The way in which kitchens are used today is very different from in the past. The kitchens of the 20th century were only used at very specific times of the day, usually breakfast and dinner. And meals were eaten according to a formal timetable. The husband would return from work around 6 pm, and dinner would be on the table by 7. But that, clearly, is no longer how kitchens operate. Instead, kitchens are in constant use. Not only are they used around traditional meal times, but they’re also in use at other times of the day, sometimes not even to prepare food.
With this in mind, kitchen designers have updated the way that they design kitchens to accommodate modern living. With the kitchen now at the center of modern family life, it’s worth spending money on the room, as well as thinking carefully about how it is designed and constructed. Here are some ideas on how to approach the design of a new, updated kitchen.
Consider The Space Carefully
Space is often tight in kitchens, especially if you live in an old-build or period home. As a result, planning carefully where everything will go before you start ripping out units is essential. Not only do you need space for all your crockery and cutlery, but you also need space on the kitchen countertops for appliances, like microwaves and grills. Think about using space-saving measures, such as keep-warm drawers and kitchen islands with pull-out stools or drinks chillers. Also, consider how you will use your kitchen. If cooking is your main priority and it’s something that you do every day, think about ways of storing your utensils that grant you immediate access to them, such as hanging them from an overhead pole. If you plan on using your kitchen for entertainment, on the other hand, then your focus should be on creating a colorful and beautiful environment in which guests can mingle. Thus the layout and design of your kitchen depend intimately on how it will be used.
Mix Modern Fittings With Contemporary Features
Modern fittings are durable, long-lasting and convenient. But when it comes to injecting a bit of style into your kitchen, nothing compares to the original period features of your home. If you have a range cooker, a piece of exposed slate wall, or an old, deep sink, then leverage it by combining it with modern features. Glasswork pairs really well with old masonry features and can help bring them up to date without replacing them.
What if your home doesn’t have any period features? Not to worry: you can add them yourself. Alongside your modern cooker, chic storage units and new appliances, you could install a chandelier, a range cooker, or something else which harks back to the past
Make The Kitchen A Dining Area Too
In the past, the kitchen was a noisy, hot place where food was prepared. And the dining room was the relaxed, genteel atmosphere in which food was consumed. But today, the kitchen is just as much a dining room as any other, and should be treated as such. However, many homeowners are still in the habit of treating the kitchen as a strictly separate room from the dining area and insist on making it as uncomfortable as possible. Breakfast bars, complete with stools, might look good in interior design magazines, but they don’t exactly make the kitchen cozy. In fact, they often act as a direct barrier to interaction in the room, forcing family members to go elsewhere to eat.
If your kitchen doesn’t have an inviting dining area, it’s time to change your kitchen design. Family members want somewhere cozy they can sit down and relax while eating their food. If you’re limited on space, try incorporating a “halfway house” solution, such as providing seating around a kitchen island and doubling it up as a breakfast table.
Install A Kitchen Table, If You Have Space
Ideally, you’d have a kitchen table in your kitchen for serving up food to the family on weeknights. Although space is usually limited, it’s surprising how little space you actually need to install a kitchen table, even if it isn’t particularly grand. For long kitchens, choose narrower tables.
Use Sliding Doors Between The Kitchen And Dining Room
The current interior design preference is for open plan kitchen and dining areas. But if you don’t want to go to the hassle of completely removing interior walls, sliding doors between the kitchen and dining space can work just as well.
The great thing about sliding doors is that they give you the best of both worlds. They allow you to be connected to your dining area when the doors are open but give you the privacy you need to concentrate on your cooking when the doors are closed.
The benefits of sliding doors are even more apparent when you have guests. Sliding doors give you the element of surprise, allowing you to bring in new dishes and wow your guests without them having seen you make them first.
Make Use Of Separate Utility Spaces
Sometimes it can be convenient to have all your appliances in one room, but not always. Washing machines and tumble dryers are essential to reducing the work you have to do around the home, but they also take up a lot of space – space which could be used for something more useful and exciting in the kitchen. If you have a lot of appliances in your kitchen unrelated to the preparation of food, try moving them into a separate utility space.
You can also use a utility space to store all your crockery and cooking equipment. Many people make use of an adjacent pantry (or other small room) to hang all their pots and pans and keep clutter out of the kitchen proper.
Get An Expert Consultation
Finally, it’s worth at least talking to an expert about the best way to design the space you have. In smaller kitchens especially, designers will have experience helping people choose an optimal layout.