Have you ever noticed that, when throwing a dinner party at your home, there are always some well-meaning guests who invade your space, completely unaware? There always seems to be a man standing in front of the refrigerator or stove? Some guests are keenly aware about this unspoken rule -- while some are not. One guest may be better at minding space than another, but men, forget it....we like to stand in front of the fridge and we are clueless about it!
When hosting, personal space is internal but also depends on the setting. When cooking, you're in a task-oriented state of mind -- you need to maneuver, do things and need more space around you. Guests on the other hand, are in a social frame of mind and therefore, need less space.
With this in mind, when designing or renovating your kitchen, balance is essential. Having a kitchen island helps in creating a flow within a kitchen and allowing guests to "stay off to the side" and away from the one doing the cooking or hosting. Understanding where you spend most of the time in the kitchen helps to keep that space open for you and your hosting "tasks". It helps to keep men away from that fridge! Spatial arrangement is key when redesigning the kitchen.
Want to throw a really great dinner party? Examine your kitchen, its exits and entrances and change what you can. Aesthetic choices can help to balance out the abnormalities of a space. Place furnishings strategically. Once this is accomplished, sit back, have a glass of wine an enjoy!