Design Hints

Easy Entertaining

Brenda and Mike Kilgore's Orrick, Missouri, home was made for entertaining. "I do family dinners every Sunday for my four kids and grandkids," says Brenda, who espouses the benefits of tough and durable furnishings. "I don't want anybody to ever worry. I want a place my kids can put their feet up, be at home, and not worry about what my grandkids are going to do." She shares a few simple strategies for creating an inviting and open space for entertaining friends and family:
Easy Entertaining

• Make comfort a priority. Nobody can relax after a delicious meal in a hard chair or on a stiff sofa. Incorporate oversize, comfy pieces of furniture that invite rest and relaxation. Don’t forget to include throw pillows and blankets for after-dinner snoozing.
• Create space. Entertaining can be a challenge when you have to corral all your guests within a single area. Create multiple gathering areas around your home that encourage guests to make themselves at home. These can include separate "bistro" areas with a small table and chairs or stools along a kitchen island.
• Add some novelty. Brenda came up with the idea of arranging a separate coffee-bar area near her kitchen to encourage gathering and conversation. The self-serve setup also frees up the hostess to attend to other duties. No room for a coffee bar? Invest in a small cart with casters and make it mobile!
• Allow easy access. Keep items useful for entertaining, such as table linens, large bowls or cake stands, in view on open shelves or in glass-fronted cabinets so they are instantly accessible when needed.

Written by Rebecca Razo
Photographed by Bill Mathews
Styled by Gloria Gale