Nowadays, open plan property layouts are very popular, particularly kitchen-diners. Historically, kitchens were as far away as possible from dining rooms, but this trend died along with the idea that you need servants to do the cooking. Now we want living spaces where we can cook and socialise with friends and family. And this is fairly understandable – nobody likes being stuck in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys spending time with each other in another room.
No day highlights this trend like Pancake Day. If you like your pancakes fresh and hot, it’s a good idea to cook and eat them straight away. But as pancakes aren’t easy to bulk-cook, it’s likely that the cook will have to produce pancake after pancake, while everybody else enjoys eating them. If you’re all in the kitchen this isn’t so bad, but if the cook ends up on their own it’s not much fun.
If you are dissatisfied with your kitchen and want to make it a more sociable place then we can help. Pancake Day has inspired us to come up with 6 ways you can make your kitchen more sociable.
1. Invest in comfy seating
Do you have seats in your kitchen that nobody wants to use? It could be that they’re just not very inviting. Kitchen seats are frequently made of metal, wood and plastic, which can be practical but not particularly comfortable. By all means, still choose hard materials. But see if you can find seats with in-built cushioning. Or if you do not want to buy new furniture, see if you can find tie-on cushions for your kitchen chairs, stools or benches. These will keep your kitchen seating practical and make it comfier.
2. Do some reorganising
Convinced that your kitchen is just too small to be a sociable area? Then have you considered doing some reorganisation? One thing you could do is relocate your white goods. If you have a fridge, freezer, washing machine or dryer in your kitchen, consider where else you could put them. Maybe your washing machine could go in a utility room or you could turn a cupboard into a pantry with a fridge? This would create some more space in your kitchen.
You could also move about your units. Have you got a long, thin kitchen? If you do, you could move all your worktops to one side to make space for a long, thin dining table on the other side. Many people think that square kitchens are the way forward but there are lots of things that you can do with a rectangular room too.
3. Make a breakfast bar
If you don’t have space for a dining table in your kitchen, have you thought about creating a breakfast bar? This can be a brilliant socialising space for coffee time or pre-dinner drinks. It can even be a dining space if there aren’t a lot of you. You can make stand-alone breakfast bars or put them on the end of island or peninsular units. They’re excellent use of space when you haven’t got much to spare.
4. Use flexible furniture
Another good way to make your kitchen a more sociable area is to use flexible furniture. You might not have space for a full-length dining table when you are loading the dishwasher and are in and out of cupboards, but what about when you’re ready to eat? Get an extendable table that’s compact enough for your kitchen while you’re busy but will pull out to accommodate all of your guests at meal times. You’ll have more mingling space for your guests while they’re relaxing with a drink and still be able to fit them round a table when you need to.
5. Let in the light
It is no secret that natural light can hugely benefit your property. It can make rooms feel bigger and more enjoyable to spend time in. So use light to invite visitors into your kitchen.
There are several options for you to choose from. If you have limited wall space but no rooms above your kitchen, you could install roof windows. This is fantastic use of space and could let even more daylight in than standard windows. Or if you don’t want to do anything structural, try taking away any bulky window blinds or curtains or trim any overshadowing trees or bushes in your garden.
6. Open up to the outside
If you think your kitchen’s too tiny for socialising and you cannot expand it internally, consider opening it up to the outside. This is a good idea if your kitchen borders your garden. Fitting bi-fold doors in an external wall will let you open up your kitchen in the summer season, letting in light and creating lots more space. If you cannot fit a table in your kitchen you could set it up outside and make one inside and outside sociable area. And while it might be too cold to do this in winter, your kitchen will benefit from the increased daylight the doors let in all year round.
So if you want to change your kitchen to make it more sociable, there are several things you can do. No matter whether you have got lots of time and money or you’ve got a small budget, there are lots of ways you can adjust your kitchen to make it more sociable.