The Well-Organized Kitchen
If you're a cook who enjoys an audience, all the kitchen's a stage. Create an illusion of effortlessness that belies a tightly organized support system.
Set a mood. Clear vases of fresh herbs or beautiful bowls of picture-perfect produce will whet guests' appetites. Install a dimmer to bring down the lighting, and if you entertain regularly, consider built-in speakers to keep the music flowing through the kitchen.
Use glass cupboard doors for display. Use glass-front cabinets to showcase what you love most, whether it's your best china, an antique-pitcher collection, or even canisters filled with pastas in different shapes and colors.
Keep party gear handy. Create a place for platters and trays―with tray dividers to maintain order―so you don't have to hunt for them. Give candles, place mats, and other table toppers a dedicated drawer. Use an index-card box to store recipes, past menus, friends' food preferences, or wine labels. (Soak a bottle to remove the label, let it dry, paste it onto an index card, and jot down tasting notes.)