From holiday gatherings to birthday parties and movie night, home entertaining is a huge priority for many. There are a ton of things you can do to step up your entertaining game, from simple furniture arrangements to elaborate home improvement projects. Want to know all of our tips, tricks, and advice when it comes to home entertaining? We came up with 11 things you need for the perfect at-home entertaining space!
We sat down with LA Build Corp, who worked on a crazy cool home that features a wide variety of entertaining space. This home embodies the perfect at-home entertaining space: a space that is comfortable, practical, and stylish.
In order to really maximize the build, LA Build Corp incorporated a large basement with a common area for entertaining and then separate guest bedrooms, along with a spacious home theater. The first floor is an expansive open living space that houses the office, living area, dining area, and kitchen. The second floor houses the private rooms, which have balconies and exterior spaces that surround the home. These elements epitomize LA Build Corp’s main goal with this home: to create a home that has privacy while still allowing all rooms to have easy access to and from the middle and heart of the home.
1. A Backyard
This home that LA Build Corp worked on epitomizes the indoor/outdoor lifestyle that has become immensely popular in neutral-climate cities like LA. Having a backyard that you love adds tremendous value to your home and quality of life, and is perfect for entertaining. Your outdoor space should be a sanctuary for playing, relaxing, and entertaining. When planning your outdoor space, ask yourself how you plan to use the space. Do you want a pool? A garden? A fire pit, home bar, barbecue area, or dining area? Or a playground or grassy area for children and pets?
When planning your outdoor space, consider these 3 important features: flooring, lighting, and overhead protection. Invest in good patio flooring, grass, or concrete so that you can comfortably walk outside. Consider the climate in which you live and whether you want flooring — wood, porcelain, etc. — that retains heat or keeps cool. Don’t forget to install ample lighting so that you can use the space at night. Lastly, consider installing some sort of overhead protection, such as a canopy or extended roof, to protect against rain and heat.
In the backyard, the firm wanted to accomplish a balance of privacy without making the area feel too closed off. To accomplish this, they incorporated all mature ficus trees filled in with smaller plants in order to create a beautiful exterior contrast.
ProHINT: Planting trees and other plants is a great alternative to putting up a wall or fence. Plants give you shade and privacy without closing you in.
2. Flow between your indoor/outdoor spaces
It is a waste of a good backyard if your outdoor space is cut off from the rest of your home. When designing your home, make sure that you consider the flow between your indoor and outdoor living spaces. An accessible outdoor space means being able to entertain guests inside and outside, get up in the morning and walk outside with ease for some fresh air, and having your coffee or lunch outside before heading back into the kitchen.
Connecting your indoor/outdoor spaces makes your home feel larger and makes more of your home usable. To accomplish this, consider implementing sliding doors that open up and out of the way completely. Also consider incorporating large windows to maximize natural light and visibility between the interior and exterior.
In this home, the doors leading to the backyard fold out of sight completely, allowing for good flow from one end of the house to the other. The backyard is visible from the kitchen, dining room, and living room through the doors and the large windows around the house.
ProHINT: When designing a home for entertaining, create focal points in main living spaces for guests to orient themselves around.
A tv, fireplace, kitchen island, or even a grand piece of artwork will do the trick.
The firm was innovative in that they built a variety of exterior extensions throughout the home so that these spaces are expansive, fun, and inviting, but also separate spaces in and of themselves that have the option of feeling private. The office, for example, has a door that leads to the outside, the private rooms have exterior areas, and the dining room and basement all spill into the outside.
ProHINT: When designing an entertaining home, make sure you think about traffic flow.
How do people move through a space? Are there awkward clusters of people or crowding in certain areas? Can people easily move through your home without bumping into furniture or cutting through work zones (like in the kitchen) and private areas? Having a home that allows people to move freely, comfortably, and organically will make your job as a host a lot easier.
3. An Open-Floor Plan
Decades ago, formal, separate living spaces reigned supreme. Now, the days of formal living rooms and dining rooms are over, and spacious open-floor plans have risen as the floor plan of choice when it comes to both entertaining and everyday living. Cooking, eating, lounging, and socializing can all happen in the same place, and hosts and guests can all stay connected, socialize, and take part in the action. Open floor plans also make spaces appear larger and maximize natural light and airflow.
Even with an open-floor plan, it’s a good idea to define separate spaces. Use furniture, rugs, light fixtures, and other accessories to help define distinct spaces for dining or tv watching. Keep spaces looking open by avoiding clutter and being thoughtful with decor. There are lots of great hacks to define separate spaces while also maintaining openness. For example, use an open bookcase to define spaces and provide storage without obstructing light or airflow.
ProHINT: When designing a home meant for entertaining, create spaces that are flexible and adaptable.
An adaptable living and entertaining space and layout means you can host a variety of entertaining scenarios, from dinner parties to large birthday celebrations. Large or small, formal or intimate, a well-designed entertaining space can accommodate all your entertaining needs.
4. A Luxurious Kitchen
Of course, a lot of entertaining, gathering, and celebrating happens around food and eating. Naturally, the kitchen is an important space in the home that must be functional, practical, and stylish. When designing a kitchen meant for entertaining, the goal is to create a smart space with ample storage, good traffic flow, and functional work zones that make it easier to prep, cook, serve, and entertain all at the same time.
Prioritize storage so that messes are left out of sight and counters can be cleared for prepping and eating. Consider the traffic flow so that your kitchen can accommodate more than one cook as well as guests helping themselves. Lastly, incorporate a large and functional kitchen island; kitchen islands are important because they serve as a focal point around which guests gather and socialize.
The house was designed mainly for entertaining, so there is no doubt that one of LA Build Corp’s favorite spaces in the home is the kitchen. They incorporated double dishwashers since the large home permitted it and they did not want there to be the possibility of having dishes or unsightly objects sprawled across the countertops, as it would be extremely visible in the main area in this open concept home. The dining area sits underneath a phenomenal grouping of unique lighting, perfect to turn on for evening ambiance.
When building an entertainment-friendly home, LA Build Corp recommends using Vadara countertops because they have the look of expensive stone but the durability of quartz. This countertop gives customers an affordable way to achieve the look they want without the expense.
ProHINT: A home meant for entertaining needs to be easy to maintain.
It needs to be livable, and people can’t be afraid to sit down on furniture or stain or break delicate pieces. Consider hardwood floors that are easy to clean and durable fabrics and countertops.
5. A Functional Foyer
As the first thing that greets your guests, it is important to have an inviting and functional entryway with storage and seating for guests to hang their coats and take off their shoes. In a well-designed home, there should be a natural flow from the entryway to the main entertaining spaces.
6. Formal and Informal Living Spaces
In many homes, there is a living room as well as a family room or den. If you’ve ever been to a party, large social gathering, or a retreat, you’ll know that large groups almost always eventually break down into more intimate circles. The point is to create spaces for different interests and purposes and spaces that enable both intimacy and openness.
Give guests the option to hang out in the large, open-concept living room or lounge and have more intimate conversations in smaller, more private living areas. Some guests may stay in the living room and gather around the tv, watching football or a movie, while others play board games in the den. Having formal and informal living spaces is a great way to cater to all these needs and to allow for pockets of socializing. Having different living spaces is also a great way to separate adults and children.
Create spaces that enable both intimacy and openness.
When designing a home meant for entertaining, it is important to create multiple seating arrangements that cater to different purposes. Create different seating arrangements for large gatherings, tv watching, board games, or intimate conversations. Have a good combination of armchairs, sofas, and sectionals, and be sure to have extra seating that you can pull out when necessary. You can be creative with your seating, as well, such as by using cushions or bean bags as seating.
7. A Luxurious Basement
The ultimate entertaining space is incomplete without a luxurious basement with showstopping recreational features. It’s great to have spaces to entertain in beyond the living and dining room. In this home, LA Build Corp added a basement because they knew it would be the easiest way to gain an extra 1,700-2,000 square feet. Adding a basement (or simply another level to your home) is a great way to expand your home in limited lot sizes, especially in large and dense cities like Los Angeles. A basement is also a fun luxury because unlike other, more formal spaces in your home, like your living room and kitchen, you can do absolutely anything you want with it and design it to cater to your interests.
A home theater is a popular choice: after all, what is home entertaining without home entertainment?
LA Build Corp recommends people to go through professional distributors like Volutone when looking to install a home theater. They have everything from the least expensive projector to out-of-this-world price tags depending on how much entertaining you’re doing. Whether it is indoor or outdoor entertainment, a great sound system throughout your home will bring out exactly what you would like to impress upon your guests and, more importantly, what you would like to feel for yourself.
Another great use for your basement is some sort of fitness room. In this home, the clients opted for a massage room that can obviously be repurposed for other fitness uses. The furniture is minimal — a table, massage table, and large mirror. This serene room perfectly embodies the vision for this home: a place for fun and play, but also relaxation and peace.
8. Good Lighting
Good lighting is crucial to setting the ambiance of a room while poor lighting can instantly kill the mood. Make sure to utilize various types of lighting, like recessed lighting, sconces, and lamps, so that you can customize levels of light. Lighting a fireplace is also a great way to light up a room as well as make it feel more cozy and inviting.
The light fixtures throughout the home are a stand-out — they are original pieces from Veneto Luce. While the home wears a lot of beautiful natural light on the interior, these added details really give the space depth in the evenings.
When entertaining, a stellar lighting system always sets the tone. LA Build Corp explains, “We often use WAC lighting simply because they have so many options and designs, and they also have certified lighting experts to help even the most inexperienced novice determine the most optimal lighting design for their home. From watertight fountain lighting (notice the light that illuminates the pools at night!) to hanging fixtures, you are guaranteed to find what you are looking for.”
9. A Master Bed and Bath
When designing a home meant for entertaining, it’s important to also have private spaces that you can retreat to. The point is this: In a home meant for entertaining, the goal is to create privacy without feeling shut off. Design spaces for entertaining while keeping your everyday spaces practical and comfortable. Entertaining will be all the more comfortable if you have private spaces to yourself, and you’ll all enjoy spending time together whether you’re entertaining two guests or twenty.
The bathrooms in this home are well-placed and carefully thought out. They have stunning original sinks from Jar Omar Designs, Sonobath. In the master bathroom, there is a variety of well-placed and highly-detailed fixtures. The walk-in shower has a bench for lounging and a separate exit out onto a private patio. There are floating cabinets and a free standing tub that faces west for beautiful and relaxing morning baths.
10. A Home Bar
A home meant for entertaining would feel odd without a home bar. A home bar is a more casual place for guests to hang out away from the kitchen or dining room. It offers great storage, and is also perfect for putting out food and drinks because guests can help themselves. If your house doesn’t have room for a home bar, consider opting for a bar cart instead.
11. Impactful Guest Bathrooms
Lastly, a house that will see many guests must have bathrooms that will leave people saying “ooh” and “aah”. If you have additional bathrooms in your home, take the opportunity to create stunning powder rooms. Having powder rooms specifically for guests — and giving yourself more privacy in the master or private bathrooms — makes your home feel all the more luxurious and guest-friendly. Powder rooms are also great opportunities to play around with decor and to make a memorable impact. Go for something bold, different, moody, luxurious, or colorful, and play with things like wallpaper, paint, and artwork.
LA Build Corp built this home with the ultimate balance of modern details and luxurious space planning in mind. It truly epitomizes California’s interior/exterior lifestyle. With the wide variety of functional spaces throughout, from the expansive lower entertainment level to the open kitchen and living area, the stunning backyard and private rooms, this home offers something for everyone and focuses heavily on the importance of home entertainment and enjoyment.
From home theaters to good lighting, there are plenty of things you can do, big and small, to step up your home entertaining game. What did you think of these home entertaining ideas? Comment below!
For more information, visit labuildcorp.com.