9 Kitchen Island Ideas to Make Your Next Party Perfect
The kitchen is the heart of the home and, these days, it’s usually the heart of the party as well. As more homes are built with an open concept kitchen and living space, the kitchen island has become a bridge, a serving station, and a gathering place. Read on for nine ways to put your island to work for your next shindig.
First, some ground rules for setting up, courtesy of Kitchn:
1. Control the flow. Give your guests deliberate start and end points for loading up on food and drinks.
2. While we’re on the topic of drinks, place your bar or drink setup strategically away from the food. If the main spread of food is on the kitchen island, you can utilize another countertop or table to house your drinks.
3. Plates first. Cutlery last.
4. Put out multiple stacks of extras. Preferably out of the way of the culinary masterpieces on display.
5. Put your most plentiful (or cost-effective) offerings at the front of the buffet, to ensure they last to the last person through the line. With that out of the way, let’s have some island fun!
Get in the game with themes!
Photo credit: Half Pint Party Design
Photo credit: Pillsbury
Circus birthdays, football watch parties, movie night, all the winter holidays… the list of available themes is limited only by your imagination. Let your theme inform your food and drink choices and enhance the island with themed decor. Overwhelmed by the thought of an all-encompassing theme? Remember that simple elegance (with a single color for your decor) can also be a theme.
Enhance a theme with non-food elements
Photo credit: Pinterest
Flowers and other greenery interspersed with the food items on your island create a fresh, elegant look. Play with color, seasonality, and texture to create a truly spectacular spread. And speaking of texture...
Play with coverings
Photo credit: Apartment Life
While their primary purpose is protection, table coverings can be worked into the design and enhance the overall experience of the buffet. Try covering the island in butcher paper and use markers to guide your guests. This whimsical application serves a dual purpose of creating visual interest and steering party-goers through the line. Plus, waffles! Or nachos, low country boil, or cupcakes. The variations are endless.
Maximize space with varied heights
Photo credit: Instagram
Islands come in many shapes and sizes, but don’t let that ruin your menu planning. Opt for tiered or pedestal servers and feel free to use other household items to create height and additional space for placing your delectable offerings.
Look on the upside
Photo credit: Life with Fingerprints
Add some fun and flair to your buffet by using the space above your island for decoration. This not only looks great, it acts a flashing neon sign to guests that “THE FOOD IS HERE.”
Experiment with interesting containers
Photo credit: Randi Garrett Design
Photo credit: Pinterest
Since we eat with our eyes first, serving food in interesting or unusual ways creates a sense of excitement and wonder for your guests. Work with your theme, let your creativity guide you, and create playful, inviting nibbles that everyone will line up for.
Save time (and sanity) with store-bought mix-ins
Photo credit: Pinterest
Regardless of what Pinterest and Instagram would have you believe, not everything you serve has to be made from scratch. Increase your efficiency and take some pressure off yourself by picking a few signature items to cook from the heart — leaving the professionals to handle the rest.
Let people know what they’re eating & drinking
Photo credit: Ruffled
Labeling food and drink, especially on an island full of gastronomic delights, is very important. Guests with food allergies, dietary restrictions, or picky children will appreciate the relevant information about what you’re serving, and — with all your offerings labeled — your guests will know exactly how to refer to your famous Potatoes Lyonnaise when they beg you for the recipe.
When all else fails, think charcuterie board
Photo credit: The Feed
Cheese, like Tom Hanks, is almost universally adored. For a truly winning addition to your party, visit your local cheesemonger (or grocery store) and pick a selection of cheeses, meats, and accoutrements that will let your guests dig into their favorites or adventure toward something new. Need some guidance? Start here and don’t forget your labels.
Now that your island parties are perfect, have you noticed other areas of your kitchen that need a boost? Check out these cost-effective kitchen upgrade ideas from HomeAdvisor.
Now that you’re ready to party, what time should we come over?
Did you know Synchrony HOME Credit Cardholders get 2% cash back paid as a statement credit on purchases made under $2991 and 6-month promotional financing on purchases over $299?2 Not a cardholder yet?* Learn more now! Already a Synchrony HOME™ cardholder? Log in to learn about additional offers available right now!
We include links to another website in this article for your convenience. We do not endorse any content on these sites.
All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.
This content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual business, financial, legal, tax and/or other advisors with respect to any information presented. Synchrony and any of its affiliates (collectively, “Synchrony”) make no representations or warranties regarding this content and accept no liability for any loss or harm arising from the use of the information provided. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.
© 2019 Synchrony Bank.
*Subject to credit approval.
1Net card purchases (purchases minus returns and adjustments) less than $299 made with the Synchrony HOME Credit Card will earn 2% cash back rewards paid as a statement credit. Statement credits will be issued within 1-2 billing cycles after qualifying purchase is made. Fees and interest charges do not qualify for rewards. Account must remain open, in good standing, and not become delinquent. Subject to credit approval. We reserve the right to discontinue or alter the terms of this offer at any time.
2Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. Promotional financing offers available at the time of purchase may vary by location. See store for details.