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After a long, lonely year of social distancing, I know so many of us are looking forward to gathering together with family and friends again. Whether your speed is movie nights, potlucks or cocktail parties, you’ve got a lot of fun to catch up on! It’s time for some effortless entertaining.

One of the great parts of designing a custom home is the ability to lay out the perfect plan for whatever type of entertaining you enjoy most. You can create a house that really feels like home for everyone that visits! Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities for extra fun entertaining options you can explore with a custom home.

For the Gourmet

People say that “the kitchen is the heart of the home”, and let’s be honest, they’re right. We probably all find ourselves in the kitchen by the end of the party anyhow! With a custom home, you can set yourself up for success whether you’re plating up charcuterie for friends or carving the turkey. For those who cook often, laying out a space for roomy double ovens and extra burners helps to take a little of the stress off Thanksgiving dinner or Super Bowl Sunday.

For others, it’s all about serving that perfect pour. How about a designated beverage station for whipping up cappuccinos or cocktails?

There are a lot of great ideas for kitchen must-haves that make entertaining easier: big, roomy islands with storage space and extra barstool seating; well-planned walk-in pantries with electricity and an extra fridge. And maybe sleek built-in trash cans that keep Fido from snapping up any leftovers. Or you might like a custom compost zone for breaking down food waste to ultimately revitalize your yard or garden.

The most important thing, of course, is to build a kitchen that has everything YOU need to keep life entertaining!

But of course, what’s a kitchen without a great space to eat in?

effortless entertaining in your custom kitchenGathering Spaces

There are all sorts of great gathering spaces to create that keep guests entertained while you cook up a storm. Adding built-in cabinets to your dining room can be a great way to show off the nice china and make it a little easier to set the table on holidays. Or planning an open concept floor plan so game night includes the folks in the kitchen, living room, and dining.

How about a wet bar with a wine chiller, so your guests can help themselves to a drink? Wet or dry bars can be a great way of making any room into “the party room!” To keep things cozy, you can build a wood-burning fireplace, or add a gas one for a quicker route to those warm evenings.

In living rooms, conversation pits are a dramatic, fun way to literally start conversation. Or open up the space to enjoy hearing everyone on the same topic.

For the cinema buffs, a home theatre is a great way to gather everyone around for a film or an old home video. Putting this in the basement helps separate the noise from the rest of the house and reduces the amount of light coming in through windows. Staggered seating helps ensure everyone gets a great view, and built-in spaces for speakers, projector and DVDs (or perhaps, a laptop) keep everything neat and tidy. Of course, having abundant outlets and charging stations is a good way to keep the teens content.

And for the youngest guests, a well-organized, well-lit playroom is a big treat made possible with built-in shelves for all types of toys and games. Adding in a slightly elevated “stage” area with a row of curtains is sure to spark creative play: be prepared for homegrown talent shows, dance performances, and musicals!

Outdoor Living for Effortless Entertaining

If you have weather as awesome as we do in Colorado, you’ll want to find ways to take advantage of all the sunshine! A roomy patio gives you all the space needed for a morning coffee on a chaise or a lively al fresco dinner. With the addition of some solar-powered outdoor string lights, your patio space will start feeling absolutely magical.

And since our weather is really great, how about an outdoor kitchen setup, like a pizza oven? Comfy outdoor seating, with sturdy cushions, can make the backyard the perfect place for an impromptu movie night with a projector and an old sheet. Other outdoors entertaining ideas include hot tubs, fire pits and semi-enclosed gathering spaces, like a gazebo or summerhouse.

Of course, if you have children or young relatives, a play structure is transformative. Whether you opt for a playhouse, a treehouse or a swing set, it gives a place for your youngest guests to have fun without getting out of eyesight.

Overnight Guests

Of course, sometimes our guests stay over! Having a comfortable guest room prepared can be a great way to welcome Mom and Dad in for Christmas or give kids home from college a place to crash. An ensuite bathroom makes life even easier for your guests. Another guest room consideration is for our older loved ones. Planning the guest bedroom on the first floor is helpful for our mature friends and relatives who may have trouble managing stairs.

If you want a little more privacy from your guests, you could consider building a guesthouse further back on the property (if allowed), or designing a “mother-in-law suite” or AirBnB-convertible space with a separate entrance for any longer term guests or paying renters.

For younger guests, a “bunk room” with built-in bunk beds is a fun way to handle sleepover parties and cousin visits. You’re able to house a lot of little bodies in an efficient (and energy-filled) space. Bonus points for extra little amenities like individual lights, outlets, and privacy curtains!

When it comes to entertaining only you know exactly what you need for the perfect party. And depending on who’s in town that changes. But we all know there is no shortage of people who want to come visit you in gorgeous Colorado!

Custom homes offer so many ways to create your perfect space — and make life a little easier, as the host! Think about the type of events you want to host, and dream big! A little creativity goes a long way in creating a custom home full of effortless entertaining potential!