After more than a year of mostly virtual events, consumers are ready for more traditional, in-person gatherings. In fact, Americans' desire to host in their homes has risen by 25%,1 with nearly 46%2 feeling very excited to entertain guests in their homes and 44%3 planning to host a dinner party.
When hosting in the home, the kitchen is the place where consumers can do it all: prepare, cook and entertain. An average of two hours and seven minutes4 is spent here simply making food for one party. But, it's not just for cooking: the kitchen is the heart of the home5 where family and friends gather and connect. With lots of time spent in the kitchen, homeowners are looking for a versatile space that can support their hosting talents and take them to the next level.
Keep the Kitchen Open
For homeowners who love to entertain, the kitchen should be a warm and inviting space. An open floor plan6 makes entertaining easier on the host because they can still interact with guests while managing other responsibilities, like preparing drinks or meals. And, it creates a seamless transition into the dining area.
Storage is also an important part of any entertainer's kitchen, so that countertops are kept clear. According to Houzz's 2021 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study,7 94% of kitchen renovations included work on cabinets, with nearly two-thirds replacing all cabinets.
Let Smart Appliances Do the Work
Smart appliances can help homeowners juggle everything they'll need to do as they prepare to host. And, over 73%8 of homeowners already use a smartphone or tablet in the kitchen to assist with choosing a recipe, preparation, and cooking. Appliances that have these capabilities can save homeowners time and added stress. For example, while tidying up the house before guests arrive, users can monitor their party favors cooking in the WhirlpoolⓇ 4.3 cu. ft. Smart Single Wall Oven with Touchscreen from their smartphone on the YummlyⓇ app. The app helps entertainers try out new dishes on their guests with personalized recipe recommendations and step-by-step cooking videos for delicious results.
Incorporate Bar Features
Interest in ways to store and serve alcohol at home has skyrocketed. In fact, searches for home bars increased by 277%9 and wine cellars increased by 271%10 in the last year. Create a space for happy hour with:
- Bar seating at the island, which keeps guests nearby while the host puts the final touches on food.
- A beverage center11 in a central space so guests can help themselves, like the WhirlpoolⓇ 24-inch Wide Undercounter Beverage Center - 5.2 cu. ft. that stores up to 14 bottles of wine and chills drinks to the perfect temperature.
- Homeowners who enjoy a post-dinner cup of coffee or a specialty cocktail like an espresso martini will appreciate a built-in coffee maker, like the JennairⓇ NOIR 60cm Built-In Coffee System, that seamlessly integrates into any space.
With the help of the right appliances, the dreaded cleanup process can be made a lot more efficient. Incorporating easy-to-clean appliances can help homeowners clean as they go to keep the mess to a minimum and reduce the amount to do at the end of the night. Induction cooktops, like the WhirlpoolⓇ 30-Inch Induction Cooktop, are easy to clean because the cooktop itself does not get hot due to the direct heat transfer of induction technology.
At the end of the night, homeowners will need enough space to load all of the dishes and glassware used by guests. The WhirlpoolⓇ Fingerprint Resistant Dishwasher with 3rd Rack & Large Capacity, for example, has the extra space needed to fit a larger load. And, the fingerprint resistant finish will keep the kitchen looking spotless.