A Flair for Entertaining

By Nicole Holland Pearce

IN DECADES PAST, THE LAYOUT OF CULINARY ZONES relied on the kitchen work triangle, which highlighted the space’s three major functions—cooking, preparation and storage—with plenty of space for an efficient workflow. While separate zones are still an important part of a kitchen layout, some designers are moving away from the traditional work triangle, and instead, creating kitchens to accommodate crowds. This means providing an island with plenty of seating and easy access to a beverage center, or more dramatically, opening the space up to access points around it. Regardless of how the kitchen is refitted for entertaining, each new space has one thing in common: a perfect marriage of form and function.

As you dive into a redesign, Peter Wycko­, a designer at Kitchens by Wedgewood, recommends that homeowners consider all the details, such as finishes, flooring and countertops. From there, homeowners can rely on the designers to create a kitchen based on their detailed wish-list. The kitchen can be put together to visually connect the spaces around it, or it can stand out as a unique concept all its own. If a homeowner desires a kitchen complementary to their dwelling’s existing living spaces, companies such as William Ohs off­er fully customizable finishes that allow the kitchen cabinetry and countertops to complement any existing finishes in the home. If a one-of-a-kind design is more your style, accent walls, such as Exquisite Kitchen Design’s fire engine red backsplash, are a fantastic way to infuse energy into the space.

Turning the kitchen into a social zone also means getting organized. One popular way to incorporate storage while adding an artistic touch is through open shelving, according to designer Nabeel Faizi of William Ohs. Open shelving not only places often-used items within reach, but it also adds an aesthetic quality to the space. Shelving can find a home in unexpected places, such as suspended above the countertop. Mikal Otten of Exquisite Kitchen Design did just that in his design of a warm, contemporary kitchen. Storage above the island and on perimeter countertops provides a display for dishes and glassware.

To ensure that all items are accessible while preparing for a party, designer Jed MacKenzie at bulthaup Denver recommends drawer-inset function boxes. No more digging through the spatulas to find a serving spoon—today’s kitchens are equipped with space-defined drawers that make food prep more enjoyable. Another option is Studio 2b’s Poggenpohl drawer storage, which o­ers pull-out drawers— some even equipped with LED lighting—to accommodate anything from small appliances and silverware to perishables, such as bread.

When considering new appliances for a soiree-chic space, many options make entertaining easier. Think about installing a wine refrigerator to keep vino at the ideal temperature. Warming drawers are another thoughtful addition. Sub-Zero o­ers a line of party-ready appliances, available at many showrooms across Denver. Once you’re ready to construct your design, be prepared for the growing pains. With a team of builders in the kitchen, you’ll need to find alternative ways to prepare meals, such as moving the microwave into the living room. “You have to know it’s going to be a dramatic change for your current lifestyle,” says Todd Jenkins, owner of Boxwood Kitchen and Bath. “But it’s a temporary one, and one that’s worth it in the end.”


Kitchens by Wedgewood, Louisville
303.666.4939 | wedgewoodcabinetry.com
William Ohs, Denver
303.321.3232 | wmohs.com
Exquisite Kitchen Design, Denver
303.282.0382 | myekdesign.com
bulthaup Denver, Denver
303.777.5409 | denver.bulthaup.com
Studio 2b, Denver
303.298.0900 | studio2bdenver.com
Boxwood Kitchen and Bath, Evergreen
303.886.4279 | boxwooddesign.com