As we begin to open back up to life after the pandemic, its time to reimagine what entertaining in the home looks like. After a year of leaning hard on our porches and backyards, indoor gatherings feel especially exciting. Because food is such an important element of any party, it’s only natural to start with the kitchens. These five kitchens beckon to entertain, with open plans that spill into cozy seating areas.
This classic modern ranch by a well-known architect, the late Tony Grunsfeld, was designed as a peaceful oasis. The entrance features a custom reflection pond with basalt columns. An atrium hallway is set with marble floors and skylights. The chef’s kitchen has one-of-a-kind pendant lighting and an oversized waterfall quartzite island. A contemporary formal dining room faces a family room area, and the spaces are divided by a fumed white oak buffet table. A breakfast alcove opens to a large bluestone patio and outdoor kitchen, allowing for seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining.
This Lincoln Square home has an enormous entryway with a walk-in front closet. The front living room centers around a Calacatta gold marble fireplace and built-in shelving. French doors create a flow to an expansive front porch. The kitchen is outfitted with Miele appliances and a Pietra Grigia oversized island. Double dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers make entertaining and cleanup a breeze. A media room with a wet bar creates additional entertaining zones in the lower level. A unique finished kid’s fort waits to be discovered by smaller guests just under the stairs.
A newer construction, this home has an unobstructed south-facing view of Brands Park in Avondale. The five-bedroom residence has a plethora of windows and an open floor plan. The modern kitchen spills into the large family room, creating an easy flow for entertaining. The adjacent mud room leads to an upgraded outdoor patio and rooftop deck. Speakers have been wired through the first floor, basement, and exterior. The lower level has tall ceilings, a rec room, a wet bar, and a 172-bottle wine fridge.
This California-style villa blends indoor/outdoor living thoughtfully. The exterior is trimmed with stucco and limestone. High ceilings, oak beams, and deep moldings are some of highlights of the interior. The kitchen suite includes an immense island bordered by twin prep areas. The keeping room invites intimate gatherings, while a large dining room can accommodate larger crowds. The house is oriented around the backyard features, which include a patio, pool and pergola.
This five-bedroom Lake Forest estate is built for large gatherings. A spacious kitchen features custom cabinets and an expansive island. The dining area is lined with French doors that let the sunshine in. Outside, a 1,200-square-foot patio looks out at over 200 acres of federally-protected open lands. Custom millwork and architectural details like an Italian staircase on the third floor give this residence character.
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Stephanie Fallon writes about art, visual culture, design, motherhood, work, and sometimes wine. She has spent the last five years working in art museum education where she specialized in interpretation and public programming. When she’s not glued to her laptop she is either chasing her toddler or creating digital drawings of scenes she remembers from chasing her toddler.