The move in modern homes is definitely towards open plan or free flowing design where the kitchen and family rooms meld easily into one large living area. With the trend towards more casual living and entertaining, here are some pointers that can help you successfully transform your kitchen and family room into a social hub that actively draws people together.
Transformation truly opens up the heart of the home, making the area multi-functional and central to family life. A unified living area allows guests and/or family to more easily circulate and interact when entertaining.
To achieve a free flowing living area, you may be required to remove the dividing wall to open the area up effectively. This wall can be replaced with a dining counter or island where food is served and where the kids can do their homework. The counter or island can serve as a buffet / bar area for a party. And a centrally placed cooktop opens the living area up for conversation with family and guests while you’re preparing food.
If for some reason a complete an open plan living area is not an option, you can compromise by introducing elements of the family room into the kitchen. Create an entertainment island in the kitchen utilizing a smaller dining table or create a comfortable window seat area where friends and family can sit and chat with you while you cook. A small office or study area can help for kids who need to do homework or where you can do family accounts. For extra luxury, add a sound system, flat screen television or internet access. You can even reverse the flow by moving your valuable decorative china and glassware to matching cabinets in the living area.
A unified style is critical to the flow of the combined living area. Focus on a well-organized layout and integrated style to tie the rooms together and add to the feeling of seamless continuity. Design elements such as your living area furniture and kitchen cabinets can be chosen to complement each other. Pay attention to architectural features, for example arched windows in the kitchen design can be echoed in an arched opening leading into the family room. Continuity of your color scheme, flooring and lighting also helps creates a unified look.
While flow is the aim of combining the family and kitchen areas, for it to work practically and to best effect you still want to designate certain areas for certain key functions. A well-structured layout will have definite zones for cooking, food preparation, storage, cleanup, dining, study or work and relaxation. You can always define a self-service drinks and snack area with a small refrigerator on living area side of island for the comfort of your guests. It is advisable to bring your food preparation areas forward and keep the cleanup and storage zones away from the living area.