Home for the Holidays: Design Tips for “Stay-At-Home” Entertaining

The holidays are here! …And while our kitchens may not be buzzing with friends and extended family this year, delicious meals and video gatherings can still be celebrated in the heart of our homes. This month, we’re sharing some of the custom features we design for our homeowners’ individual lifestyles – throughout the holidays, and every season.

The Pantry

The best way to start any holiday – no matter the year – is a well-stocked pantry. Project Manager Jim Coyle is designing a highly organized pantry for a busy family. “A pantry with pull-out shelves and spice racks will be the perfect place to store baking supplies,” he says.

Pantry inspiration for a renovation to an historic Craftsman home

Another way to stay organized? Consider a stylish screen or glass door to speed your inventory, like this door chosen for our LEED Gold residence in Studio City.

Pantry in a new LEED Gold Sustainable home, located in Studio City, California

The Island (or Not)

“While there are typically formal meals during the holidays, the more casual ones can be just as important for family togetherness — especially this year,” says Senior Project Manager Ari Engelman. The extra-large island designed within a classical Beverly Hills home allows ample room for meals right in the kitchen; with plenty of space for prep, serving and enjoying.

Senior Project Manager Korey Kromm, in collaboration with interior designer Kristen Panitch, devised a unique option for a Santa Monica cottage: “This workbench is separate from the island and breakfast table; and acts as a place to prep food, wrap presents or setup a buffet,” Korey notes.

And for bakers, a kitchen table (or low counter) in place of an island works wonders for rolling pastry. This Spanish Colonial renovation and addition is all set for creating those holiday pies!

The Food & Libations

If you plan to make a turkey with stuffing or a large roast, waist-high ovens, such as this one within an extensive Pacific Palisades renovation, reduce the heavy lifting. “Wall ovens, when paired with a range, also provide the extra cooking space needed to prepare a holiday meal for family,” shares Senior Project Manager Kelly Becker.

Home Bars — like this one designed for our Urban Farmhouse in collaboration with interior designer Kishani Perera — welcome innovative, fun and often colorful designs. This year especially, we all can use some festive holiday spirits.

And since it’s 2020… Pizza!

In the words of Project Manager Katie Peterson, “Because this holiday season is a little different this year, perhaps pizza should be on the dinner menu!”. Katie was part of the design team for an historic Santa Monica Craftsman home, now complete with a custom pizza oven.

Outdoor Kitchens

In addition to being a safer way to gather this holiday season, outdoor kitchens take advantage of our Southern California climate. The outdoor space at this Spanish Colonial Revival home was reimagined by our team for year-round entertaining.

And when it’s all over…

What could be better than two dishwashers?

As 2020 comes to a close, we all wish you a delicious, healthy and happy holiday season.