Six Design Guidelines for Gracious Entertaining
Dec 9, 2019 Featured, Design Build

Six Design Guidelines for Gracious Entertaining

There’s no better time than November and December to get a good understanding of what works and doesn’t work for indoor entertaining.  With parties galore, you can see how some simple design concepts enable both commercial and residential spaces to enhance or detract from holiday cheer.  

Here are SIX ideas about how to make spaces more gracious for entertaining:


  1. 1.    Keep It Simple and Adaptable.

If you frequently entertain, create a space with a simplistic and adaptable layout. This means selecting interesting pieces that can be moved around without a great deal of hassle. Try for as much openness and flexibility as possible. For example, it is more interactive to have a kitchen that opens up into a living area with a mutual space between like a bar or island. And instead of oversized seating that breaks up spaces, consider smaller, eclectic chairs that can be arranged as needed.


  1. 2.    Create Ambiance.

Your space can make an impact through the use of lighting and art; it becomes part of the conversation between guests. We are big advocates of shopping local for art. Our area has so many talented artists whose work will add an amazing feel to your home, restaurant, or office space. In addition to art, lighting makes a huge difference.  You can use hidden lighting to make a space look luxurious and statement lighting to create interest. And remember, people want to see each other but not be blinded by the light. 


  1. 3.    Promote Circulation and Connectivity.

The flow of space is very important if you will be doing a lot of entertaining. You want guests to move around with comfort and ease. Think about how your guests will interact within your entertainment space. Will they flow effortless from the kitchen to the living room? How do you prevent them getting stuck in cramped corners? Are there spaces for one-on-one connecting?


  1. 4.    Remember Sound.

Sound is also an important part of gracious entertaining. How many times have you been in a restaurant where you couldn’t carry on a conversation because of the noise volume? Or at a home party that lacked the fun factor because a poor music? Investing in a high quality sound system and employing noise abatement strategies are vital to the design of entertainment spaces.


  1. 5.    Bring in Nature.

Don’t forget the plants and flowers. In the cold, dark months of November and December, splashes of color and greenery lift our spirits. Warm textures from wood and other natural materials also add warmth.


  1. 6.    Plan for Storage.

When designing a space for entertainment, make sure you have plenty of storage. Nothing ruins ambiance more than having clutter or coats around design storage components that fit in or add to the overall design of your space. There are many clever furniture solutions that even work well with small spaces.


A Couple of Sensory Six Examples


One of our specialties at Sensory Six is hospitality and restaurant design. Two of our recently completed spaces incorporate the principles, which we have talked about in this, article and are also great places to hold your holiday celebrations. The 408 Event & Occasion holds privately booked events and parties at 408 Broadway on the second floor of Cantina. Seneca Restaurant is where Chef Mike Spain creates inspired dishes using classic techniques and local twists at 17 Division Street. 









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