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7 Things to Have in a Custom Home for Entertaining Guests

Not all homes are suitable for entertaining. The most suitable homes have open spaces, lots of light, places for seating and standing, and luxuries that make the home a welcoming place for guests. The best way to make your home suitable for entertaining is to build it from scratch, and to design it with entertaining in mind. When it is safe to host guests again, these tips can help you create a perfect house for parties and get-togethers with groups big and small.

One of the most fulfilling aspects of having your home custom-built is designing a domain that magnifies your values. If you live to entertain, this can mean generating unique spaces that make guests feel relaxed, embraced, and even charmed. Here are a few ways to make your home a hub of vivacity and personal connection.

#1 Opt for the Open (or Semi-Open) Layout

Open layouts have gotten a lot of positive attention in recent years. These layouts are especially helpful if you enjoy entertaining.

  • Open layouts make your home feel spacious during parties.
  • Lighting open spaces is often easier, without walls in place to create shadows.
  • Guests find mingling more enjoyable when walking around in an open layout home.

When the music is turned up, an open layout also enables all guests to enjoy the same songs and great atmosphere.

Not sure you're ready for an entirely open concept? Some people like knowing they can create a sense of privacy when the party ends. Opt for sliding doors that can be opened for parties, then closed again to create a sense of cozy seclusion during everyday life. In the kitchen, install a bar with sliding countertop doors. When the fun begins, open the doors and serve the guests over the counter.


#2 Elevate Kitchen and Dining Spaces

Guests love congregating around a large kitchen island stocked with whimsical appetizers and bubbly refreshments. To make the island more inviting, consider designing it like a custom furniture piece (with comfortable seating and plenty of space to stage food and drink). Even in a smaller kitchen with limited space, movable carts—that look attractive and provide convenient extra storage—can enhance the setting.

kitchen space for entertaining

If you want a little seclusion, a formal dining room can be fitted for a birthday party, holiday dinner or rousing game night, and if open space is more your style, try an expansive dining table parallel to the kitchen island. Whatever route you choose, consider making the table a focal point, either with family-style dishes or a seasonal table scape. When considering all your options, remember one thing: design choices will tell the guests where to go.


#3 Include a Media or Game Room

Perhaps your family has a weekly movie night or goes all out for your favorite sports team. If big-screen entertainment fits your lifestyle, consider a media room with oversized seating and a statement coffee table. Round out the space with a few giant floor pillows or bean bags for anyone who likes to lounge, and you’ll be up there with entertaining legends. If game day meals will be part of the package, be mindful of flooring. Carpet stains easily but offers more comfort, so consider wood, tile or laminate flooring with a large area rug.

If you prioritize lively activities, have a game room complete with a pool or ping-pong table. Set the room aflame with vivid artwork or wall colors, and let your preferences guide you. In most cases, traditional design etiquette goes out the window for game rooms, so throw the rule book away and have fun with it.


#4 Make Room for Guests

If you plan for all-nighters or have friends and family that often visit from out of town, make sure you have enough space to comfortably accommodate everyone. Consider having a guest room with amenities like fresh towels (in a close-set bathroom), closet space, and plenty of privacy.

Generating a lively, inviting home where guests feel free to socialize, relax and stay a while takes forethought and a little strategic arrangement. By taking advantage of all available space and ensuring the design fits the purpose, you can have a house that never feels empty.


#5 Build Entertainment-Focused Inside Spaces

Create several "seating zones" inside your home where guests can sit down and enjoy each other's company. Work with your contractor to create a unique footprint for your home, with several nooks where intimate conversations can take place. An out-of-the way dining area or a cozy seating room just to one side makes it easier for small groups to have in-depth conversations. 

Read: 10 Things to Splurge on for Your Custom Home 


#6 Install Mood Lighting

Parties that take place during the day rely on natural lighting from large windows and French doors. At night, lighting options must be flexible for each type of party or event. Install multiple types of lights in each room, layering lights to give you more options.

Some parties need bright lights to see, other parties are best held in a darker, more intimate space. Work with your contractor to discuss options and install various light fixtures such as recessed lighting, pendant lighting, or even chandeliers. 

Appropriate lighting not only illuminates the space but sets the ideal mood for any occasion. Often an underestimated element, lighting demands a knowing hand, and designers warn against letting your builder provide a standard package. Not to mention, going back after-the-fact to update fixtures and such can cost thousands.

interior of kitchen in custom home in central new jersey by GTG Builders

To make room for all party possibilities, ensure lighting options vary. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to opt for adjustable recess lighting that lets you create an ambiance for casual brunches, elegant dinners, or spontaneous game nights. If you prefer formal entertaining, consider statement pieces like chandeliers. Finally, be aware of how many outlets you’ll need in every room. Lamps and other fixtures will dictate a suitable location (near the floor or higher set for furniture), and remember to accommodate Holiday décor and lighting.

#7 Develop Outside Space

Especially in spring and summer, outside space is just as important as inside space. Install a deck or patio with an outdoor kitchen, including built-in benches, bar, refrigerator, prep sink and other luxuries. A fire pit completes the look and makes your outdoor space perfect for night and daytime events. Work with your contractor to ensure that outdoor space includes a covered area and extra electrical outlets to give you flexibility no matter what event is taking place.

Your contractor can help you decide which lighting is best for evening entertaining. Outdoor lighting can be just as sophisticated as indoor lighting, with layered lights creating a sense of occasion. Garden lighting, lantern lighting and stairway lighting helps the space feel intimate while also enabling guests to walk around your property once the sun goes down.

Hire the Right Contractor

Start making your dream home today. Contact a custom home builder 65 years experience and a record of excellence with the homeowners of New Jersey. Contact GTG Builders LLC to discuss your plans for a home that is great for entertaining. 

Custom Home Guide [Free PDF]