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Do people really "entertain" that often?


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I'm sitting in a hotel room in Idaho right now, killing time by watching back-to-back episodes of House Hunters on HGTV.

 

One thing that jumps out at me is how often the potential buyers mention, "This would be a great kitchen for entertaining, " or, "I need to have an open floorplan for when I entertain," or, "This deck would be great for entertaining," or some similar sentiment.

 

Honestly, when buying a house, considerations for "entertaining" never really crosses my mind as something THAT important in housing features.

 

Do people really put "entertaining features" that high on their needs list?

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Does that include "entertaining" the neighborhood kids?  extra foster kids? my friend who stops over after dropping her daughter off at school and I hand her a bowl of microwaved oatmeal?  Families who stop to ride our horses and come inside for potty and cookies?  IF SO, then we entertain.

 

If by entertain, they mean host a dinner party with fancy food, people dressed up, adult type people, etc. then no, we don't entertain much.

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We have family over every few months and we would more often if we had a better space for it. I'd like to have friends over more too, but between our small eat-in kitchen and size of our current house, it doesn't work very well. I would love a big open kitchen with a family room and formal dining room someday.

 

Edited to add: We went to a holiday cocktail party that some friends hosted, complete with bartender and fancy cocktails, and it was so much fun. I'd love to do that if we had the space eventually.

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Some people. A younger family member just bought her first home. Having a space good for entertaining was important - my mother was concerned that the home she chose was not good enough for entertaining, actually. And knowing her, I think it made a lot of sense.

 

But on the other hand, everything people say on HGTV is nonsense. Actually, most things most realtors say is just total crazy stuff. Though it's now years later, dh and I sometimes laugh about the things our realtor said to us when we were looking at homes - places to put dumb stuff like skylights or decks or just absurd ideas of how much things would cost or bizarre uses for spaces. I feel like coming up with something that sounds appealing yet something no one would ever do in a million years with a tiny closet must be part of getting your realty license.

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For much of the last 9 years, we have hosted different life groups from the churches we have attended.  One group meant having seating for dinner for 14 adults, another meant regularly having 15 adults and 15 kids (including our family).  These groups typically have met every other week for the school year, and less frequently in the summer.  Or we've done BBQs for 30+ people in the summer in the back yard.  We didn't look for a home for the purpose of entertaining, it just so happens that the open floor plan and large backyard we wanted for our family has suited hosting various groups of people.

 

 

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Yep.  We love to have people over.  At this stage of our lives, we're mostly throwing kid parties, but we love having large groups for any reason.  Our current set up is a bit on the small side for this.  We are actually in the process of house hunting, and space to entertain is on the list.  

 

I was seriously ill for several years.  Okay, almost a decade.  :)  Coming out of that enough to feel ready to have friends and family over again is reason to celebrate!

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We did not select our house for "entertaining features" - but yes, we entertain fairly often. Even though we have one of the smaller houses in our circle of friends, we have the most parties.

When the kids were little, it was a lot more convenient for me to offer to host a function than to try to find a sitter so I could go somewhere. The most we ever entertained was the semesters when my DH chaired the colloquium series and we had our entire department at our house for a reception twice a month. We throw a big summer bbq (40 guests) and a not-quite-so-big New Years even party (20+) and host several dinner parties (6-8 people) and smaller receptions (20 people)) during the year.

Our house is  a regular house with no special "entertaining" features. Fun people and good food make a good party, despite the lack of a deck or fancy kitchen. People rarely venture into the living room (we have an open floor plan)- they all squeeze into the kitchen and lean against the counters - that's where the food is.

 

 

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We sometimes do. Having guests over falls by the wayside when we have toddlers, but as our children got older, we started entertaining more often again. Now that we have another baby, we haven't hosted anyone in a while, I'm simply too tired. But at some point I do think we'll start doing it more often, yes. Our house isn't exactly ideal for it, lol, and it wouldn't be a key factor for me when looking at a house to purchase; for my perspective, having friends over is more about having fun and being good company than having a nice space. Both would be great, but no one cares much if your space is a bit full or your bathroom is on the other side of the house if they're otherwise having a great time.

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My paternal aunts do entertain that often so their floor plans and furniture reflect that. Some of my aunts home have two kitchens and enough spare stackable chairs to sit more than 30 guest.

 

My parents don't like to entertain at home so they would host a gathering somewhere else and pay for the location.

 

We did pick this condo among other affordable to us condo when buying as it has a nice pool area for entertaining. Our first condo has a bigger area by the pools for entertaining which we needed to host hubby's extended family a few times a year.

 

Another factor is that my side of the family needs quiet areas in family gatherings for introverts to "retreat" to as needed. So having a noisy area for entertaining relatively far from the designated quiet area is a good to have.

 

Babies in the extended family just get passed from one person to another. All my nephews and nieces are good at holding even newborns. Besides my aunts kept baby cradles for guests.

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I'm sitting in a hotel room in Idaho right now, killing time by watching back-to-back episodes of House Hunters on HGTV.

 

One thing that jumps out at me is how often the potential buyers mention, "This would be a great kitchen for entertaining, " or, "I need to have an open floorplan for when I entertain," or, "This deck would be great for entertaining," or some similar sentiment.

 

Honestly, when buying a house, considerations for "entertaining" never really crosses my mind as something THAT important in housing features.

 

Do people really put "entertaining features" that high on their needs list?

 

I never used to think of it as "entertaining," which sounds so grand, lol, and I don't do it "often," but we do it more frequently now that we have a larger home. We used to live in smaller homes where one other family plus their two or three children pretty much filled up the eat-in kitchen, and we never did any sort of pot luck or cook-out with lots of children and adults running in and out of the house.

 

Now we have a ginormous (to us) home, and we've had many cook-outs and potlucks, as well as Christmas dinner for eight, or a Valentine's Day dinner for eight (my dining room table--yay that I have an actual dining room in addition to the breakfast nook!--seats just eight). I've had several Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners with other orphans like us :-) where we had to set up an additional, smaller table for the children, and a few teas. At the moment, I'm still recovering from [insert long stupid story about people not coming after they said they were...told it here before, need to get over it], but I think I'm ready to "entertain" again.

 

One thing I like about my house is the open floor plan. It's great for milling around (not so much for a large group of people to sit together for something like a Bible study). I don't need people to be able to sit in the kitchen with me and watch me cook, or help in any way (why would I want people to do that???? when people arrive at my house for any sort of meal, all of my prep work is finished and I have cleaned the kitchen), but there is a good traffic flow for potlucks and cook-outs and stuff.

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I wish we had put it higher on our list! I love entertaining and having people over. We invite a family or couple for dinner usually a couple of times a month and sometimes we try to do it weekly. I would love to be able to host larger church events and such in my home, but isn't big enough for more than 15 people or so (it's 1,200 sq ft). The only reason I would want a larger home is so I could entertain more.

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We don't have much space, but we do entertain groups of friends, extended family, or host our church small group often. Maybe averages out to every other month. We entertain in our small living room that is open to our small eat in kitchen. Weather permitting, there is overflow visiting into our yard to help with space. 10-15 guests is tight for entertaining, but comfortable enough to not feel like sardines in a can. I don't understand having a large furnished room only used for occassional entertaining.

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(Most) people who think they need a special house in order to entertain don't.

The (main) people who entertain are the ones who are able and willing to entertain anywhere. 

 

My mom just about died one time when she was having friends over for dinner. They were all seated at a large folding table in the (small) back yard eating dinner and her friend told her as an aside, "I'd entertain if my house was ever nice enough. This is so pleasant." Three of our family's houses could have fit inside of hers. 

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We have people over fairly often. We also do 95% of the family birthday parties here at our house - in the house if the weather doesn't allow for an outdoor party, outside (grilling) if weather allows. Beyond the birthday parties, we do (fairly frequently) have neighbors and/or friends over for dinner.

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We host people every couple weeks or so, mostly friends or family for casual dinners. And I never really knew the value of an open floor plan (with kids, for entertaining, or just plain living!) until we rented a house that had a very definitely closed floor plan.

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We don't entertain much--introverts with a severely disabled kid, no family nearby. We used to have a small group of friends and we would host occasionally but as folks have moved or become more involved with their kids' activities, this just doesn't happen much anymore. If we ever do host, we like summer entertaining when we can send kids outside. Otherwise our house is just too small with no good place to send the kids (like a basement or playroom). But we don't need a bigger house--we still wouldn't entertain much.

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I did entertain a lot, when I had a house that was well set up for it.  Now, not so much. 

 

We'd have "small groups" from church that could be 40 people.  Thanksgiving dinner with friends meant 30 people.  Even just having  a few friends over was nice because we had space for kids and adults, but the setup was such that everyone could be within eyesight, so kids could play in one area, adults could talk in another, but we could keep an eye on the kids.

 

I miss it so much.

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Yes, we "entertain" quite a bit :) I usually just think of it as having people/ family over for dinner or grill out. We love to have all types of people over. Ones with kids,without,young, old, whatever. It's just nice to fellowship.

I have had over 40 people at my house for dinner before ! Let's just say we set up tables in the backyard!

 

I want to add, you do not have to have the perfect entertaining house to have people over. I live in an oddly shaped older home, with a dated kitchen, dated bathroom, and a little over 1000 square feet. I laugh when those shows say that a certain rooms a "gut job" ! Lol. I'm like...I would love that room!

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I was thinking more about this. For the standards of the houses here (aka, all the other rowhouses) ours is decent for entertaining - the dining room is big and there's even a side window and lots of space. But it's not an entertaining home. I can imagine that when the kids are all grown up I might want to have a bigger, entertaining type home because as a grandparent you want your house to be the center of things if possible - you want people to want to come there. So while it was far from on my list back when I was house shopping for this place more than a decade ago, it's something I would consider for one day down the road, I guess.

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We usually have friends over every couple of weeks. Casual dinners, for the most part, of up to 10 adults. Most of it is without kids nowadays, as everyone's kids are teenagers and off doing their own things (sometimes with our kids, sometimes not). We could easily host 40-50 at our old house, which we did a few times a year. Now, it's more like 20-25, as this house is not set up as well (yet they are within about 50 sq feet of each other in size, but that's not a regular thing.

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I'm sitting in a hotel room in Idaho right now, killing time by watching back-to-back episodes of House Hunters on HGTV.

 

One thing that jumps out at me is how often the potential buyers mention, "This would be a great kitchen for entertaining, " or, "I need to have an open floorplan for when I entertain," or, "This deck would be great for entertaining," or some similar sentiment.

 

Honestly, when buying a house, considerations for "entertaining" never really crosses my mind as something THAT important in housing features.

 

Do people really put "entertaining features" that high on their needs list?

Our current house is not big enough for entertaining, nor is the outside space good for entertaining- anything more than 1 family.

 

It is the number one reason why I hate this house, and want to move.

 

When we buy our next house, having enough room, and a good layout for entertaining will be the #1 must have item on my list.

 

I host book club, and I have random families over at least once a month-but if I had more/better space, I would entertain AT LEAST every week.

 

I'm an extreme extrovert and I love having a full house, and "breaking bread" and hanging out with people- but only when I have the space to do so.

 

I can't wait to host Sunday dinners, weekly play dates, moms night outs, holiday gatherings, summer bbq's, etc. at my house.

 

Like, the fact that I can't is seriously detracting from the life that I want/have always wanted.

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Kinsa, this is totally off topic, but you are in my state and I am in yours. :) Where in Idaho are you?

I tried several times to send you a PM, but it won't go through for some reason. Can you send me a PM,and I'll respond to it?

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I have a tiny ranch, so we very rarely entertain, but...not being able to entertain is definitely one of my regrets about the house. 

Us too -- our house is too small to really have a lot of people over and it's just no fun when the holidays come around and I can never host gatherings. I kind of feel like a leech for never taking on Thanksgiving, but if I had Thanksgiving for my whole family at my house, some people would have to stand on the lawn.

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When we were looking for a house, I wanted an open floor plan so I could "entertain" though I'd say "have people over". Once a month, I invite women friends to dinner. DH and I try to have other people over several times a month. After living in a home where I spent much of my time closed off in the kitchen when we had friends over, it was important to me that I could enjoy my company while finishing tasks in the kitchen.

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I have had 4 generations on both sides (the WWII generation is all gone as of this year) within an hour drive of my house. I've been married for 22 years.  My usual family get togethers on my side involve 25-30 people. My husband's side peaked a few years ago at 16.

 

YES! entertaining was very high up on the list when I bought my house.  My dining room (with 3 walls) to the left of my entry way seats 10 people at my formal dining table (the only place we eat in my house.)   The school room (with 3 walls) is open to to the right of the entry way and can seat 16 people if I move my desk/office chair and loveseat out and put in 2 six foot long dining tables with 8 chairs each around them.  I do this a couple times of year and other times of year I have outdoor entertaining space if the weather cooperates. I have matching place settings for 30 people.

 

Also, several times a year I invite new homeschoolers over for lunch, host a meal for people from church and invite new neighbors over for dinner.

 

My priorities in addition to family space in my house in order:

 

husband's office (he's worked from home for 19 years now)

homeschooling space

indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces for a couple dozen people at one time

 

My personal experience is that most Americans I know aren't people who entertain much. I think it's a cultural thing.

 

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The word "entertaining" always makes me think, I am putting on a show for people, dancing, singing... :lol:

 

Well, we do have friends over for game nights now and then, perhaps 2 x a month since we rotate. But I would not buy a home solely with an eye to that. I am sure my friends don't care when they sit around the table for a game if my home has "entertainment" features or not.

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Well, my parents used to entertain all the time.  Some families regularly becoming landing pads for major holidays and family get togethers.  We entertained a bunch pre-kids and when my kids were small.  I feel like homeschooling does not lend itself well to entertaining, but we are having a few people to grill on the 4th for instance, so we do entertain on occasion.  We invite homeschoolers over quite a bit now too.

 

I hope to be able to do more entertaining as my kids get older.

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I never had people over when I lived in Florida. When I moved go South Carolina, we hooked up with a good amount of homeschool friends. I typically host 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and New Years. I also will do a couple birthday parties each year. I don't have a huge open floor plan, but we have space for kids to go separate and do there own thing. We also have a good sized yard for the kids to play. If I leave this house, I will want s one level house with a large open area to host these gatherings in the future.

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I entertained last night and tonight. This means friends were over and I cooked dinner. Sound impressive? The truth is last night I had classes and a rehearsal in my dance room (an empty family room with mirrors). One friend stayed for a late dinner after. Because my dining room was disassembled from painting, we ate in the kitchen. Tonight, another rehearsal and two different friends. They were served last nights grilled kielbasa repurposed as a roadted peppers-onions-sausage dish. I cracked open a can of sour kraut for them. Since my kitchen table was buried from my costco run, they at on the floor, in the dance room, on a Korean floor table. Yep. I need room for fancy fancy entertaining and bonus tables for crap.

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We have people over a lot. I think. Sometimes more than once a week. It exhausts me, I do it for my teens. I am glad to have a big kitchen and living area. Everyone always comments on how big and open it is. They don't say how nice it is because you know, it is mid remodel. Yet they keep coming. Maybe it is the pool. Or the chili. Or my cute teen boys. I don't know. But it's fun. Even though it exhausts me.

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I have friends who are either childless or kids older (teen or adult) who have dinner parties every weekend. Heck, before we had kids, DH and I were part of a group with 2 other couples and we made dinner together every weekend. And We regularly (a few times a year) had larger parties. Nothing formal, but an open floor plan was critical to everybody circulating.

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We've nicknamed our house Grand Central Station.  There are people in and out of here constantly.  When we built, we definitely had entertaining in mind, but I still wish we'd gone a little bigger in some areas.  (our living room is too small, and I often wish we had a guest bedroom instead of having to shuffle kids when we have guests)

 

We regularly have extra teens eating/sleeping here.  We have relatives that drop in often.  We host out of town/country friends frequently.  We often have big dinners for family/friends on holidays or just because.  

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We have friends over for dinner maybe a couple times a month. The last house was much bigger and we had larger parties a couple times a year. It's difficult to fit more than one extra family in this house for any length of time, so our larger gatherings here are limited to nice weather, when we can have a backyard fire.

 

While I kind of miss having the parties, I don't miss cleaning the extra space or the extra stuff and am happy to stick with smaller homes.

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