(BPT) - Summer is the ideal time to host events at home with family and friends. But is your home ready for summer soirees? The kitchen is the heart of the home and where people naturally congregate, so it's important it showcases your signature style and reflects the relaxed feeling of the summer season.
Nate Berkus, designer and artistic advisor for LG Studio, LG's premium line of kitchen appliances, shares kitchen design and entertaining tips to create inspired spaces and host memorable events.
Summer in the kitchen
Summertime is a great season to begin hosting friends and families, but you don't need to completely redecorate your home every time you have company. It's good to have several ideas on hand for your home that convey theupcoming season, notes Berkus. 'Simple party themes, like hosting a burger bar outdoors for guests, or inviting everyone to bring in their favorite burger recipe, can be a great way to spice up your party and align it with the laid back feeling of summer.'
Berkus also recommends decanting condiments into glass jars with fun labels. He notes, 'This is a simple task that can make it easier to serve from, especially at outdoor parties or when hosting large groups. When you're done, just snap the lid back on for a quick and effortless cleanup.'
We all dream about hosting a house full of people, but the stresses that come with entertaining can be daunting at times. Prepping early, especially in the kitchen, can cut the pressure and allow you to have some fun while hosting a party this summer.
'It's not enough for your guests to show up and have fun - you have to, too!' says Berkus. 'Have all items for your meal prepped in advance, so that you can take time to sit, let the meal linger and the conversation flow. Tomorrow you can sleep in.'
Berkus recommends stocking up on kitchen essentials in neutral colors, so they are appropriate for any occasion. Linen placemats can work for any party; just add brighter solid napkins and you're ready for that summer barbecue.
The well-appointed kitchen
'More than any other room in the house, the kitchen works best when it's in order,' notes Berkus. 'It should be intuitive. Having a large-capacity refrigerator with easily-adjustable shelving, like those offered in the LG Studio line, is a great way to keep track of everything you've got in there.'
If it's been a while since you've gone through your cabinets, take an afternoon to sort through your kitchen necessities while keeping flow in mind. Pots should be closest to the stove, cutting boards and knives in close vicinity to the sink, and baking ingredients all grouped in one pantry area. If you have counter space, use a tray or large board to keep the utensils you use every day at arms' reach from the stove for easy access.
To increase functionality and reduce clutter so your home is always party-ready, consider creating a kitchen work station. Berkus suggests taking advantage of a roll of butcher paper hung on the wall that can function as a place to write notes and reminders while still looking elegant.
'The kitchen often becomes the crossroads of the home, a space you pass through a hundred times,' says Berkus. 'To keep the piles and stacking to a minimum, I like incorporating trays or baskets on top of a rolling cart, which functions as the command center of the kitchen. It becomes the perfect place for my keys and sunglasses to land at the end of the day, as well as a place to organize mail and accessories for each member of the family.'
As our world continues to become more centered on technology, people are wondering whether or not it has a place in the kitchen. The kitchen of today not only needs to be seamlessly designed, but also needs to be wired to meet all your technology demands. Berkus recommends incorporating several places to plug in within your kitchen. 'If you've got a family, then it can escalate to a full on war when there's limited plugs or USB ports in the wall. Consider a plug that allows for more than one device, or a charge pad that you can toss your device on and it does the rest.'
If appliances are outdated and lack the functions you need, an upgrade can help make everyday tasks easier. The LG Studio line adds a high-end aesthetic to any kitchen, with a timeless design and technological innovations that become the centerpiece in creating your signature kitchen. The Door-in-Door Refrigerator allows easy access to the outer compartment without opening the entire refrigerator door, allowing less cool air to escape to help keep your food fresher. The LG Studio Double Wall Oven has 100 recipes included in its built-in gourmet recipe bank to make cooking for family and guests simpler.
Be sure to visit LGStudioKitchen.com for other tips from Berkus and, through July 31, the chance to win a complete kitchen renovation led by Berkus and outfitted with a suite of LG Studio appliances.