Is Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining?

For decades, Americans entertained guests in a designated “living room,” which was more formal in look and feel, while families did their everyday relaxing in the more casual “family room.” As lifestyles became more casual and family activities grew, traditional living rooms and dining rooms fell by the wayside and larger open living spaces became the norm.

At the same time, kitchens expanded from utilitarian areas used solely for cooking to spaces that include seating for the family’s daily dining. The popularity of open floor plans also mean a kitchen area is clearly visible from and accessible to the main living space.

When renovating your home, interior designers suggest creating a uniform look and light level for the spaces that flow together so that guests sitting on the sofa in the warmly-lit living room will not be distracted by the bluish-white light of an overhead fluorescent ceiling panel in the adjacent kitchen.

Is Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining? - LightsOnline Blog

Replacing fluorescent panels with a single linear fixture or several pendants over the kitchen island is an affordable solution that provides functional light in an attractive way. If you already have a large island fixture that looks dated, swapping it out for a more modern style or a pair of lanterns will instantly update the overall feel without the expense of buying new appliances or cabinets. (Click here to read more about getting the right size pendants for your island.)

Is Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining? - LightsOnline Blog

Holiday entertaining often consists of a buffet or family-style dining in the kitchen with a self-serve bar area. Guests are encouraged to help themselves to food and drink, take a seat around the island or at the kitchen table, and chat. With the living room so close to the open kitchen, additional guests can easily hold a conversation between those two areas without feeling separated.

Is Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining? - LightsOnline Blog

Adding layers to your kitchen lighting also allows you to create ambiance. First and foremost, put your overhead lighting on a dimmer. This enables you to lower the light level for a cozy atmosphere when guests and family are eating and then adjust up to full brightness when it’s time to clean up.

Is Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining? - LightsOnline Blog

Accent lighting, such as using tape light inside glass-fronted cabinets, underneath countertop edges, beneath base cabinets, or as soffit lighting and undercabinet lighting, is a simple solution that is easy on the wallet. Accent layers allow you to dim the overhead lights and let the glow of the accent lighting provide a candlelit restaurant vibe.

With just a few updates to your lighting, you’ll see why the kitchen has become the most versatile and popular gathering spot in the home for guests and family. has every type of lighting you need to transform an ordinary kitchen into a vibrant entertainment space.

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