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If you love to entertain, you’ll want to make sure your home—and specifically your kitchen—is up to the job. Luckily, a few simple upgrades can transform your space, turning it into a hub perfect for hostessing. Here, Breegan Jane, a designer, entrepreneur, and Extreme Home Makeover personality, shares her kitchen must-haves for regular entertainers.
Related: Quick Kitchen Upgrades That Won’t Break the Bank
Bar seating is a really great way to include guests while you’re busy in the kitchen. “Whether it is off the island or on the other side of the cabinets or something entirely unique, this will allow you and your guest to interact while you cook or prepare the meal,” she says. “Nobody wants to be all alone in the kitchen while your guests are over, and this way, you can entertain while still being part of the conversion.”
Upgrading the area you spend the most time in can be expensive, so Jane suggests making some less costly swaps that pop. “A great stone or marble countertop can really elevate your kitchen, yet natural stone and marble are quite expensive.” Her solution? Beautiful man-made mediums—they are more affordable and easier maintain: “Most people won’t know the difference, and when your guest spills red wine on your white countertop, it’s no big deal!”
Updated Hardware and Paint
Something as simple as changing out your hardware, like pulls and faucets, or repainting dull or outdated cabinets can enhance this area—without taxing your wallet. “Finding interesting colors or finishes can elevate the space,” notes Jane.
Kitchen islands are always a great feature, Jane says, but matching them to your existing cabinets and countertop can be tricky and costly. Plus, if you already have an extended dining room table, you may not always need that added space. “A great alternative is getting an old table or cart second-hand, fixing it up, and painting it a cool color. Bam—you’ve got a great statement piece for the center of your kitchen,” says Jane.
Fridge with a Glass Front
A secondary built-in refrigerator with a glass front is a perfect place to put grab-and-go items that your guests won’t feel intimidated to help themselves to. “You can see exactly what is available without feeling like you’re being nosy or intruding,” she says. It doesn’t have to be big; a simple under-counter fridge will work. “This speaks to your guests visually and says something like, ‘Hey, maybe you’d like sparkling water or even a beer—help yourself,’ and thus, makes people feel more at ease and welcomed,” says Jane.