8 must-have home design features for guests.

It’s time to celebrate. Gathering with friends and family is slowly returning and not a moment too soon. Whether you’re hosting the holidays or a backyard birthday soiree, these are the essentials to consider when customizing a home that’s ideal for entertaining.

Functionality + Flow

One of the most important elements of a home, especially when it comes to entertaining and hosting, is the floorplan. Specifically, the layout of main living areas and flow of foot traffic throughout the home. A floorplan with good spatial flow will make all the difference in being able to connect with your guests and having ample room to spread out while not feeling closed off from the rest of the party.

For example, the floorplan of this TJH home in Medina is designed with an open-concept kitchen and large island that flows into the great room, dining area, and covered deck for seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining.


Kitchen Island + Seating

If you love to cook and bring people together over a well-crafted meal, you may also know the feeling of having too many people lingering in the kitchen while you weave around them—”oops, sorry, can I get through here?” That’s why having a large island with bar seating is one of the greatest upgrades to a kitchen. It creates a focal point that gives guests a place to gather, sit, and socialize while remaining out of the way.


Connected Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

Having versatile outdoor space is one of the best ways to get the most out of your home and perfect the choreography for entertaining. From backyards and rooftop decks to interior courtyards and covered patios with fireplaces and sitting areas, a thoughtful home plan designed with multiple outdoor spaces extends the livability of a home and offers the opportunity to entertain year-round.


“We try to make sure each home has multiple outdoor locations, not just the backyard. We add side and interior courtyards when we can with multiple uses for entertaining, working and relaxing.”

— Tommy Beadel, CEO, Thomas James Homes


Flex Space + Rec Rooms

Hosting a party for the big game? Building a fort for your son or daughter’s birthday slumber party? Some gatherings warrant their own space. A home with a rec or game room, loft, or flex space gives you space to contain the chaos and entertain beyond your formal living areas.


Convenient Powder Room

A powder room or half-bath conveniently located near the common areas of your home is essential when entertaining. Rather than having guests enter a full bathroom with your personal belongings, a half bathroom adds a sense of hospitality and feels intentionally designed for guests.

Butler’s Pantry

The Butler’s Pantry is having a moment. Built off of the kitchen, these rooms were once a staple of Victorian-era homes to store, polish, and lock away silver flatware, china, and valuable family heirlooms. Today, they have become one of the most requested additions for the extra utility and storage they offer. With space to prep and stage plates, house extra supplies, or keep used dishes until cleanup, a Butler’s Pantry is your cheat guide to keeping your kitchen organized while entertaining.

A Functional Entryway

Sometimes, the details you don’t consider can make the greatest impact on the way you live in your home. As the first thing that greets your guests, having a welcoming and functional foyer is key to a well-designed home. That’s why we seek to always utilize transitional spaces, such as the foyer, in thoughtful, intentional ways—a nook to sit and remove your shoes, a closet for hanging coats, or simply a naturally lit space that invites guests in.


First Floor Guest Suite

A designated guest suite on the first floor is a key feature to ensure a memorable stay for your family and friends. It offers guests the privacy of their own space while also making it more convenient for elderly parents or relatives who may want to avoid going up and down stairs. Additionally, with the growing trend of multigenerational households, having a first floor guest suite will increase the resale value of your home.

Ready for a home with the space and amenities to entertain with ease? From indoor/outdoor living and multi-functional rooms to chef-inspired kitchens, guest suites, and beyond—our library of architectural plans offers the opportunity to customize a home for every occasion.