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How to make your kitchen the heart of the home

Follow these steps to turn a functional kitchen into somewhere the whole household want to gather. If you’d like your kitchen to be a sociable hub there are a few ingredients you need to include in the space. Follow these tips to help you create a room that encourages family and friends to hang out, chat, cook and eat together.

Make space for everyone

Cooking can be more fun when everyone’s involved, so plan out your kitchen to accommodate more than one chef. Even if you think you haven’t enough worktops, chances are you do – take a look around to see what’s cluttering up the space.

Move surplus items off the worktops and store them away in cupboards or on shelves, to create more space for shared food preparation. Get little ones involved too, by purchasing a step stool they can stand on to reach the surface.

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Pop in a perch

People are more likely to gather in your kitchen if there’s somewhere for them to sit. If you have the space, install a table and chairs, or in a smaller space see if there’s a spot for a couple of bar stools.

A seating area isn’t just great for mealtimes, it can also be place for kids to do crafts, lego or homework while you cook. For a really comfortable option, consider having some bench seating made against the wall so that more people to squeeze around the table

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Add accessories

A functional kitchen can be made to feel more inviting with the addition of a few well chosen accessories. Combine aesthetics with practicality by decanting food items into attractive canisters in warm hues or fun, bright colours, and choose small appliances in pastel shades or with retro designs to add character to the space.

And for an instant boost, a vase of fresh flowers can work wonders when it comes to creating a fresh, welcoming atmosphere.

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Create ambience

It’s pretty obvious that you need some practical lighting in the kitchen if you want to see what you’re actually cooking – but there’s more to illumination than just functionality. Lighting is key for creating a warm, inviting atmosphere, so it’s important to include a variety of options.

As well as overhead downlights, install some under-cabinet lights to brighten the worktops and to cast an ambient glow in the evening. Consider also, some attractive pendants over the table or island to add another layer of lighting, and to bring more personality into the space.

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Stow away toys and crafts

Encourage kids to stay and play in the kitchen by making it easy for them to access their things. When you’re devising storage for the space, ensure you’ve included somewhere to house toys and craft items. A few baskets on a low shelf, or in a cupboard should do the trick, as these can be easily brought out when needed – and by making it simple for kids to access, it should be just as simple to tidy them away!

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Design an efficient layout

If you’re planning your kitchen from scratch, take the opportunity to design a layout that works for everyone. The classic work triangle is a tried and tested layout that ensures the fridge, oven and sink are in a easy-to-access distance from each other. Also, factor in a place for people to perch and chat, while someone else is cooking – a peninsula or island are both perfect for this.

By thinking about the layout of your kitchen, you’ll make it easier for people to use the space together, so it’s something that’s worth taking time to consider carefully.

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Soften the windows

We hang fabric at the windows in living spaces, but often choose more functional options for kitchen windows. However, if you want to give your kitchen a snug, inviting feel it could be worth considering some cosier window treatments.

Go for a patterned roller blind to add character to the space, or even opt for some curtains as they’ve done here. The checkered design adds warm tones to the space, and makes the room feel more like a cosy living room than a utilitarian cooking area.

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