Whether it’s at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we often find ourselves socialising in the kitchen, so it makes sense that we would incorporate this aspect of our lives into our interior design. In this article, Alexandra Davies from kitchen appliance specialist Britannia Living shares her tips for transforming your kitchen into a social space that’s perfect for entertaining friends and family alike.
Kitchens have always had a special place in the home, acting as the hub that provides us with nourishment throughout the day. But, in modern times, the kitchen has taken on a social aspect for many people, providing a great space to entertain guests as well as cook. With more and more people continuing to shun pubs and restaurants in favour of eating, drinking, and entertaining in the comfort of our own homes, the social kitchen has become more important than ever.
This is evident in modern design trends too, with larger, open plan kitchens taking precedence over stand-alone dining rooms. No longer are kitchens designed just for cooking – they’re big, they’re comfortable, and they’re ideal for entertaining guests. If you’re looking to make your kitchen more sociable, read on to find out my top tips.
Open up the space
To get the most out of any kitchen space, you can’t really go wrong with an open plan design. The larger the kitchen looks, the more open and inviting it will feel, particularly if there are more opportunities to let in light and brighten up the room. The best open plan designs incorporate elements of other rooms in the house, whether that’s dining, seating, or serving areas, to increase the utility of the kitchen. Each section can still be separated using natural elements, such as rugs and worktops, or you might prefer to blur the lines and design it as a single room.
To get the most out of open plan design, it’s worth thinking about whether it’s possible to knock through into the lounge or dining room to create a larger, combined space. Alternatively, you might consider an extension to your property, which gives you the added bonus of being able to design a structure from the ground up to suit your specific needs. Either way, creating more space is key to a social kitchen.
Make the most of worktops and islands
Another important part of creating a social kitchen is the use of worktops and islands. Integrating these elements into your design in a sleek way is a great opportunity to create natural boundaries without closing in the space. As a host, having well-designed worktops mean you can easily separate the cooking area from the seating area, while still being able to look at and entertain your guests. Being able to cook while your guests relax is what social kitchens are about.
Kitchen islands or breakfast bars can also be a great addition to an open plan kitchen space, allowing your guests to sit nearby while you prepare food before moving to a more comfortable seating area to eat later on. They can also act as an extra surface, too, allowing you to add to your décor with a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, or helping you to serve canapés for larger gatherings.
A warm welcome
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life and messy kids to contend with, it’s easy for different family members to treat the kitchen like a dumping ground. Then, when it comes to having friends and family around to socialise, this clutter can become a problem. You’ll want to have plenty of options in terms of storage to make sure everything is neat and tidy, whether that’s somewhere to hang bags, hide shoes, or even just extra cupboards and shelves.
At the same time, a social kitchen should be a place that is inviting and welcoming with a relaxed, casual feel. That means you want to avoid going too much the other way, as overly sterile-looking kitchens can take away from that social feel. Neutral colours always work great, and you can use your cupboards or a feature wall as a chance to add in a splash of colour. What colour you choose is a matter of personal preference, but toned-down blues, red, and yellow can work fantastically.
It’s also a good idea to think about the design choices that guests are likely to see first upon entering the space, as these elements will help set the mood. Consider how to use art, furnishings, plants, and lighting to create that ideal homely feel. Whether you like to go over the top or keep things minimal, make sure it fits with your personal style.
As we spend more time in our kitchens, it’s only natural that our design choices will reflect this. Follow the tips above and you can transform your kitchen into a space your friends and family will love to socialise in.