Above: Double up on ovens so you can prepare multiple dishes at once. This layout allows the cook to continue interacting with guests. Shown at the top are two SF4390MCX compact combination microwave ovens, from £869. The bottom row has two SFP6390XE classic multifunction ovens, priced from £829, both Smeg

The festive season is upon us, and this is the time of year when we expect the most out of our kitchens. With a steady stream of friends and family coming through the door needing to be fed and watered, our appliances have to work harder than ever to ensure that the cocktail party or big Christmas lunch runs smoothly. Now is the time to get your kitchen space set up in a way that will be most convenient for you, from the positioning of your cooking appliances to entertaining extras to those handy worktop gadgets.

Above: The HR1956 G range cooker by Miele features a standard oven, microwave oven and a warming drawer, so everything you need is in one place. The oven is 85L so has plenty of room and then the pyrolytic function makes cleaning at the end of the day a breeze.

Daniele Brutto, co-founder of Hub Kitchens, says; ‘Positioning ovens and cooking appliances at waist height gives a kitchen design huge practical advantages, especially when cooking and entertaining. Your friends can easily see the food and you can keep an eye on things far easier when not in the kitchen. Hobs are where the real action occurs in any kitchen so placing them on an island is a must for people wanting to create that entertainment feel. Consider incorporating an island that contains the hob, sink and a breakfast bar as it ensures the chef is always part of the party – people love to congregate around a chef preparing and cooking.
When hosting lots of guests it helps to be prepared and have food and wine stocked up to avoid any last minute dashing to the supermarket. Save space in the fridge and freezer for all food and think about investing in a separate wine cooler for your alcohol and a boiling water tap for all other drinks – you will be amazed at how space-saving these appliances can be and how much they help to keep everything organised for those bigger events as well as day-to-day living.

Above: Open-plan kitchens are the ideal space for hosting a drinks party as everything you need is within easy reach. As the host you can prepare drinks as well as pop nibbles into the oven without having to leave your friends. Shown here is the Pronorm Proline kitchen in the statement Sherwood Oak Dark Brown and Havanna Black, around £20,000

Article by: Lucy Macdonald