that they’re level and secure to prevent tripping. Periodically check flooring or walkways for cracks, loose screws, and wear and tear. If people tend to congregate in particular areas of your outdoor spaces, consider rearranging the furniture to open up the areas.
One last point: Outdoor ceiling fans are a huge plus when the temperatures are high! Keeping your outdoor spaces cool can prevent guests from crowding indoors.
Grassy Space for Play
Maybe you do group yoga or enjoy games on the lawn, have kids or pets who play outside, want to create some natural separation between spaces, or just enjoy some greenery. A simple patch of grass can serve multiple purposes. It doesn’t even have to be real grass. Artificial grass can accomplish the same goals and requires very little maintenance.
Sometimes, indoors is the place to be. However, a thoughtful setup can be the difference between a stressful party and a successful one.
Is your outdoor space cut off from the indoors? This is a hard question for many homeowners to answer. Generally speaking, if you find it a burden to brew a cup of coffee and enjoy it at a table outside, there’s a good chance you have an issue with flow. A connected indoor/outdoor space makes serving meals simple, facilitates entry and exit, and makes your home feel larger than it really is.
Tip: Even if your home doesn’t have an expansive yard, strategically placing large commercial windows can have a huge impact on your home’s atmosphere. All that extra light can brighten the space and make it feel more open and connected to the outdoors.
Evaluate Your Floorplan
Open floorplans are ideal for homeowners who frequently entertain. Think about it: Guests tend to congregate in kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. Walled-off rooms can inhibit flow, making it harder for guests to mingle and stay connected.
An open floorplan can simplify hosting, too. Rather than walking around a crowded living space to serve guests food, use a kitchen island as a home base for snacks and buffet-style meals.
Use rugs, furniture, light fixtures, and other accessories to define the purpose of each space within an open-concept living area.
A Functional Kitchen
If you’re preparing food for guests, it makes sense that you’d want a functional kitchen. What does this mean, exactly? First, it helps to have ample storage for your kitchenware and ingredients. A butler’s pantry or extra cabinet space can go a long way. The size of your refrigerator and stove also makes an impact on how much food you can prepare ahead of time. For those who serve alcohol, a wine fridge can also be a nice perk! If you’d prefer to keep serving simple, having a large island or countertop on which you can serve dishes will certainly keep some stress at bay.
The functionality of your kitchen doesn’t just come down to the size of surfaces, storage, and appliances – layout is important, too. Tight spaces can create safety hazards, especially if guests tend to congregate where the food is prepared. Being unable to fully open cabinets or doors can also spark frustration. Functional kitchens are smart, spacious, facilitate prep and cleanup, and provide a safe and convenient flow for indoor traffic.
Tip: To prevent guests from crowding the kitchen, consider building a bar or placing a bar cart away from the kitchen.
For many people, a “coat room” is simply a bedroom that hosts use to store guests’ jackets and purses. The problem with this practice is that it’s confusing for guests, disorganized, and can compromise privacy. A functional entry solves this problem by incorporating a coat rack, a place to store shoes, and an area to sit to take footwear on and off. If possible, this area should flow directly into the living room rather than through a kitchen or dining area.
Got a spare room? Turn it into a game room by inserting a pool table, air hockey machine, foosball table, or other game(s). Movie lovers might also think about converting a room into a home theater. In addition to providing space for activities, an activity room permits guests to engage in more private conversations away from the buzz of the rest of the party.
Remember, the process should be fun. Planning ahead of time can significantly reduce the stress associated with big home projects. A Realtor® can give you ideas on what other homeowners in your neighborhood have done, and experts like the ones at Maven Home Solutions can walk you through how to improve your home’s design. Once the work is over, you’ll reap the ultimate reward: the home of your dreams!
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Look no further than 1127 Winston Street in North Norhill for a beautiful 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home. The 1,052-square-foot historic bungalow has recently been renovated and features a chef’s kitchen with quartz countertops, designer fixtures, and well-designed storage with custom shaker-style cabinetry including a pull-out pantry and cabinet drawers. The spacious bathroom features marble countertops, a vintage clawfoot tub, high-end designer fixtures and lighting, and abundant storage. With a walk-in closet in the primary bedroom, the new owners will never again have to worry about armoires eating up precious space.
Time spent outside will be enjoyed on a property that has won numerous “Yard of the Month” awards for its many Texas native plants and lush landscaping. The backyard is well-shaded, and an additional covered space and back deck make entertainment a breeze. The property features plenty of outdoor storage for tools, equipment, bikes, and more. New additions to the property include a 30-year roof (2021), a privacy fence (2020), and high-efficiency TRANE HVAC (2021). Located in the heart of the highly walkable Heights nearby top-rated shopping, restaurants, and coffee shops. You won’t want to miss this one!