By Gabrielle Olya
April 07, 2016 11:08 AM
Credit: Larsen & Talbert

When Lauren Conrad was renovating her 5-bedroom Pacific Palisades, California home, the first thing she did was make her entire kitchen white.

“I prefer kitchens to be white because I think they just look clean,” the fashion designer, 30, exclusively tells PEOPLE in the new issue (on stands Friday). “I just like the brightness. It's sort of the same reason why you want to serve food on a white platter — it serves as such a beautiful backdrop.”

Conrad replaced the woods and dark tiles in the original kitchen with light wood flooring, all-white cabinets and a white tile backsplash.

“I just whited the whole thing out immediately!” she said. “We swapped out countertops and pulls and tile. I took out [some of] the cabinets and added open shelving, but all the other cabinets we just painted. And then my one gift to myself was a new stove.”

The Celebrate author said that having a spacious kitchen was a top priority when she was house hunting with husband William Tell, 36.

“I love entertaining,” says Conrad. “When we were looking for a home, I really wanted one that felt welcoming, and I really wanted it to work for having big groups of people over.”

WATCH THIS: Lauren Conrad's Home Is Giving Us Major Kitchen Envy

Now her kitchen is the perfect gathering spot for the intimate parties she enjoys hosting.

“The thing about a kitchen is everyone always ends up there,” she says. “If you have drinks and food in the kitchen, they're not going to be anywhere else. It's kind of funny that way.”

Whether or not she's having guests over, Conrad loves spending time in her “light, bright” kitchen.

“I try and cook at home as much as I can, and I like being in here,” she says. “Growing up, some of my favorite memories are in the kitchen preparing meals with family, so I'm looking forward to doing that more here.”