Top Tips To Make Your Home Entertainment Central

We think of our homes as our private spaces, and of course they are, but equally, they are spaces that become public when we entertain. From high days and holidays like Christmas, Easter, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries and even down to having friends round for dinner or a barbecue at the weekend - it tends to be the best times in our lives and the big occasions when we share our home with extended family and friends.

Is Your Space Hindering Your Hosting?

It doesn't matter how good a host you are if your home isn't supporting your efforts. Some houses and apartments just aren't set up in such as a way as to facilitate gatherings. Spaces which seem cosy can seem hemmed in when you start to entertain. And it isn't all to do with size. Ergonomics, circulation, flow and how a space is able to be used are arguable more important than it's dimension, although the two are often related. But the good news is that it can be changed relatively easily. If you want to transform your home into a space where you can entertain in style, you can achieve it in several ways. Adding amenities and changing up the decor to be more welcoming and accommodating is one way. The second is the spatial planning of your home and making structural changes to the space and how it can be used. Equally, your home has to work well when it's just you and your family at home as well, but with a little finesse you can balance both requirements.

Go For The Flow

Your primary aim with any redesign aimed at creating a space fit for entertaining is the ‘flow’. This means how smoothly or otherwise you and your guests can move around the space. It doesn't have to do with dimensions - whether you live in a one bedroom city apartment or a twenty room country mansion the flow can still be good or bad. Sit down and plan out how people tend to move around your home. How do the core areas of your house connect to each other? Are there awkward corners and narrow passageways? Sometimes this can be as easy to fix and moving pieces of furniture around, and sometimes it requires taking down internal, non-load bearing walls and shuffling round the layout of your rooms.

Bring The Outdoors Inside

Another great way to make your home a brilliantly versatile entertaining space is to make your outdoor space work harder. Again, this can apply whatever space you have available. An unloved balcony can become a feature with some statement potted plants and a seating unit. If you're lucky enough to have a garden, make it work for gatherings. It's a great idea to have patio doors opening out onto your garden, then add in some decking or a patio area which includes long benches for seating. A focal point, like a fire pit or a decorative chiminea sets it off to perfection. Create a visual connection between the inner and outer areas by using seating with the same types of cushion or adding storm lanterns filled with candles.

Create Zoning

The key to making a space work for parties is to have different ‘zones’ available. These don't have to be defined by walls - there are a number of tricks you can use in an open plan space to create the same effect. Divide space up using low units which also contain hidden storage for extra usefulness. Create cosier areas with low-hanging pendant lighting to create a feeling of intimacy. In your kitchen, add an island unit to visually separate the food preparation and cooking from the eating and socialising area but without cutting yourself off completely from guests. Create a focal point to each space using a fireplace or a well, lit statement piece of art. Add in comfortable seating areas designed around these focal points and you'll find that guests will naturally congregate there. When energy and conversation can flow naturally you'll find the most convivial space.

Design In Flexibility

The space that you have isn't just going to be social in one way, so another key concept is to design with flexibility in mind. Use multipurpose furnishing to achieve this, such as a stylish ottoman which can provide extra seating, as well as acting as a coffee table and including extra storage. If you like to have guest stay over then a sofa bed can be a great option. Think a little outside the box and you can design a beautiful home that works for your family and also for your guests.