Many years ago, this room was tucked away at the back of the house. Hidden out of sight along with the pantry, scullery and laundry room. The majority of the time, it was used only by staff and was, therefore, decidedly unglamorous. It was where food was prepared and dishes were washed and where home owners spent very little time. But, a lot has changed since then and now the kitchen is known as the true heart of the home. As societies have evolved, this room has taken on a much more important role. Here, we look at why the kitchen has become the heart of the home. And offer easy ways to make it even more functional and friendly…
Why this is the most important room in your home…
Why is the kitchen so important?
If we’re honest, the kitchen has become the room in our homes where we spend the most time. It’s where families gather after a long day, to unwind and catch up. Sometimes, the most important conversations happen there, where you make plans or discuss the highs and lows of your day. It’s where meals are prepared and shared and where you have the opportunity to connect with the people around you. When you arrive at a friend’s for dinner, don’t you walk straight into the kitchen? See if you can lend a hand or pour a glass of wine for the ‘chef’?
And, because the kitchen has become such a central gathering place, people are spending more time and energy making it into the best possible heart of the home. New designs are more open plan, so you can chat to people in the dining area while you prepare a meal. There are fewer boundaries between rooms, so kids can do homework at the countertops and you can serve a meal at the kitchen island rather than in a formal dining room. Because our needs have changed, kitchen designs have had to adapt and make use of the latest technology to make this room a happy and convenient place to be.
How to make your kitchen more functional and friendly
- Open it up
One of the key ways to make your kitchen more friendly is by creating a more open-plan space. Have the kitchen lead into the lounge or dining room, with no walls in between to break up the area. This may seem like a major renovation job, but it’ll be worth it when you can still socialise while you make dinner.
- Enhance natural light
Try to make the kitchen feel light and airy. If you can, skip curtains altogether. Or, if you’re concerned about privacy, try sheer curtains or blinds that can be pulled right up during the day. If you have the budget, add a sky light to really bring in more natural light.
- Make it multi-purpose
The easiest way of doing this is to create a kitchen island in the middle of the space. You can use the extra counter space to chop vegetables or spread out ingredients. And, with a few extra bar stools, kids can do their homework or sit and chat while a meal is prepared. This makes the room feel sociable while still providing a crucial kitchen service.
- Keep it tidy
To make your kitchen more functional and friendly, try to keep clear of extra clutter. A messy kitchen with cluttered countertops and piles of dishes will never be particularly inviting. Try to make sure everything that needs to be there has a proper place, and rope the kids into tidying up after a meal. If everyone is going to enjoy spending time in the heart of the home, they should contribute to keeping it spick and span.
- Maximise storage space
This is also something that will help you keep the area tidy. Make efficient use of the cupboards and drawers you have and, if there’s extra shelf space somewhere add a few woven baskets to create even more storage space. You could also pick up on the hanging storage trend by ‘displaying’ items like pans, cooking utensils and coffee cups on hooks. Invest in drawer dividers or even plastic containers for maximum storage in the pantry or under the counters. Modern urban living has led to more of us having less room to play with, so make sure you maximise the space you have.
With the kitchen as the heart of the home, we believe it’s important to do what you can to make it a special place to be. If you have ideas, or need help converting your kitchen into a family-friendly and functional space, contact us to find out about our bespoke renovation and interior design services. Everyone deserves to make the most of the most important room in their home.