Tips for a Social Kitchen: 6 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Inviting
by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
It's been a while since kitchens were just for cooking. Thanks to busier lifestyles, less cultural formality, and the tendency to see cooking as an art and social activity rather than just a necessity, kitchens have become a social hub of the home. If you are considering refacing your cabinets or remodeling your kitchen and you're looking for ways to make your kitchen inviting for guests and family members, check out these tips.
Remodeling Tips for a Social Kitchen
- Install a Large (Workspace) Island: Islands no longer serve just as extra countertop space. Many kitchen islands now have overhangs and are backed by high chairs or barstools to encourage socializing. Islands with workspaces such as cooktops and sinks keep the cook from having to face the wall.
- Integrate Your Spaces: If you have kitchen cabinets that hang over an island or peninsula countertop, consider removing them. Or if your kitchen is completely cut off from other rooms, consider tearing out a wall. That way, even if your kitchen is too small for a table or island, you can still socialize with others sitting at the breakfast table or in the family room.
- Expand Your Kitchen: If you consider your kitchen the heart of your home and you want more space for entertaining, then take it! If you're refacing your cabinet or remodeling, it's likely that there won't be a better time for you to knock out walls, rearrange rooms, and expand your kitchen.
- Create Multiple Work Stations: If everyone has their own station, it's more likely that no one will get in someone else's way. It's a lot easier to let guests help if they have their own prep place.
- Decorate and Accessorize: Your kitchen can be more conducive to entertaining if it looks less like a workplace and more like a living room. If you're refacing your kitchen cabinets, consider giving them doors with extra decoration. If your cabinets look like furniture instead of utility boxes, you may find that it's more natural for guests to spend time in your social kitchen.
- Increase the Lighting: Bright rooms are conducive to socializing, so open up the windows, and make sure you have overhead ambient lighting. If only your task lighting is illuminated, those who aren't working can feel left out.
Some of these changes can be expensive and include remodeling; others, such as increasing the lighting or refacing your kitchen cabinets, are less time-consuming and cost-intensive. So decide what your goals are, and perhaps consult an expert, and you should know what you need for a social kitchen.
About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre
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