The Social Kitchen

Our home is now most definitely our castle. It must encompass everything we need day to day and no room is working harder than our kitchen. What has always been a social hub for family life is now creaking at the seams with all the extra pressures full-time family living brings. So how do we make the most of this space?

To start with you will need to re-evaluate how you now use your kitchen. Consider all the functions it needs to perform from cooking, dining, home working, storage, relaxing and even watching movies. With so many requirements perhaps the easiest way to turn your kitchen into a more social and workable space is by extending it or opening it up into another room in the home, such as the dining room. With the loss of the dividing wall, you can create a space that can deal more easily with the extra functions. If this is just not within your budget than you will need to be a bit more creative in your approach.

Working with your existing space access your storage and cooking needs first. Do not be tempted to simply fill your kitchen with press units and enormous American fridges. These will only use up valuable space that could be used in a more flexible way.

Decide early on in your design process on one central social focal point for your kitchen. This will be your main social hub. It might be your dining table, a kitchen island or t.v zone. It is different for every family.

For a feeling of space keep your kitchen light, airy and neutral and include some space saving options and integrated appliances so the room is sleek and uncluttered. This approach then leaves space both physically and visually for dining, home office or a t.v. area.

When creating the multi-functional areas choose finishes and materials that match or compliment your kitchen area. This will help the spaces flow better and the room will feel more social as a result.

Finally, do not forget the lighting. If you can introduce more natural light with the installation of patio or bi-fold doors to the outdoors it is well worth the investment. Also be sure to include good functional lighting for the kitchen and designated home working spot and a few nice ambient lights in the dining and relaxation areas are a must too.

Now you can sit back and enjoy the finer offerings of your new kitchen space.