How to make your kitchen into a social space
Wednesday, 10th July 2013, Lucy Mccoy
As well as being somewhere to prepare food and eat, many people now find that their kitchen is the social hub of their house.
Whether it is having a quick coffee and catch-up with a friend, working from home, having a big family meal or entertaining guests, the kitchen now has so many uses that this all has to be considered in its design.
This guide will detail all the types of accessories and tricks you can use which will help enable and bring this social atmosphere to your kitchen, making it one of the most welcoming and useful rooms in your home.
Kitchen Islands are great for bringing a social atmosphere to kitchens as they act as a focal point to a room, which everyone can gather round. They are also great for storage too, as they often have lots of different departments too, which you will be able to keep all of your kitchen items in. Kitchen islands can also look extremely stylish in a kitchen and are extremely manageable if they come with a wipe-down worktop surface, such as granite.
Add shelves for more storage
If kitchen islands and existing cupboards don't provide you with enough storage space, why not install some shelves, which can be cheaply installed and will allow you to have more open space in your kitchen, which you are sure to need if you are entertaining.
Larger range cookers
A larger range cooker will allow you to cook more food at once, which is perfect if you are having a dinner party, as you will be able to cook in bigger volumes, so guests won't be left waiting for their food. It is also a good idea to have an extractor fan over your cooker as this will make sure smells don't permeate the room. You may also want to put a noise reduction system on the fan too, so it is not too distracting whilst you are entertaining.
Lots of furniture
If you plan to have lots of people in your kitchen regularly, then you are going to need somewhere to put them all! You will probably want to invest in a large table that will be able to accommodate all your family, friends and guests at the likes of dinner parties and large social gatherings. If you are worried about space however, why not look for a table that folds out and folds away again, as this can help save space. You will also probably want to invest in a range of chairs at the dinner table and around the kitchen so that your visitors have somewhere to sit and relax.
Although some people tend to go rather understated with their kitchen, adding colour into yours will make it much more inviting and enjoyable to relax in. Why not go for a light pastel colour, which will help to maximise the amount of natural light in the room, However. if you want something a bit bolder, go for a splash of bright colours on the accessories in your kitchen. Make sure you don't mix too many colours though, as you may end up with a design headache!
If you are going to be entertaining guests a lot, then you will want to stock up heavily on fun and useful items that will help make these parties ever easier and more entertaining. These can be things such as cupcake machines, popcorn makers and even a chocolate fountain, which could act as a talking point at your party. These can be fun activities for your family or guests to get involved with. You will also want some more practical items such as large serving plates and dishes to make sure you are prepared for many guests or large family meals.
Hopefully you will have lots of natural light in your kitchen in the day, however for the evenings it may be nice to invest in some mood lighting, which will add a nice touch to evening meals or get-togethers you may have. You could also use lighting to highlight parts of your kitchen, for example, having a spotlight over the kitchen island to make sure it stands out as a focal point.
You may have fallen in love with that antique table, however purchasing furniture that is precious or liable to stain really isn't practical for a kitchen that is going to be lived in. Why not invest in worktops, tables and furniture that can be wiped down easily, which will make you and your family and friends less anxious when they are round for dinner or a drink. Materials you would be looking at here include granite and quartz worktops, which are easily cleaned as well as looking stylish.