NEWS - JUNE 2021
The Best Parties End up in the Kitchen
Modern, open designs are placing the kitchen front and center.
By Bill Hensley
WE PLAN THE PERFECT PARTY. The house is spotless, the furniture arranged in the most social manner possible. The lighting is exquisite, the playlist is perfect. The guests arrive, the party gets its rhythm, and eventually most guests — sometimes all — end up in the kitchen.
For some of us, this is a show of support for our hosts — “Let me help you with that” — as we know that juggling food prep with hosting duties is why restaurants don’t ask the chef to also take the order and serve the food. But the kitchen is also that welcoming hearth and once we’ve entered, that inviting warmth mixes with feeling of being backstage at an exclusive show. Not to mention that spilling red wine on the kitchen counter is a lot less problematic than spilling it on the white sofa. (Note to self: always ask for the clearest drink possible.)
Designers have known this kitchen magnetism for years. Modern, open designs are placing the kitchen front and center. And it’s not just for social time; more than ever the kitchen is the hub for the family, so opening the kitchen up to the “family” space makes perfect sense. And with the amount of time that we spend in the kitchen, this room deserves a larger share of the smart home integration — and the options are abundant. A smart countertop induction burner and fry pan might be a little specific for most of us, but rather than replacing the entire stovetop, this intelligence and convenience could be an essential addition. On a more general smart home integration, the kitchen benefits from the same lighting, shade and climate control as the rest of the house. Regarding climate, serious cooks know that not only does the kitchen produce a lot of heat, but that powerful hood over the range can pull air from beyond the immediate area. Kitchen A/V is important also, whether it’s to access video recipes or just listening to the right soundtrack while cooking. And integrating a control touch system panel in the kitchen with a video doorbell at the front door is a big convenience when you are mid-omelet and the doorbell rings.
As the summer months approach, the best parties might not just end up in the kitchen, but in the outdoor kitchen. Here’s where social food prep can really shine. Because when the weather is great, the best parties don’t just end up in the kitchen, they move outdoors. And that outdoor kitchen is more than just an enviable bar-b-que or pizza oven. Sinks, counters, cooktops, even wok burners and freezers are just as at home outdoors as their indoor counterparts. What separates them are materials that withstand the elements. While you might be prepping, grilling, frying, serving and entertaining in good weather, the appliances and cabinets must endure harsher conditions throughout the year. Smart home integration is every bit as important in the outdoor kitchen as it is indoors. But be careful — not all remotes are ready for a drop in the sink or the nearby hot tub.