Tag Archives: Entertaining

Kitchen Zones

You’ve probably heard of the kitchen “work triangle,” a concept that keeps three main work areas – the sink, the range and the refrigerator – in close proximity.  Although this has been a mainstay in kitchen design, it often seems antiquated.  A work triangle is efficient and still useful, but it was developed during a time when the primary activities in the kitchen were cooking and cleaning up.

The role and size of the kitchen have evolved over time, and the space often serves as the home’s hub for both everyday living and entertaining.  Not to mention, there are many more appliances and fixtures used in modern kitchens.  It can be more practical to think of the kitchen in terms of zones.  We explore that idea here!

What Is a Zone?

Consider all the functions performed in the kitchen regularly – food storage, prep, cooking, baking, serving, eating, cleaning, coffee making, entertaining.  This is a great way to begin identifying the zones that will work best for you.  A zone keeps everything you need to perform a specific task together.  The kitchen is truly one of the hardest working rooms in a home, so grouping appliances, fixtures, storage and prep areas according to their use maximizes space and offers convenience while keeping aesthetics in mind.

Pewaukee Lake Kitchen Remodel

Example Zones

  • The Prep Zone – Chopping, mixing, blending, peeling – ample counter space is the key to success in your prep area. It’s helpful if it’s near the refrigerator, pantry and other storage, ensuring easy access to ingredients, small appliances and utensils.
  • The Cooking Zone – This is a busy spot. It often features the range or cooktop, wall ovens and warming drawers.  Ideally, it is adjacent to the prep zone, and it’s a bonus if it is near the dining space.  Many homeowners opt to have ample storage for trays, cookware, spices, cutlery, utensils and pot holders.
  • The Clean Up Zone – This area typically includes the sink and dishwasher with garbage and cabinetry strategically placed nearby to streamline clean up and unloading. Cleaning up isn’t the most exciting kitchen function, so the more efficient the process the better.
  • The Kids Zone – If you have children, it can be helpful to plan the kitchen with them in mind. Create room for the kids to do homework or have an after-school snack.  Easy access to kid-friendly glasses, plates and food gives them some independence.  This zone allows for family time, but it also keeps them out of the working part of the kitchen.
  • The Guest Zone – This can take many forms. Perhaps, it’s as simple as adding an island with comfortable seating to delineate the prep zone from the “hang out” area.  It could also be a beverage station with a refrigerator, bar sink, glass storage, ice maker and counter space for drink mixing.  Some homes even have a small sitting room off of the kitchen.

Zone options are truly endless, so when planning a kitchen, we always make sure we have a clear understanding of how people live in their homes.  Function always comes first in kitchen design.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

Zone Staples

  • Counter space – Not only is a landing area essential from an efficiency standpoint, but it is also an important safety feature. Cooks should be able to quickly set down hot items without trekking through the entire kitchen.
  • Storage – Ample storage is a vital component in any zone. Drawers, dividers, roll-outs and appliance garages help keep everything within arm’s reach of where it is needed.
  • Proximity – Rarely does a zone operate independently.  It’s important to think about the kitchen workflow, so you can keep certain areas adjacent to one another.Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

A Place to Entertain

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we have posted entertaining space photos every day (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of the posts!

Space for Libations

Fox Point Butler's Pantry

This butler’s pantry offers extra storage and features a wet bar with wine and beverage refrigerators, an ice maker, sink, and glass storage. It also has goldleaf tiles and a gold ceiling, tying into the home’s classic and modern aesthetics. The room serves as a connection between entertaining spaces.

Wauwatosa Family Room and Wet Bar

The wet bar is conveniently located between two entertaining spaces – the living room and the kitchen. It’s the perfect spot to mix drinks, store glasses, and serve as extra counter space.

Hartford Butler's Pantry

The butler’s pantry is a transition area, located between the dining room and the library. It serves as extra counter space for entertaining in the dining room and features custom cabinetry, glass storage, and a wine refrigerator.

Hartland Wet Bar

This remodeled wet bar features custom cabinetry, a hammered copper sink, and a Bronzo Quartzite top. The beverage refrigerator and glass storage are a great addition for their gatherings, and the deep drawer allows them to store spirits vertically.

Elm Grove Coffee Bar

This kitchen’s “beverage station” is the perfect spot for the homeowners’ coffee maker, mugs, and snacks.

Kitchen Entertaining

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen island offers ample space for food preparation and seating for guests – ideal for entertaining. The kitchen’s open design accommodates the natural flow between appliances and storage areas during meal prep.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

The custom island table is the perfect spot to host a casual brunch or dinner. The kitchen is open to the family room, so guests can move freely about the space and interact with people in the other room.

Hartland Kitchen Island

If you entertain regularly, you’ve probably started quite the collection of platters, linens, glasses, vases, and beyond. Make sure you have a place for everything. The island is a great spot to insert extra storage.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

These custom barn doors serve as a focal point and allow the homeowners to close off the (sometimes) chaotic kitchen from the dining room when hosting guests. It’s the perfect way to keep the spaces open to one another yet separate!

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel

This large island is ideal for setting up a party buffet! The homeowner also wanted part of the island to be raised, so guests could lean against it during gatherings.

Room to Visit

Elm Grove Hearth Room Remodel

This hearth room is a cozy spot for guests to mingle and relax. Because it neighbors the kitchen, the homeowners can still engage their friends and family while prepping at the island.

Hartford Sunroom Addition

With direct access to the kitchen, this sunroom addition extends the homeowners’ entertaining space. It’s a great place for guests to socialize while you prep in the kitchen or a nice spot to enjoy libations after dinner.

Oconomowoc Screen Porch

The new three-season room allows the homeowners to entertain and enjoy their surroundings without having to worry about bugs or the elements. It is also located off the lower level bar and family room, offering a nice flow between entertaining spaces.

Wauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

This light and airy sunroom is the perfect spot to entertain guests with drinks and appetizers. It also has a direct connection to the patio!

Delafield Screen Porch

This screen porch is accessible from the family room/kitchen area, the patio, and the porch. It is a great spot to enjoy the home’s scenic backdrop, and it helps blur the line between indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.

Lower Level Shindigs

Muskego Basement Remodel

This lower level wet bar and sitting area is the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy. It features engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, and room for a large table (perfect for games or meals). The wet bar includes marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry.

Oconomowoc Basement Remodel

A great place to entertain friends and family! This bar neighbors a game room and offers ample seating and counter space to prepare cocktails and serve snacks. It features character-grade cherry cabinetry, leather-textured granite, and a stacked stone backsplash.

Muskego Basement Playroom

You need a spot for those kiddos when you’re entertaining! This lower level playroom features two chalkboard doors and has lots of space to move around! It can also be closed off with barn-style doors to keep toys hidden during gatherings.

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This lower level game area and billiards room offer plenty of space for entertaining and playing. It features heated travertine floors, soft arches, and a mix of lighting to accommodate all activities.

 

Oconomowoc Basement Remodel

This lower level bar is ideal for entertaining! It’s cozy, featuring a copper top, a Lannon stone wall and fireplace, stained beams, and a travertine floor.

Formal Entertaining

Oconomowoc Dining Room Remodel

This dining room is the perfect spot to entertain family and friends. It has views to the lake and is near the wet bar, family room, and new sunroom.

The Butler’s Pantry

Whether it serves as an entertaining hub or just a storage space, a butler’s pantry can be valuable to your home.  It’s an entertainer’s sidekick!  You can use the space to store your collection of platters and dishes or to stage a meal before serving.  Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource offers tips to ensure you plan a functional butler’s pantry.

Delafield Butler's PantryLocation, Location, Location

The butler’s pantry should be easily accessible from the kitchen and dining room.  This makes serving less complicated and accommodates the flow between entertaining spaces.  Many butler’s pantries have extra counter and prep space, storage, and appliances, so when positioned properly in the house, they can serve as an extension to your kitchen or dining room.

Hartford Butler's PantryStorage

Dishes, platters, barware, linens, glasses, silverware – a well-prepared host or hostess has a lot to store.  Custom cabinetry with roll-outs, dividers, and other organizational systems ensure everything has its place.  Open shelving is another great option, so you can easily (and quickly) grab the serving bowl or dish you need for your soiree.  Other storage options include wine cubbies, baskets, and cabinetry with glass doors.

Equipment

Beyond storage, somFox Point Butler's Pantrye butler’s pantries are equipped with appliances – beverage and wine refrigerators, ice makers, microwave drawers, and built-in coffee makers.  It can also be useful to include a bar sink to help with food prep or drink mixing.  When a butler’s pantry is fully equipped, it essentially serves “double duty” as a pantry and a wet bar.

Style

Big or small, a butler’s pantry is the perfect place to showcase your style and get creative.  Whether you’re incorporating a unique backsplash, a bold ceiling detail, or a fun light fixture, the options are endless to customize this useful space.

12 Days of Entertaining Spaces (and Recipes)

12 Days of Entertaining Spaces

We’re sharing some of our favorite entertaining spaces with a holiday recipe to whip up at home!

Day 1

The Space

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen is ideal for entertaining, featuring double islands, ample storage, layers of lighting, and high-end appliances.  It is a mix of rustic and refined design elements – a cozy spot for the holidays.

The Recipe

Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons Recipe

These little cookies look beautiful on a platter full of holiday treats.  They’re sure to be a crowd pleaser, too!

Day 2

The Space

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This lower level bar is the perfect spot to host a holiday shindig!  It features leather-textured granite, a stacked stone backsplash, two beverage refrigerators, and custom cabinetry.

The Recipe

Cheese Fondue Recipe

This year, one fun appetizer we’re having at our family holiday gathering is fondue!  Here is a yummy recipe based on the popular beer cheese dip served at The Melting Pot.

Day 3

The Space

Wauwatosa Family Room Remodel

This family room is flooded with natural light and features a coffered ceiling, gas fireplace, oak hardwood flooring, and a wet bar equipped with wine and beverage refrigerators.

The Recipe

Whipped Cream Fudge Recipe

This fudge recipe is incredibly simple and quite delicious!  It’s the perfect treat to bring to a party or to give as a gift.

Day 4

The Space

Fox Point Butler's Pantry

This butler’s pantry/wet bar is well-equipped, featuring wine and beverage refrigerators, an ice maker, glass storage, and a bar sink (it’s also important to point out the goldleaf tiles and gold ceiling).

The Recipe

White Chocolate Peppermint Martini Recipe

This festive holiday drink is sure to be a hit at your next gathering!

Day 5

The Space

Oconomowoc Dining Room

This dining room is the perfect spot to host family and friends.  It features a custom-built corner cabinet and a buffet with glass storage and a beverage refrigerator (the ideal spot for your holiday spread)!

The Recipe

Egg Casserole Recipe

This is probably one of the best egg bakes out there!  It’s the perfect breakfast to feed a crowd for a holiday brunch (although the recipe can be halved easily), and you can whip the ingredients together the evening before.

Day 6

The Space

Hartford Sunroom Addition

This sunroom addition is a balanced mix of rustic and refined details – reclaimed barn beams, fieldstone, a coffered ceiling, and an elegant light fixture.  The large windows also showcase the pastoral views (note the red barn)!

The Recipe

Baked Brie Bites Recipe

These brie bites are easy to pop in your mouth, and they always go quickly at parties!

Day 7

The Space

Delafield Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen features custom quarter-sawn oak cabinetry, green soapstone and granite countertops, a subway tile backsplash, and a painted island with plenty of seating for guests!

The Recipe

Amish Sugar Cookies Recipe

These cookies are beautiful (they can really be customized for any season with the addition of sprinkles), and they melt in your mouth!

Day 8

The Space

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

This lower level is a spot that the whole family can enjoy.  It features engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, and room for a large table (perfect for games or meals).  The space also includes a wet bar with marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry.

The Recipe

Chocolate Caramel Fondue Recipe

We already shared a cheese fondue recipe.  Now, it’s time for something sweet!  This is a simple, delicious recipe.  The fun part?  There are endless dipper options!

Day 9

The Space

Oconomowoc Screen Porch Addition

This screen porch off the lower level showcases the home’s beautiful backdrop.  It features a stained concrete floor, cedar, and reclaimed brick.

The Recipe

Hot Ham and Cheese Party Rolls Recipe

This appetizer is a crowd pleaser, and it’s perfect for a party because it can be assembled the night before!

Day 10

The Space

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This bar is ideal for entertaining!  It’s cozy, featuring a copper top, a Lannon stone wall and fireplace, stained beams, and a travertine floor.

The Recipe

Brandy Slush Recipe

This is a bit of a throwback!  Brandy slush is a refreshing drink throughout the year.  And it can be served with brunch or dinner – very versatile!

Day 11

The Space

Hartford Greeting Room

This is the perfect spot to retire to after a holiday feast.  It features reclaimed barn beams, a tongue and groove ceiling, a gas fireplace, and a slate floor.

The Recipe

Kringle Recipe

Make it for breakfast or serve as a dessert with coffee.  This homemade Kringle is delicious!

Day 12

The Space

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel

With plenty of island seating for guests and lots of counter space for meal prep, who wouldn’t want to entertain in this kitchen?  It features Chocolate Bordeaux granite, custom white cabinetry, a stained island, and high-end appliances.

The Recipe

Pork Tenderloin Recipe

This pork tenderloin is a balanced mix of sweet, savory, and tart.  It also looks pretty on your plate!

Recent Project: Rustic Lower Level Remodel

The homeowners wanted to transform their empty basement into another living space that both the adults and teenagers could enjoy.  It needed to be a comfortable area to watch movies, entertain, and relax.  The remodeled space offers a cozy, rustic aesthetic.

Oconomowoc Lower Level Before

The Bar

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

The lower level bar area is ideal for entertaining!  It features beverage refrigerators, a hammered copper sink, custom, character-grade cherry cabinetry, a stacked stone backsplash, and leathered Juparana Classico Supreme granite.

The Family Room

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

Neighboring the bar area, the family room includes a stacked stone fireplace and weathered beams.  This space also features French doors with views to the screened-in porch.

The Game Area

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

Arched openings and travertine tile run throughout the lower level, adding character to the space. The billiards room has space for numerous games, something that can be enjoyed by both the kids and adults.

The Powder Room

7876

The powder room features a floating top, a vessel sink made from a boulder, and double arches.

The Three-Season Room

Oconomowoc Walk-Out Before

 

 

 

 

 

Oconomowoc Screened Porch Addition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A portion of the existing lower level was exposed to create a walk-out with access to a new three-season room that showcases the homeowners’ scenic yard.

Oconomowoc Screened Porch Addition

 

 

 

 

 

The new three-season room allows the homeowners to enjoy their surroundings without having to worry about bugs or the elements.  It features cedar, a reclaimed brick wall, and a stained cement floor.

See this beautiful project on the Metropolitan Builders Association Parade of Remodeled Homes, Sept. 12-13, 2015.  More details, including the address, will be posted on our events page as the date gets closer.

Components of the Perfect Wet Bar

A wet bar is a practical addition to your entertaining space. Whether it’s big or small or you use it as an extra prep area or a cocktail-mixing station, there are certain elements that remain important to create a functional wet bar.

Location

Wauwatosa Family Room and Wet Bar

Wet bar between the kitchen and family room

Where do you spend most of your time entertaining?  In the kitchen?  Outdoors?  In your finished basement?  It’s important to insert the wet bar in an area where people tend to gather, so you can socialize while you mix drinks, and your guests can easily grab a beverage as they mingle.  “The wet bar is often the home’s entertaining hub, so many homeowners opt to put it between entertaining spaces, such as the kitchen and family room,” explains Matt Retzak, designer at Bartelt.

Wet Bar StorageStorage

There are a lot of tools that go along with a wet bar, so make sure you plan your storage accordingly.  Open shelves or cabinetry keep everything in order.  Consider incorporating cabinetry with glass doors, so you can show off your glassware and collectibles.  You may also want to include wine cubbies and deep drawers for storing your spirits and other alcoholic beverages.

Appliances

Fox Point Butler's Pantry Wet Bar

Butler’s pantry wet bar with wine and beverage refrigerators and an ice maker

It’s important to keep your libations at the proper temperature.  Beverage and wine refrigerators are a great option to ensure your beverages stay chilled.  They also keep beer, wine, and soda out of your main refrigerator, so you can reserve that space for everyday groceries and party food.  If space permits, an ice maker is a small luxury, so you never have to worry about running out during your gatherings.  Custom panels are an option for all of these appliances to help them blend with the cabinetry to create a furniture look.

Wauwatosa Wet BarWater

A bar sink is a smart addition to your wet bar.  Not only does it make cocktail prep easier, but it also serves as another spot to do some light clean up, keeping the kitchen work triangle from becoming congested.

Style

A wet bar can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Whether you’re fitting it into an empty corner or creating a whole butler’s pantry, the options for countertops, cabinetry, backsplashes, and other selections are endless.  It’s a great opportunity to show your style and get creative!

Recent Project: Lake Home Remodel

The homeowners wanted to update their first floor to accommodate entertaining and daily living while taking advantage of the lake views.  The remodeled spaces enhance the home’s original charm and offer an open floor plan.

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel Before

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel After

The original kitchen was dark and dated, with little work space.  The remodeled kitchen features painted and glazed custom cabinetry, granite countertops, high-end appliances, and ample storage and counter space.  The large island accommodates casual meals and entertaining, and its contrasting color adds interest to the space.

Oconomowoc Wet Bar Before      Oconomowoc Wet Bar After

Neighboring the kitchen was the cramped wet bar area.  Now, the wet bar serves as an entertaining hub, having a direct connection to the kitchen, dining room, and family room.  It also features a coved ceiling to complement existing details.

Oconomowoc Sunroom Remodel Before

Oconomowoc Sunroom Remodle After

The back of the home was closed off to the lake views.  The homeowners wanted to improve the sight lines, so they could enjoy their backdrop.  The remodel opened up the back wall of the home to showcase their views and create space for a screened-in porch.  Heated floors allow the homeowners to enjoy the space into the fall months.

The (Kitchen) Island Life

As today’s kitchens become more connected to other living and entertaining spaces, the island becomes more versatile and serves as a hub – meal prep, seating, storage, entertaining, homework. The island is a customizable piece, so when you’re planning its composition, it’s important to think about the role you need it to fulfill and how you primarily use the kitchen. Do you have a large family? Are you often the host? Do you love to cook? These are all important questions to consider.

StorageHartland Kitchen Remodel

The island is a great spot to insert extra storage. Whether it’s a spice drawer, roll-outs for everyday dishes, or open shelves for cookbooks, there are many ways to make your kitchen island work beyond meal prep and seating.

Size

The dimensions of your island are shaped by its role in the kitchen. If you’re looking for counter space and enough seating for the family, you may want to consider an extra-long island or an actual table attached to the island. Maybe you plan to use the island for meal prep and a party buffet. A wide island might be the perfect option. It’s also important to consider its height. A 36-inch height can accommodate meal prep and seating. A 42-inch height is ideal for bar stools. The island can also be designed with two levels, so it can work “double duty” – cooking and dining. This also breaks down the scale of the island and gives some separation to obscure cooking messes from view.

Waukesha Kitchen RemodelLighting

Proper lighting over the island is essential. Pendants or a chandelier offer ambient and task lighting to help with smaller kitchen duties and overall illumination. The lighting over your island is also an opportunity to get creative and showcase your style. Glass pendants, lanterns, drum pendants, multi-light fixtures – island lighting can set the tone for your space, add a punch of color, or reinforce the kitchen design.

Utility

As we’ve said, the kitchen island is flexible, so outfit it with the tools you need for your various tasks. Entertainers may want to consider a beverage or wine refrigerator. Others choose to include a microwave drawer or dishwasher in the island. Home cooks often prefer a prep sink in the island because it’s easily accessible, accommodates cooking and clean-up simultaneously, and makes sharing the space with another cook easier.

DetailsShorewood Kitchen Remodel

The island is an opportunity to add character to the kitchen. Consider a contrasting stain or paint color to make it a focal point and highlight your style. Opt for furniture-style legs and toe kicks to create a high-end look. Choose a countertop material that suits your style and the island’s main role. Do you like marble’s classic look? Are you interested in granite’s durability? Perhaps, you’d prefer the warmth of a butcher block top? The options are truly endless!

Recent Project: Inviting Sunroom Addition

Our clients enjoyed entertaining friends and family, but their kitchen and other existing spaces weren’t conducive to this hobby.  They desired a warm, inviting space for their frequent get-togethers.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Before     Waukesha Sunroom Addition - After

The home’s back elevation was “cookie cutter” and lacked character.  The sunroom addition features a cupola with Azek crown molding and trim, adding charm to the exterior and blending with the existing structure.  The exterior also includes fiber cement composite siding for less maintenance and more durability.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Bar

The sunroom’s interior offers easy access to the kitchen to assist with entertaining.  There is a pass-through, and the large archway allows people to flow from one room to the other, making it one useable space.  The bar area features Golden Fantasy granite, wood-framed doors with “water glass” inserts, a slate backsplash, a beverage refrigerator, and custom wood wine cubbies.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - View

The kitchen and entertaining space originally ended abruptly at the back of the house, so there was little room for guests.  The addition has an open concept, conducive to entertaining a group of people.  The large windows also showcase the conservancy views, and the patio door connects the space to the outdoors.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Ceiling     Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Ceiling Detail

The hand-framed, vaulted ceiling makes the addition feel more spacious, and the box beams at the hip rafters and cupola draw guests’ attention upward.  Rope lighting was incorporated at the crown molding and cupola to highlight the unique ceiling.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Fireplace

The fireplace is a focal point, giving the room a cozy feel.  It features hand-cut Lannon stone that ties the addition  into the home’s exterior.  The dynamic slate floor also uses hydronic heating, so the homeowners can comfortably enjoy the space in the winter (even without socks).

The Details

Handblown Pendant     Wine Cubbies

Sculpted, Furniture-Style Toe Kicks     Curved Casing

The Functional Dining Room

Although a formal dining room isn’t for every family, often eliminated to expand other rooms of the home, many homeowners opt to preserve this area. The dining room can serve as an extension to your home’s entertaining space, inviting people to linger at the dinner table to enjoy good food and company without the distractions of the (sometimes) chaotic kitchen. It can be especially useful for someone who is the extended family’s main host or on holidays. If a formal dining room is a staple in your home, here are some tips to create a formal, yet functional space.

Hartland Dining Room RemodelLocation

The dining room should be easily accessible from the kitchen and other gathering areas. This makes serving less complicated and accommodates the flow between entertaining spaces. You can create a defined, yet open dining room with a pass-through, arched opening, large French doors, and beyond. It’s also a good idea to consider the dining room’s proximity to a powder room.

Lighting

It’s important to include multiple layers of light in Hartland Dining Room Remodelthe dining room. A chandelier over the table serves as a focal point and can set the tone for the room. Is it traditional? Does it have a more modern vibe? Beyond the decorative chandelier or sconces, incorporate recessed lights to provide ambient lighting for the room. In- and under-cabinet lighting in a built-in buffet or wet bar offers task lighting and highlights servingware. Homeowners may want to put their fixtures on dimmers to create a softer glow for entertaining. Natural light should also be considered.

Oconomowoc Dining Room RemodelStorage

You’ll need a spot to stash dining essentials. Think about how you entertain and what pieces you often use to narrow down your storage options. A wet bar with custom cabinetry is ideal for storing glasses and barware. Beyond its storage capacity, it’s also a great spot to mix drinks, and it can serve as extra counter space. A buffet or built-in cabinetry can house dishes and linens. A window seat with drawers is another opportunity to insert extra storage into the dining room.

Space

Scale the dining room appropriately. To make sure the space isn’t oversized or too small, ask yourself these questions. How many people do I need to comfortably seat? What furniture goes into the space? There should be enough room that guests don’t have to vacate their seats to let someone pass by, but it’s important to remember that too much space can become cavernous.