The way we lead our daily lives is vastly different to our ancestors and our use of kitchens is a really good example of how things have changed. Go back a few centuries and you will note that kitchens were often constructed as far away from the family living quarters as possible and was just a functional place that served a purpose. Modern family living is now very much centered around the kitchen, so much so that it is estimated that a typical family today will spend nearly five times the hours in their kitchen than they will in their living room.
With people spending much more time in their kitchens than anywhere else in the house, this fact means that casual family living now demands the creation of a great room where everything we could want is all catered for within the hub of modern family life.
Serving the family well
When you sit down to design the blueprint for the perfect kitchen that serves all of your family’s needs, you will probably agree that your great room should be a place where cooking, homework, conversation, TV watching and socializing all have the opportunity to be carried out in this one area.
Many homeowners who used to have a separate dining room that was rarely used, reclaimed this wasted space by knocking through to create a larger open-plan kitchen that was more suitable for modern family living, so look at the space that you have available and work out how you can create as large a living space in your kitchen as possible.
Designing your space
The fundamental purpose behind your design plans is to create a great room that is easily adaptable and offers casually defined zones within the space. The room still has to function successfully as a kitchen where food preparation and cooking are easily carried out together with plenty of space being available for storage of food items and equipment as well as dishwashing and other related chores.
In addition to these requirements, look to create a room that offers informal dining, the ability to carry out studying or hobbies and also provides plenty of opportunity for relaxing and enjoying media entertainment too. Having some comfortable dining chairs and plenty of seating like a sofa to encourage family and friends to hang around after dinner, will also work well.
Working with what you have got
If you are unable to make your kitchen any larger by knocking through, you can still aim to transform the space that you have go to work with into a more comfortable and inviting living area that the family will enjoy being in for many hours.
If you can design your room to accommodate a couple of sofas as well as your dining table and chairs, this will introduce comfort into your living space as well as function and rather than discouraging the idea, introduce electronic media like a TV and a PC into your great room, as this help to create the perfect family atmosphere, with multiple activities going on in but with everyone together.
About the author: Luke Connor's career as an interior designer has always centered around family life. When not working with clients, he loves blogging about inspirations and beautiful, functional spaces for today's family homes.