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How to design a kitchen for sociable living

By LLM Reporters on 7th June 2019

Alexandra Davies, from the premium kitchen appliance manufacturer Britannia Living, shares her top tips for turning your kitchen into the perfect space to entertain your loved ones.

More and more of us are deciding to entertain friends at home instead of going out, according to figures from Statista. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly common for us to decorate our homes with the idea of hosting get-togethers in mind.

If you often welcome friends and family into your home, you might be looking for some ways in which you can transform your kitchen into a space that’s perfect for both cooking and entertaining. So, I’m going to provide you with some of my top tips that should help you to do just that.

More and more of us are deciding to entertain friends at home instead of going out, figures show

Opt for an open plan layout

Open plan spaces come into their own when you’re entertaining because, although you might need to spend a lot of time cooking or making drinks in your kitchen, you’ll still be able to chat and socialise with your guests. So, if you’re passionate about hosting, and home’s layout allows it, opening your kitchen up so it’s joined to your dining or living room will immediately make your space more suitable for social events. As a result, it’ll be much easier for you to converse with your guests from the kitchen, and it’ll encourage everyone to move about freely.

Lighting can have a massive effect on the vibe of a space, and you can use it to make your kitchen feel cosy and welcoming

Incorporate an island or breakfast bar

A kitchen island or breakfast bar can work incredibly well as part of a social kitchen’s design because they reduce the need for you to prepare food with your back turned to your guests. Instead, you can move anything you need to chop, mix, or season over to island, and get everything done while still socialising with your loved ones.

Your guests will also be able to gather around your kitchen island or breakfast bar — especially if you add seats or stools that they can perch on. This, again, will make it much easier for you to be a part of their conversations, but will also keep them out of your way while you’re cooking!

Make sure there’s plenty of light

Lighting can have a massive effect on the vibe of a space, and you can use it to make your kitchen feel cosy and welcoming. Firstly, it’s a good idea to let as much natural light in as possible. This might involve adding larger windows, getting rid of your heavy curtains, or swapping out your blinds for those that let more sunlight in.

You’ll also need light fittings that are going to provide the right ambience when you’re hosting your friends and family on an evening. Of course, you’ll need to see exactly what you’re doing when cooking, so you’ll want to install bright lighting that allows this, but adding a dimmer switch will allow you to change the intensity to suit your needs and the mood of your get-togethers. Lamps and candles can also be used to give your space a cosier feel.

A kitchen island or breakfast bar can work incredibly well as part of a social kitchen’s design because they reduce the need for you to prepare food with your back turned to your guests

Use soft furnishing to make your kitchen cosier

Much like with lighting, you can use soft furnishings like cushions, rugs, and throws, to give your kitchen a cosier and homelier vibe. These will also allow you to add a dash of style and personality to your space.

Placing a large rug under your dining table and chairs is a particularly popular approach, as it will help to give the area a more welcoming feel, so guest will feel at home when they’re enjoying the delicious food you’ve cooked for them. Adding a scatter cushion to each dining chair can also go a long way to providing more comfort and gives you the chance to inject some of your personal style with colour or patterns.

If you love entertaining friends and family, or you’re determined to host more get-togethers in the future, designing your kitchen specifically for this purpose can help to make your dinner parties and gatherings much more enjoyable for everyone involved. By thinking carefully about your kitchen’s layout, ensuring there’s plenty of ambient lighting, and adding soft furnishings for a homely touch, you’ll be able to create a welcoming space that you, your friends, and family will love spending time in.