How We Design a Home Perfect for Entertaining


Let’s reminisce for a moment back to that beautiful time when we entertained guests in our homes.

A room full of our favourite people, full glasses of wine clinking, endless charcuterie boards, joyful conversation, and laughter filling the air. Ahhh, aren’t you excited to get back to those days?

Or maybe you feel overwhelmed by the sheer thought of hosting as you think back to the last time you entertained in your home… 

You suddenly remember the stress of having enough comfortable seating for everyone, hauling dusty serving ware up from the basement, and you couldn’t help but notice that awkward feeling of everyone bumping into each other as they mingled throughout your kitchen. There’s a better way.

There is nothing I love more than designing beautiful and practical spaces that serve as a backdrop for some of your best memories. So, today let’s talk about how to create a warm and inviting space that flows effortlessly, both every day and when special guests arrive.  

custom cabinet styled with wine glasses, serving trays, and greenery

Step 1: Determine Your Needs

When it comes to designing a home that is perfect for entertaining, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s personal to you and your lifestyle. Before the design process begins, it’s important to determine how you’re likely to entertain. This is the key to creating a space perfect for your needs.

Are you more likely to host sit-down dinners? Let’s prevent seating stress by ensuring there is a seat for everyone at the table. 

Do you like a more relaxed vibe, with finger foods and guests standing around the island? In that case, we don’t want to mix fresh food with dirty plates, so it’s best not to install a sink on the island.

Other important things to consider are how often you entertain and how many people you’re hosting. Naturally, plans will look different for larger groups than it will for a smaller gathering of close friends. If your entertaining needs vary, that’s okay! We’ll make sure you’re well-prepared for any situation that comes your way.

Step 2: Create Flexible Design Solutions

Finding the perfect balance between everyday living and entertaining can be tricky. This is why I provide our clients with two different floor plan design options: one for your daily lifestyle and one specific for entertaining. This gives you the ability to be flexible with your home layout in any circumstance. For example…

Planning to host for Thanksgiving? Great! We’ve got you covered with a plan showing all the details for using your dining table with the leaves in, or adding a second table to have enough space for your guests. We’ll also give you a solid plan for adding additional seating in the family room, where guests will be comfortable sitting or mingling around amid lively conversation.

Step 3: Maximize Storage Space

The last thing you need when you’re entertaining (or really, ever) is clutter. Cheers to more storage, right? Together, we’ll help you find creative and beautiful ways to conveniently store the items you use to host — think dishes, glassware, platters, linens. 

No, I’m not talking about a bin in your basement… I’m talking about a built-in custom cabinet, a credenza, a sideboard, or a similar decorative item that doubles as functional storage right where you need it. After all, what better way to store things than by creating a beautiful focal point?

In our recent Mississauga Renovation, we created a stunning and practical custom cabinet positioned perfectly between the dining area and kitchen. The glass front offers the opportunity to display glassware and meaningful heirlooms, like sentimental wedding dishes or your grandmother’s crystal. Meanwhile, the drawers below offer storage for all of those less sightly things, like folded linens or the special plates. 

When designing your home, we will come up with similarly creative solutions that will bring organisation to your space and help you easily entertain guests, even at a moment’s notice. 

Step 4: Opt for Performance Fabrics

The final step of a home designed for entertaining is creating one that can stand up to a crowd and keep your clean-up as low maintenance as possible. You might think kids and pets (and husbands) are the only mess makers, but guess what? Even the most well-behaved house guest can make the simple mistake of spilling red wine. 

The best way to protect your furniture and your sanity is by selecting spill-proof performance fabrics for any upholstery in high-traffic places, such as the kitchen, dining area, and family room. Any mess can be wiped up quickly and stress-free. Bonus: These fabrics are great for everyday life, too! (Read more about choosing upholstery fabrics here.)

Shop My Entertaining Favourites

We’d love to support you…

Whether you’re getting your home ready to (finally!) welcome guests in during the upcoming holidays, or if you can relate to the feeling of overwhelm when it comes to hosting, I’m here for you. Let us help you create a functional plan for entertaining in your home. Together, we will transform your home and give you the confidence you need to effortlessly host beautiful moments with your favourite people.

Until next time,


P.S. If you’re on the fence, be sure to download our complimentary guide 5 Things to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Interior Designer!

Staci Edwards and her team provide interior design and decorating services to help you create a home that you truly love. 

Founder of Staci Edwards Interior Design

Staci Edwards

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Interior design and decorating services to help you create a home you love — serving Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and surrounding areas since 2010. 

422 Pearl Street, Suite 2u
Burlington, Ontario L7R 2N1