The house I grew up in was centered around the kitchen. It was the landing place for everyone who lived there, as well as every guest we welcomed. Every important conversation took place around the kitchen table, and most of my cherished childhood memories have something to do with that room.
Whether or not you fancy yourself a chef, you probably spend a huge chunk of your day in the kitchen. Who wants to spend that much time alone? With the proper design, your kitchen can be a space for the whole family. Use these kitchen design tips to make sure your kitchen isn't just a place to work on your to-do list, but a place your family can bond and spend time together.
If you want your kitchen to be a place your whole family can gather, you've got to have room for everyone to be in there at the same time. If you're blessed with a home with a big kitchen, you've got it made. If not, there are still a few things you can do to create the illusion of space.
Try opening up a wall to create a bar area. This option keeps your cabinet and counter space intact, but lets you share space between two rooms. Even if the whole family isn't in the kitchen, you can still interact with each other.
If heavy construction isn't an option, use bright colors to make the space feel more open. Also, keep clutter to a minimum so you have as much open space as possible.
If you want your crew to hang out in the kitchen, you've got to give them a place to rest. An eat-in kitchen or a breakfast nook will bring everyone into the kitchen. Your kids can work on homework while you cook dinner, and your hubby can read the paper while you make your morning coffee. You may even find the family hangs around to chat during dinner clean-up. A kitchen table also gives you space for crafts, projects and family conversation. If you don't have the space for a table, try clearing a spot for a stool at the end of a counter, or put a chair in an empty corner.
Cooking doesn't have to be a one-man job – get everyone in on the act. Creating meals as a family is a great way to spend time together, but it won't be enjoyable if you spend the whole night bumping elbows. Make sure you have enough counter space for everyone to spread out. If you have a smaller kitchen, keep lesser-used appliances in storage instead of on the counters. Consider adding an island, butcher's block or baker's rack to add more work space.
Kitchens have a way of collecting dirt and grime even faster than the rest of your house, and no one wants to hang in a kitchen that's less than clean. Keep your kitchen bright and sparkling for a room where everyone wants to spend time. To make this easier, tackle messes as they happen, sweep frequently and give your counters a quick wipe-down after each meal.
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