Whether returning from a busy day at work or catching up with friends, thanks to the lure of a hot cup of tea, the kitchen is often our first port of call. And once you’ve got that warming mug in your hands, it can be hard to tear yourself away from your cosy setting. Kitchens are more than just places to cook. They often provide a backdrop to much of family life and can even offer a fantastic space for entertaining. To help you capitalise on the social aspects of your kitchen, we’ve put together our top design tips.
Incorporating seating into your kitchen design is a great way to bring a social element to your space. From offering guests somewhere to join you for a coffee or a place for the kids to tell you about their day, kitchen seating is very versatile. Positioning bar stools at a kitchen island or countertop is an excellent way to establish an informal seating area. However, a dining table, window seat or comfy armchairs arranged around a coffee table make great alternatives if you’ve got the space.
Create A Focal Point With A Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands offer lots of practical benefits, including creating extra storage and worktop space. But they can also make your life much easier when it comes to entertaining! Hosting can be great fun. However, having guests hovering around your kitchen and getting in the way isn’t ideal. An island can help set a boundary between your workspace and the rest of your kitchen. Kitchen islands make a wonderful place for guests to gather, preventing them from getting under your feet. To find more information about including an island in your kitchen, please click here.
Keep Your Space Clutter-Free
Ensuring your kitchen is neat and tidy when friends and family visit is a must. Keeping your kitchen reasonably clutter-free is all part and parcel of making your guests feel welcome and relaxed. Clever storage solutions such as pull-out larders, internal organisers, pantry cupboards and pan drawers can help you stay organised. You can find more fantastic kitchen storage tips by clicking here.
Add Some Homely Touches
When you begin planning your renovation, you’ll no doubt be thinking about layout, storage, appliances and all the practical details that will make your kitchen easy to use. However, as a place to enjoy relaxing and spending time in, the decorative details are important too. Displaying some of your favourite ornaments is a great way to add a personal touch. Shelves, glass-fronted cupboards, and open-ended islands offer plenty of opportunities. A few vibrant houseplants, accents of natural wood, or even a bold feature wall can also add character to your space.
Achieve A Lovely Ambience With Soft Lighting
You should also consider your kitchen lighting. A combination of accent lights and dimmable downlights can bring a warm and inviting glow to your space, perfect for evening occasions. Pendant and cabinet lights can help set a sophisticated tone to your room. For more advice on creating a practical and stylish lighting scheme, please click here.
Choose Your Appliances Wisely
There are plenty of things to consider when choosing appliances; especially if you’re keen to make your kitchen a more social space. A wine chiller is sure to be a hit with your grown-up guests, while American-style fridge freezers with ice and water dispensers are great for the whole family. Boiling water taps allow you to prepare hot drinks at the drop of a hat. Alternatively, a coffee machine makes a luxurious treat. If you enjoy cooking for friends and family, a smart oven with a warming drawer or sous vide could really help you out. Thanks to their safety features and discrete extraction system, downdraft induction hobs are also great when entertaining. Whatever appliances you choose, we recommend checking their decibel rating. A noisy dishwasher or cooker hood can be very disruptive when you’re trying to talk to guests. Your designer should be able to advise on the best appliances to suit your space.
Consider Where To Position Appliances
The layout of your appliances is almost as important as the technology you choose. It can dramatically affect how your space functions. Positioning wine chillers or refrigerators on the outskirts of your workspace, near a seating area will help keep guests and hungry kids from getting under your feet. The area around your sink and dishwasher can quickly become messy when catering for lots of people. Thus, you might not want to make your sink too much of a focal point. However, hobs can work well when positioned on an island or peninsula, allowing you to socialise with your friends while cooking. If you’d like to install your hob on an island, consider opting for a downdraft extraction system. A traditional overhead cooker hood can restrict your view.
As the bustling heart of your home, your kitchen makes a lovely place to spend time with friends and family. And as you can see, there are plenty of ways to enhance your kitchen with socialising in mind. If you’d like more advice on creating a more social kitchen space, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our expert team would love to hear from you. You can call us on 01229 871122 or email [email protected].