Always at the heart of the home, the kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in a property and more than just cooking the dinner goes on here. From hosting parties and entertaining guests, to family meal times and helping children with homework, the kitchen is a multi-functional space. It is important to bear all of its many functions in mind when planning a new kitchen to make sure it works on every level.
The number one question is – what sort of design and layout will suit the needs of you and your family? Open-plan kitchens often work best for multi-functional spaces, enabling a variety of tasks to be carried out at once. However, the multi-functional kitchen can be one of noise and lots of activity and it can be difficult to remember that it also needs to be a space in which to relax together too. Zoning the space often works well as a solution, with an island unit acting as a cut-off point between food preparation and dining/socialising space.
This method of zoning also works well on an aesthetic level, perhaps with different worktops, flooring or wall coverings used in different areas in order to distinguish the various spaces and activities. Materials such as ceramic or quartz are ideal for this, available in a wide range of colours and extremely durable so it is suitable for wet areas of the kitchen, and those used to prepare and eat food. Not to mention that they create an air of luxury and comfort, which is so important in a space that is being used so much at all times of the day and night.
Noise can be an issue in the multi-functional kitchen so it is important to try to choose appliances that aren’t going to dominate acoustically. If space allows, the ideal solution is to add a utility room for your white goods. Ventilation is also an important consideration, particularly if the kitchen is to be used as a living space too, as soft furnishings smelling of cooking odours are never pleasant. Again, when choosing an extractor unit ensure that its decibel level won’t ruin a relaxing ambience.
Think about kitchen lighting too – you will need good task lighting in areas used to prepare and serve meals but it is important to be able to relax in the space too, so dimmable or mood lighting is key here.
There are lots of elements to be considered in a multi-functional kitchen to really make the space work but with homeowners spending a good percentage of their time at home here it is important to make it work for you and your family.