Jona Lewie famously sang “you will always find me in the kitchen at parties”. However in this day and age, why sit in the kitchen alone when you can turn your kitchen into a social space for friends and family? You can do just that by making this room the true heart of your home. Here’s how to go about setting up a social kitchen...
Take care when opening up your kitchen
While a social kitchen should be designed in a way that it opens out into the living room — and possibly the garden too (which we’ll go into more detail shortly) — you want to take care about just how many barriers you eliminate. Ensure you maintain traffic flow while still creating a sense of openness with some half-walls or arched openings.
As your kitchen will be integrated into other parts of your home, you also want the visual effect to continue through the entire space. To achieve this, pick a key colour and apply this hue from the living room to the kitchen with cushions, artwork, covers, furnishings and kitchen utensils.
Allow the kitchen to open out into the
Glass sliding doors are a great way to open all of your kitchen onto a home’s terrace quickly — the best way to enjoy a BBQ on those long summer nights.Obviously, this advice will only apply if you are lucky enough to have a garden and a kitchen that is situated right next to it. If this is the case, you can make the kitchen feel like the centre of the home by affording the opportunity for the room to open directly into your outdoor living space whenever the sun shines.
Splash your kitchen in natural light
Natural light will flood into your kitchen if you allow the room to open out into the garden. If you do not have a garden, make use of what natural light you have. If you are redesigning your kitchen, it may even be worth taking on some building work to expand your windows to allow in as much natural light as possible.
A kitchen which shines feels instantly pleasant , while a bright space will make people feel uplifted. Natural light feels calming and inviting which is exactly what you want when creating a social kitchen.
It doesn’t take much to increase the amount of natural light entering your kitchen either, you can simply declutter windowsills and choose windows that can open out fully. Choosing blinds that can pull up completely can also work wonders.
Establish attention-grabbing activity areas (if you have kids)
This one’s steered towards parents — if you have kids running around your home then you want to make sure they are safe around a social kitchen that will be more open for them to access.
Add a kitchen island and/or breakfast bar
There are two physical features that should be added to your social kitchen above anything else — a kitchen island and a breakfast bar. If you do not have space for both choose one which suits the shape and style of your kitchen best. Both will give your kitchen key focal points and will also serve different purposes.
A kitchen island will be the central counter of your new open-plan kitchen, with its location making it ideal for guests to sit around and socialise with you while you go about preparing food. Breakfast bars, meanwhile, are fantastic informal settings for people to enjoy a nice snack or a refreshing drink. Breakfast bars placed along windows also provide a nice calming space to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.
Finish off both your kitchen island and breakfast bar with a set of comfortable and matching bar stools. If you don't have space for an island have a look at some other kitchen design shapes here.
Work in technology & charging stations
If you want to make your kitchen a central hub for socialising, then you will want to avoid people going into the room where the TV is if you’ve invited them round for a big sporting event or some must-see entertainment.
Solve this problem by either fitting a TV somewhere in your kitchen or in a place of the home that can still be viewed from the kitchen. That way, the conversations can still be enjoyed and the drinks poured without the risk of anyone missing a crucial goal being scored or the showbiz moment of the year going down.
While we’re on the topic of technology, it’s also wise to subtly add charging stations into kitchen cabinets and drawers or upgrade your kitchen’s electrical outlets with built-in USB ports. That way, you and guests can keep tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices full of juice — especially if they are being used as a source of entertainment.
By now, you should have plenty of ideas to create a social kitchen that you’ll be eager to show off to friends and family. If you would like to get your kitchen done up now, why not take advantage of our Buy Now, Pay Later offer by calling in and quoting code BNP2019!
If you want more design inspiration for your kitchen though, be sure to visit our kitchen design page for lots of expert guidance and advice.