7 Kitchen Ideas for the Entertainer’s Designer Kitchen

South Africans are known around the world for their friendliness, hospitality and obsession with great food. While the Brits apparently only meet each other in pubs and other cultures would be rather confused and threatened by a beloved ‘pop in’, we Saffers would consider South African homes to be seriously functionally compromised if they didn’t include a guest-sensitive design.

This past holiday season with its throngs of Christmas visitors and extended family members probably just reminded you why your kitchen needs to be bigger and better if you are to cope with Christmas in 2014... Since the South African kitchen is often the hub of social gatherings we've put together a list of the top 7 kitchen design ideas to help you create the ultimate entertainer's kitchen.

1. Don’t forget the kitchen work triangle

The kitchen work triangle encompasses the golden rule of kitchen design that non-professional designers can overlook. The principle of this rule is efficient food preparation as it keeps your sink, fridge and kitchen countertops within easy reach, while keeping enough space between these important areas to make sure a few people can work comfortably in the kitchen. A practical consideration is to position the fridge in a spot that can be accessed without coming into the kitchen itself, so guests can grab another drink without getting in the way.

2. The butler in the pantry with a knife…

Entertainer’s kitchens are show pieces as much as they are functional kitchen spaces. Stacks of dirty pots and pans in the sink or food scraps on the kitchen counter tops can be a distraction. A butler's pantry is a great way to keep mess and countertop appliances out of sight without having to be cleaning constantly as you prepare a dish. If you restrict your morning’s prep work in the butler’s pantry you can close the door on the mess and set the stage for the party with the prepared items you’ll need that evening. This will also help you to relax and only worry about the mess later when your guests have left.

3. Indoors AND outdoors

With our brilliant climate South Africans can enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to kitchen and entertainment spaces. Positioning your kitchen next to an Alfresco undercover braai area and continuing design elements like the kitchen worktop and cabinetry to the outdoors can help create a more cohesive space that is practical to work in and great for entertaining. Just ensure that your Caesarstone tops are not exposed to direct sunlight in order to protect their gorgeous colour in the long term.

Credit: Planet Homes

4. Double trouble: Two sinks are better than one

Having two sinks in your kitchen – even if they are in close proximity – is great for entertaining, especially if the butler’s pantry is still on your wishlist. Even just a prep bowl in the main kitchen area to supplement the washing up space will come in handy for washing hands and rinsing glasses when your other sink is full of dirty dishes by the end of the night.

Credit: Degabriele Kitchens

5. Two islands are better than one, too!

If you have the space and want to create a particularly memorable space, try incorporating two islands into your kitchen design - one for preparing food and other to serve and entertain guests. Store serving dishes, plates, glasses and other items which may needed during a party in the second island so they can be easily reached by guests without getting in your way. This might also be the perfect spot for a bar fridge!

Credit: Newstart Homes

6. Extended kitchen dining bar

Breakfast nooks have become a popular element of the modern kitchen, but the idea of integrating your dining table into the kitchen itself is becoming more and more popular. Amateur culinary whizzes can show off their cooking skills to guests, or just avoid missing out on all the fun while food is being prepared. Smaller homes definitely benefit from merging the kitchen island and dining table, as it’s a clever way to fit more people in when you entertain too.

Credit: Ichijo Homes

7. Cooking islands

With a wider range of more subtle and unobtrusive exhaust and extractor fans now available, you can move your hob to your island worktop. It not only gives guests a better view of your latest culinary creation but also means you can hold a more convincing conversation as you don't have to keep your back to guests as you're cooking. Either make the range hood a feature or plan ahead and incorporate a flush mount one into the ceiling.

Credit: Grzywinski+Pons