May. 9 2024

The More, The Merrier: How to Upgrade Your Home for Better Entertaining

by Haley Carroll

“Time spent with friends is never wasted.” However, the time you spend with your friends can feel a whole lot better in a space that’s conducive to gathering.

Many Seattle homes are bountiful in charm but lacking in square footage. Inviting even a few friends over to space with a narrow floorplan can quickly create a stifling situation.

However, here’s an entertaining secret: it’s about scale more than size. A large room can swallow people up or be impaired by a dysfunctional layout, and a small room can still feel breathable with careful arrangement.

With the right features, you can make any size home a place where people can feel close and connected, but never cramped.

Add amenities where you can

Guest bedroom with modern bohemian natural decor

If you’re up for a serious renovation of your home that will completely uplevel your guests’ experience and increase the value of your home tremendously, consider these options.

A guest bedroom

A spare bedroom for guests will give them a dedicated place to stow their belongings, keeping the common areas of the home clutter-free. They’ll be spared the discomfort of nights spent on a sofa bed or air mattress (which always finds a way to deflate by the morning), and you won’t have to worry about setting up and breaking down their makeshift sleeping quarters every night.

Your guests will thank you for the privacy, and you’ll thank yourself later when you decide to sell your home – you’ll likely recoup much of the cost of the renovation in the higher selling price.

Pro Tip

Limited floorspace for a guest bedroom, or you want the space to double as a study? Custom built-in cabinets with a murphy bed that folds down is an attractive way to make your guest room more dynamic.


See also: How to decide if dormers are right for your home)

A guest bathroom or powder room

No one enjoys waiting in line to shower or use the restroom, and with extra people in your home, those lines can get longer and longer. Adding a full or even a half bath can reduce the amount of time people spend waiting to get ready in the morning or at night, leaving everyone more precious time to spend with one another.

Like adding a guest bedroom, this is a smart investment to increase the value of your home.

A finished basement

Untapped potential abounds in unfinished basements. This is a great place to add a home gym or an overflow entertainment area. That way, your guests can mingle upstairs without having to maneuver around the Peloton or your kids’ elaborate gaming setup.

Give your entryway a makeover

Mud room with painted custom built in wall cabinets and bench painted green with patterned tile

If you can’t add rooms to your home via an addition, dormer, finished basement, or reimagined floorplan, there are still many modifications that can have a major impact.

Pro Tip

The recipe to a great mud room? Built in floor to ceiling cabinets with a bench, tile flooring, and a sink – so kids and pets alike can wash their muddy paws after playing outside.


Ramp up with a great walkway

Start by thinking about how you prefer your guests to enter your home: is it through the front door, or is a side entrance more convenient? Whichever path leads guests to the best spot to take off their shoes and drop their bags, lead them there.

Make sure the path to that entrance is well-marked, accessible, and well-lit for latecomers. Keeping up with the brick, stone, or cement path and adding a few landscaping touches and lighting elements will go a long way in leading guests to your home.

Make your foyer functional

It’s not ideal to have guests step through the front door into a pile of shoes and coats. Adding storage for these items is key to keeping the foyer clear and clean.

To further jazz up the area, investigate adding a rug, decorative lighting, or artwork: this will help set the vibe for guests right as they arrive.

Design a kitchen fit for a crowd

Bright modern spacious kitchen with large island seating

Two words: Open concept. That’s the key to designing a kitchen that can handle many cooks (or testers, or curious onlookers!) With an open concept design, people will be move freely about the area.

A large island with the option for seating around it is also a critical component. Kitchens are a natural gathering place for people to sit and chat, and the island’s seating can then be moved away to handle a large buffet. If you have the space, you may even want to consider two islands – one for food prep, and another for hanging out.

Smart storage will make a world of difference. Upgrade your pantry if possible, so you can keep every guest’s favorite snacks on supply. Make sure the storage in your kitchen is truly utilizing the space it has; adding drawers can often help with this.

See also: Ditch The Messy Kitchen Pantry with These 5 Steps to Pantry Envy!

Make the most of your living room

Comfortable living room with ample seating

If your guests are known to enjoy an adult beverage or two, adding a bar cart in your living room can prevent you and your guests from running back and forth to the kitchen to mix up new drinks. Plus, the cart can double as a chic piece of décor.

Multifunctional pieces of furniture are a wise investment. An ottoman that doubles as storage can provide extra seating, tables that can be extended with leaves can be a daily space saver, and there are plenty of other crazy-inventive options on the market these days.

Create a space to get some air

If you have a yard, make it a place that people want to take advantage of on sunny days! Comfy, durable outdoor seating around a fire pit with side tables for drinks is one option, but build a space that feels right for you.

Set the mood with finishing touches

Living room with unique personal art

There are a few details you can pay attention to that can make your hosting go from good to fabulous.

Highly unique or personal art acts as a great conversation starter, and it can help your guests get to know the true you better.

Opting for surfaces and fabrics that are easy to clean and stain-proof will save you and your guests a lot of stress and heartache, since accidents do happen.

Varied lighting options will help you set the tone just right: bright, natural light when you’re gathering during the day, and installed lighting that can provide multiple scenarios: bright light for when your kids are working on their group projects after school, and low, ambient lighting for when you’re serving dinner and drinks to your friends.

Remember: No matter what, your guests will be grateful you’re opening your home to them! Don’t sweat it if everything isn’t perfect; you never said you lived at the Ritz Carlton.

We'll make you the host with the most

If you want a little (or a lot) of help turning your Seattle home into the dream entertainment space, Innovative Home Renovations is here to help. We specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, and total home transformations; no dream is too big for us! We’ll design and build a space you (and your guests) will love for years to come. Contact a project manager to get started!

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