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Space Transforming Island Bench Ideas for Kitchen Entertaining

ABI Interiors

Kitchen island benches function as the social heart of the home — a convenient place to cook, eat, work, or converse. As a characterful kitchen entertainment area, they open up many opportunities to help host guests, which is particularly timely as we approach the festive season. 

We explore imaginative ways you can experiment with island bench ideas to transform this accessible central hub into an entertaining talking point. 

Festive Entertaining

ABI Interiors
ABI Interiors

The festive season is almost upon us, and due to their open-plan positioning, the kitchen island bench can be repurposed from a conventional bench space to one that serves social functions. 

“I love how versatile kitchen islands are, and I think they really come into their own over the holiday season,” says Forrest McCall, co-owner of Mama Needs a Project, a woodworking and home improvement site. “It’s a whole extra surface to use, and this makes a big difference to the space.” 

Transform Your Island Bench Into a Spritz Station

ABI Interiors
ABI Interiors

Alternatively, kitchen island benches can be easily converted into a bar for preparing and serving drinks after meals have been consumed. It’s all about streamlining the party process and reducing unnecessary complications, as Forrest conveys:

“Setting up a spritz station or cocktail bar works really well. Having drinks kept separate from food is helpful and leads to fewer queues,” he continues. “Additionally, having beverages all in one place means guests don’t have to search in different locations to get a drink.”

Forrest advises keeping a close eye to ensure everything stays stocked during social gatherings. He says preparation is key. “While cocktails are entertaining, they can be a little complicated, so anything that can be premixed should be. You want to keep things fun and simple.”

Dessert Station Entertaining

ABI Interiors
ABI Interiors

Another option to consider when entertaining is using your kitchen island bench as a dessert station that ensures easy access to satisfy guests’ needs. 

“One couple I worked with set up a smores station for their guests, and this proved really popular,” says Forrest. “People enjoy interactive options, which gives them an element of choice. It’s great being able to customise your plate according to your culinary tastes.”  

As Forrest says, consideration is key when entertaining guests, which is where the kitchen island bench can accommodate. 


“If you have guests who have special dietary requirements, then you could use your island for their specific dishes. This shows courtesy and consideration and avoids any confusion,” he says. 

“I’ve been to parties where the gluten-free guests weren’t sure what they could eat or where the vegetarian options were all eaten by others before the vegetarians had a chance. Having a designated space for this food makes things much easier.” 

Repurpose Your Kitchen Accessories

ABI Interiors
ABI Interiors

Sometimes, it’s merely a matter of repurposing some of your existing kitchen accessories to entertain in style. ⁠Due to its design, our stylish Penelope Kitchen Sink Drainer, for example, can be rolled over your sink or benchtop and used as a convenient cocktail-serving surface. The fixture is firmly held into place due to self-gripping rubbers, while any spillages can be drained directly into your kitchen sink. 

When pre-filled with ice, the kitchen sink can also double up as a resourceful place to keep your food and drinks cold; however, we also have Kitchen Troughs that cater for this requirement specifically. As part of our complete ‘Entertainer Series’, these products can be easily inserted into your top-mounted or under-mounted sink and are available in four distinctive finishes to match your ABI Interiors sink: brushed brass, brushed copper, brushed gunmetal, and stainless steel.  

The main focus for any social event should be providing a positive experience for your guests while making life as easy as possible for you to enjoy the party, too.

Assistance with Your Kitchen Entertaining Area

ABI Interiors

If you would like to learn more about how some of our comprehensive kitchen accessories could satisfy your social entertaining requirements, visit our showroom and speak with one of our friendly showroom staff. 

For more advice in this space, check out:

8 of the Best Kitchen Hacks from House of Harvee

Kitchen Trends To Organise Your Space

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