The kitchen is the hub of a home: a space that can be used for entertaining guests and a place for the family to come together and enjoy each other’s company. As a result, it is important for a kitchen to achieve a balance between the social and functional aspects as well as being aesthetically pleasing.
Obviously, the idea of a multi-faceted room lends itself perfectly to larger kitchens with an open plan design. With the cooking area the focus of the room, the chef can be involved with the socialising that would usually be going on elsewhere in the house, whilst preparing food.
In this sense, the kitchen becomes an entertaining space, an ideal area for guests and hosts to enjoy each other’s company, without ever excluding the chef from the proceedings. But how can you make the kitchen a practical, as well as a social place? The key lies in the layout, storage and a great centre piece, such as an island unit.
If you are looking to create a social space in the kitchen, open plan kitchens are the ideal solution. These multi-purpose kitchens are really flexible and perfectly suit the dimensions of larger spaces.
This multi-functional space can be used as a breakfast room, media room, study, dining room and even conservatory. Due to these increased options, custom built kitchens are becoming very popular. Kitchen designers are used to helping homeowners maximise the space and functionality of a room and ensure there is a sleek and seamless feel between all parts. This means that the various functions of the kitchen such as food preparation, washing, cooking and dining can all be completed with minimal effort between areas.
When accommodating two, three or even four rooms in one, it’s important to find a good designer who will create a bespoke kitchen built around the homeowner’s individual needs.
Hidden internal drawers work well in kitchens of any size, as they provide easily-accessible storage without disturbing the overall kitchen layout. In addition, specialised cutlery, utensil and spice inserts are beneficial in larger kitchens as they help store items in an organised and accessible manner.
Appliance garages can be used in larger kitchens. These house frequently-used items such as toasters and food processors, which can then be easily accessed but left in situ behind bi-folded double or shutter doors.
When dedicated appliance garages are not an option, hydraulic appliance lifts can prove beneficial as they remove items from the worktop, making an area previously lost by an appliance have purpose again.
Essentially, in order to make the kitchen a social space, one must ensure that all the functions of a room remain intact, without making the room look overly busy. Keeping appliances hidden away allows for the room to retain an intimate, social feel. Just make sure all your frequently used items are in accessible places. There’s nothing worse than getting stressed out when you can’t find the tools you need at the moment you need them.
Centerpiece/ Social Hub
It’s always a good idea to have an area or feature that ties the room together. Breakfast bars, island units or even just a beautiful table can make the space into one that is perfect for hosting guests, throwing parties or even simply having a few friends over for dinner.
Island units are ideal for larger kitchens as they can combine effective space saving solutions and features that are specifically designed for the users of the kitchen – such as wine racks and hidden cupboards. They can also provide a secondary food preparation area, and if space permits can have an additional sink or hobs depending on needs.
These spaces naturally become hubs of activity, and are often talking points in themselves. So to truly complete an open plan, multi-functional room, some sort of centrepiece or social is ideal to bring people together, creating a point of conversation and simply making the room as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Big spaces can often mean a lot of mess, so it is important that the living space and the storage space are both considered in equal measures to ensure maximum enjoyment of the room.
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