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14 Things in This Open Kitchen-Dining Makeover That Just Make Sense for Entertaining

published Aug 18, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg

After nine long months of renovations, Kirsten and her husband couldn’t wait to get started turning their open-concept kitchen/dining area into the entertaining epicenter they’d been dreaming of.

“The kitchen and dining area felt like it could be the heart of the home and the center of fun when friends came over,” Kirsten says. “The new open plan felt warm and welcoming — a perfect place for guests to relax.” That is, once they filled it with the right furniture and accessories.

Kirsten shopped decor from The Home Depot to find affordable, quality furnishings that suited both her style and her budget. With options for every room of the house, she was able to create the relaxed, modern atmosphere she wanted with their online-only furniture and decor in one fell swoop. Here are some key ways she pulled it all together.

Accessorize Your Countertop

In an open kitchen, form and function go hand in hand. Kirsten put a little extra thought (and a little extra style) into everything that would live on the counter. An onyx stand mixer takes center stage, complemented by a black iron fruit bowl and an elegant oyster white Dutch oven. Elevated oil and vinegar dispensers echo the silver hardware throughout, while wood accents throughout add warmth. Whatever she’s making for her next dinner party, the process will look just as good as the finished result.

Create a Dynamic Dining Area

To give her guests the best seats in the house, Kirsten opted for a large dining table with clean lines. She mixed bench seating with slim, modernist black chairs: The contrasting shapes and colors add visual interest and an eclectic vibe. “This furniture gives us enough room for a fabulous dinner party, is such high quality, and is really comfy to sit on,” Kirsten says. A cozy sheepskin rug does double duty as a seat cushion, and a dramatic candelabra makes a show-stopping centerpiece.

Stay Ready for Happy Hour

“A bar cart makes you the ultimate host,” Kirsten says, and we couldn’t agree more. This stunning steel-and-glass cart has a modern finish and an unobtrusive footprint. (Plus, wheels!) Kirsten turned an earthy marble crock into a wine chiller, and stocked plenty of elegant tumblers and wine glasses at the ready. A hammered metal bar set looks fit for a fancy cocktail bar while ensuring that she can whip up any drink her guests request.