Since the first caveman family invited over a few neighbors, the entertainer’s dilemma of “Why are all these people in my kitchen while I’m trying to finish up dinner?” has persisted.
It is natural for guests to want to talk to their hosts, be near the action and “help.” Rather than fight this impulse, why not give guests a place in the kitchen? That way, they can still socialize with you but also stay out of the way.
One of our most successful strategies is the double-island kitchen design. With this layout, guests have their own countertop to place their wine glass and nosh on food that is set out while being within easy conversation distance of the working island.
Using different materials for the countertop surfaces is an easy way to differentiate the two islands. Placing the work island squarely in the classic kitchen work triangle while locating the serving island outside the triangle and in the natural flow between adjacent rooms.
The serving island doubles nicely as an area to serve the kids (and all their friends) meals, have a quick lunch on the go or spread out maps, craft projects or other oversized work projects when the party’s over.