Redesigning a kitchen after years of the same old layout is kind of like watching a soap opera, stopping and then trying to catch up with it five years later; while the fundamentals remain the same, an awful lot has changed and getting to grips with the hottest trends can be a stressful and confusing experience.
Rather than overwhelming you with the latest styles or design trends that are oh-so-2013, this post is instead going to discuss a popular concept in kitchen design at the moment, that of the kitchen as an entertainment space. That sounds like a contradiction in terms; unless you really, really enjoy cooking (and plenty of people do), how can a kitchen be entertaining?
The entertainment kitchen is more than just your standard kitchen, however. While it features everything you would expect from a standard kitchen – the cooker, the fridge, the kitchen sink, etc –the entertainer’s kitchen combines the best of the kitchen, the dining room and the lounge into one space. It essentially becomes the heart of your home.
The purpose of an entertainment kitchen is to provide an adequate and practical space to prepare food in while also providing a space for guests or family to lounge around and socialise. Kitchens designed with entertainment a forethought tend to be large as there is a considerable amount to fit in.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t design you very own entertainment kitchen if your current kitchen is small; many have got around the small issue of space by knocking through a wall and integrating their dining room or even their living room into their existing kitchen.
How Is An Entertainment Kitchen Laid Out?
Most kitchens designed with socialising and entertaining in mind tend to be split into two; a space for food prep and a space for guests to relax, socialise and dine. Common design inspiration for entertainment kitchens comes not from traditional kitchens but from contemporary bars or even restaurants.
A great deal of entertainment kitchen layouts dictate that one side of the room be fitted out with cooking appliances, the fridge and other practical equipment required for food preparation. The layout of this kitchen space will sometimes conform to the standard kitchen work triangle layout, but is more often laid out in a single straight line.
Opposite this side stands a kitchen island, which acts as a serving space and a socialising space; these islands are typically long and narrow. Lined with bar stools, the island provides a space for casual dining and a space for guests and family to converse with the poor soul who’s been assigned cooking duties!
Beyond this kitchen island lays the ‘entertainment area’; this typically consists of a dining area and a ‘relaxation’ area. The beauty of the entertainment concept is that there are no real rules as to what you can include in this area; a traditional oak dining table and accompanying chairs is as acceptable as beanbags and a plastic table – so long as it fits the overall theme.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the entertaining kitchen is technology. Wall-mounted televisions are a great addition, particularly if you have unruly children! The level of technology you integrate into your kitchen is up to you; an old wireless radio for background noise would suffice if you have a particularly sociable bunch of friends while a Wi-Fi connected fridge would be perfect for the gadget lover who happens to have cash to spare! Whatever you choose to include, however, should be included for the sake of entertaining guests.
As previously alluded to, the choice of colours and theme in your kitchen is really down to you. As the concept of using the kitchen as a space for entertaining is relatively new, however, most current examples are quite modern. Industrial features such as chrome fittings can offer an edgy, futuristic style to a kitchen; however, granite still remains as the worktop of choice. Regardless, if you wanted to design a country-themed entertainment kitchen then there’s nothing to stop you doing that!
So if you’re thinking of completely renovating your kitchen and don’t know where to start, why not consider transforming it into an entertainment space? Not only will you have a beautiful new kitchen but also a space to share with your family and friends – oh, and to show off your culinary skills too!