In so many homes, it’s the kitchen that is the hub of social activity. From hosting extravagant parties for lots of friends to sharing dinnertime with your immediate family, the kitchen is the place to be.
Interestingly, in recent years, many homeowners have chosen to get rid of dining rooms altogether, creating open floor layouts that put the kitchen at the very center of family and social activities. Going beyond just meal time, all sorts of work and education tasks are often now completed around the kitchen – so that you can be together, even when everyone in the house is working on their own project.
If you’re ready for a kitchen upgrade, here’s how you can design the perfect social kitchen to entertain guests and encourage more quality time with your family:
1. A Prominent Kitchen Island
Homes with an open floor layout often feature a prominent kitchen island – and for good reason! The kitchen island is often the chameleon-like structure that can be put to good use for whatever social activity you are pursuing.
For example, if you’re hosting a party, the kitchen island is often the center of activity where you layout food and drinks with everyone gathering around it. When it’s time for dinner with the family, the kitchen island can be where you congregate to eat. Or, after dinner, you may clear off the island and transform it into a workspace for after-school projects or after-business-hours work tasks.
With a kitchen island as your focal point, you can plan all the social activities of your household so that everyone can keep connected.
2. Mood Lighting
If you want to create the perfect atmosphere for guests, you need lighting that will set the perfect relaxing mood. However, you also want options for brighter lighting for all the other cooking or work tasks you may do in and around the kitchen.
When planning your kitchen lighting, make sure you have options. Pendant lamps or track lighting with a dimmer switch will let you create different lighting scenes so you’ll have just the right kind of light for the social activity you’re engaging in at the time.
3. Beverage Station
If your kitchen is at the center of an open floor layout, you might want to use furniture or other architectural features to help demarcate different sections while still keeping a clear sightline of the whole space.
One way to achieve this that can amplify the social function of your kitchen is to incorporate a beverage station. Your beverage station could be a tall cabinet with a coffee station or a half-wall storing wine bottles – but whatever your beverage preference, it provides another reason for people to return and gather around the central kitchen area.
4. Activity Zone
If you want to make your kitchen space truly multi-functional, you may even incorporate a special activity zone.
For example, some homeowners use a wall of their kitchen to set up a desk, so it’s easy to log-on to a computer for video conference calls or homework projects. Or, maybe you want a small table and extra shelving for arts and crafts projects.
If you create a cozy nook in one area of your kitchen, you can keep an eye on the kids while cooking, cleaning, and getting other tasks done.
5. Proper Storage
In order to make sure your kitchen will be functional for your preferred social activities, you need to make sure you have enough storage to keep the kitchen clutter-free.
You’ll want to be sure to have a variety of different shelves and cabinets, so there’s a place for everything to be put away. This makes it easy to keep the kitchen area tidy. Also, if you have plenty of cabinets, there’s always a spot you can quickly stash objects out of sight when company unexpectedly arrives!
Ready to improve your kitchen storage with new kitchen cabinets? Our RTA Wood Cabinets Kitchen Designers will be happy to help – we even offer a FREE kitchen design! Just get in touch at: 800-788-7575.