Creating Beautiful Informal Spaces For Entertaining
When we look at design trends and how people use their spaces when entertaining, we can see that in design there's been a shift from many many years ago in the days of formal spaces to a more open concept and casual way of living in our homes. Gone are the days of cocktails in the entertaining room and dinner in the formal dining room. Now, the more popular way to host is in an open concept space where the kitchen, living and dining room are all visible from one another and so that guests can mingle while the host prepares and is still a part of the event. I know that my own personal style is definitely far from formal for every room in my house so today I thought I'd share some of my favourite informal spaces and a few ways to make sure your space never feels to stuffy.
The living room is usually the hub of the home where most time is spent as a family or hanging out with friends. As such, it's a space that should be comfortable, welcoming and relaxing. Depending on the style of your home, your layouts will vary greatly. Country house plans are very different from a mid-century modern bungalow plan, and a historic home will have a very different layout from a home built in the 2000's. Whether you have one casual living space or both a family room and a living room, there are ways to make the space feel more casual and informal such as ensuring there is optimal comfortable seating. Multi-functional pieces like benches or ottomans or poufs are also great for creating a cozy ambience for guests. Layer your lighting with both overhead lighting and lamps on dimmers and add texture through throw cushions and blankets.
The kitchen is another space in the home where entertaining often happens. A kitchen island is always the best way to entertain in the kitchen. You can seat your guests and serve while you're still preparing and it makes for a more relaxed atmosphere than a formal dining space. If you don't have room for a kitchen island or a peninsula, or if installing a kitchen island isn't an option, adding a small table or cozy dining nook is another great way to get that same feeling of being together and casual, without breaking the bank on a full kitchen renovation.
Lastly, if you're lucky enough to have a yard or patio, outdoor entertaining is a great way to spend time with family and friends in the warmer months. If you have a swimming pool or a hot tub, your home is probably already party city but if you don't, don't fret. A cute patio set, an inexpensive fire pit and some cushions and accessories can go a long way to making your outdoor living space a beautiful and comfortable one for entertaining.