Tips for creating a kitchen people want to hang out in.
With the rise of the open floor plan, kitchens have increasingly become viewed as a communal space for families and friends to gather, rather than a more private, utilitarian space just for cooking. This has led to an evolution in certain aspects of kitchen design. Many designers now seem to be moving away from kitchens that are dominated by massive walls of cabinets and appliances—which can look cold and uninviting—to more open and inviting designs.
Here are a few of the relatively simple touches that are now being used to support a more livable kitchen design.
More Furniture or Furniture-Like Features
Instead of assuming every dish or kitchen implement needs to fit into a built-in cabinet, designers are increasingly leaving space for homeowners to have their own hutch or cabinet in the kitchen. This can help add personality to the kitchen, and, in the case of heirloom furniture, a sense of family history. Even when standalone furniture is not included, designers may make a nod to it by including furniture-like details such as cabriole legs on an island or a built-in bookcase on the side of a cabinet.
Adding seating at an island or peninsula is another way of tapping into the kitchen furniture trend. It clearly designates the space as communal and invites people to sit and participate in the experience of creating a meal or enjoy casual dining.
Island or peninsula seating can be further enhanced with statement lighting such as pendants or a chandelier over the counter. This reinforces the idea that the designer has deliberately created an area for socializing in the kitchen that is distinct from the cooking areas.
When creating an inviting kitchen where people will feel encouraged to sit and stay awhile, it is very important to have ample counter space. After all, you don’t want people to feel like they are in the way in the kitchen. By concealing small appliances in specially built drawers, you can open up a lot of counter space. Microwave drawers are especially popular now.
For those who love ample storage in the kitchen but want to avoid the possibility of a cold, uninviting wall of cabinetry, simply adding glass doors on a few of the cabinets can really help. The glass breaks up the expanse of cabinets and also reveals an inviting glimpse of the glassware or dishes inside, calling up thoughts of shared meals and companionship.
If you are interested in upgrading your kitchen, come to Mission West Kitchen and Bath. We carry many brands of furniture-quality kitchen cabinetry that can be tailored to your specific needs.