Tag Archives: Home Entertaining

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.

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!

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.

Recent Project: Family-Friendly Lower Level Remodel

The homeowners wanted to transform their empty basement into another living space that both the adults and kids could enjoy.  It was important that the lower level offered a comfortable area to watch movies, entertain, and play.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The remodeled space is a balanced mix of cozy and sophisticated details.  It features an informal entertaining area with engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, ample storage, and room for a large table.

The arched openings and columns add character to the lower level and keep the entertaining area and living room open to one another while defining each space.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

This space also includes a wet bar with marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry in a smoky gray color.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The lower level playroom features two chalkboard doors and can be closed off with barn-style doors to keep toys hidden during gatherings.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The lower level also includes a powder room, featuring unique lighting, and a fitness room.

For detail photos, see this project on Houzz.

Host a Soiree at Home

Create a space conducive to entertaining with these party essentials.

Many of our homeowners explain to us that they’re looking to create spaces that accommodate their love of entertaining, so we’ve compiled a brief list of design elements we thought were important for successful events.

LibationsWauwatosa Wet Bar

A beverage center, or wet bar, is the perfect addition to your entertaining space. Whether you use it as an extra prep area or a cocktail-mixing station, you can customize it to your style and needs. Include an extra sink. Outfit your wet bar with a beverage refrigerator. Add wine and stemware storage. The options are endless!

Room to Move

It’s fun to focus on the small details, but you should also consider the room’s layout. An open concept is helpful for hosting family and friends. When the various entertaining spaces, indoor and outdoor, are open and connected to one another, you’re still able to engage guests while cooking or mixing drinks. People can also move about freely.

(Kitchen) Island Fun

Hartland Kitchen IslandPeople tend to congregate in the kitchen, so an island is often essential if you plan to entertain. It can provide more workspace, so multiple chefs can concoct culinary masterpieces at one time. It’s a place to lean against, sit by, or set your drink on, and it allows the cook to socialize with guests while he or she works. It can also serve as your party’s buffet!

Mood Lighting

Pay attention to the lighting in your kitchen (and other entertaining spaces). Include task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, for food preparation. Pendants over the island and recessed lighting provide task and ambient lighting. It’s also a “bright idea” to put your fixtures on dimmers to create a softer glow when guests arrive.

A Place (or two) to Sit

Seating – by the island, at a table, as a built-in, or in an adjacent room – is important to consider. Although people will walk around mingling, most will eventually like to take a load off of their feet and relax. Each type of seating has pros and cons (i.e. a banquette can maximize space), so we suggest having multiple options if they make sense for the room.

Tunes

Music can set the mood for your gathering. Many systems let you listen to tunes throughout your home and outdoors, allowing you to change the volume in each space or control the entire system with the touch of a screen anywhere. You even have the option to listen to different songs in different rooms – jazz in the kitchen and rock in the lower level – or the same song in every room.

StorageAmple Kitchen Storage in Hartland

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. Consider cabinetry that extends to the ceiling, drawers in the island, a butler’s pantry, drawer and cabinet organizers, such as Rev-A-Shelf systems, and other organizational options.