Why is the kitchen the heart of a home?Becky Hinshelwood
Some say it’s the links to food and nourishment, others feel that it’s a space of nurture. For so many of us, the kitchen is the first place we head when we return home at the end of the day. But why is it thought of so widely as the heart of a home? And is this why it’s so important to many people to get a kitchen refit design just right for them? We look at what the kitchen brings to our wellbeing, and how to make sure it’s your ideal space.
What do you want in a kitchen?
It’s a modern phenomenon that on buying a new house, people may have a kitchen refit even if the room is perfectly functional. This obviously depends on budgets and circumstances, but the fact remains that it’s clearly important for us to have a kitchen that is exactly what we want. Perhaps because we spend so much time in this room, making it the heart of a home. Obviously, what we want in a kitchen is subjective, but we’ve noticed common factors over the years. And they’re all tied into how the kitchen makes us feel.
Day to day, the kitchen is a practical space. We use it to provide meals for ourselves and our family. More than one person may be cooking or baking at any one time, so there has to be a functional structure at the core of the room. How do you create a functional space, though? The layout, storage, and utility of the room must all meet your needs.
From evening drinks to an afternoon coffee, the kitchen is now where we head to be social. When you select your layout, try to include areas for social interaction to happen. This might be a breakfast bar, or integrated soft seating. Most contemporary kitchen designs have an informal dining space included. This prevents the kitchen from being cast out from social occasions.
The kitchen is a room for anything. So flexibility is key, and your layout should have dedicated areas that are best suited to work and to rest. The best way to create flexible zoning is through lighting. Configure LED lighting in layers. This can be focussed on specific areas, both over your worktops and in social zones.
So much family interaction happens in the kitchen. We recap our days here, homework might be done at the kitchen table, the pets might potter around. With this buzz of activity, it’s important to create a homely space. This is why personal touches are so important, on top of a stylish design. Statement art, lighting pendants, and photographs all play a part in making this room unique to us.
Choosing between design schemes
For your kitchen to feel like the heart of your home, you must feel that the design style is representative of your personality. With most broad schemes, there is flexibility within the design to tailor a space one way or another. As if it were a blank canvas. This way, a kitchen refit could keep high quality features like a quartz worktop, while still altering the ambience of the space. Broad schemes normally come into the categories of contemporary and traditional. Then within these are more refined styles that might fit your preference.
With unfussy lines and clear spaces, a contemporary scheme has the scope to play with when it comes to style. Try reducing the colour palette of the space to have a monochrome or minimalist style. Or introduce a pop of colour for a vibrant and fun modern design.
A traditional styled kitchen can be made to feel more rustic by adding country home features. This might be a large farmhouse table, for example, or layering large wooden blocks on a quartz worktop. By adding open shelving, with lots of vintage crockery and accessories on display, the room will feel more bohemian. Give cabinet fronts a lick of pastel paint to give a coastal feel.
How to lay out your kitchen
We’ve already established that we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But for it to be a relaxed and comfortable heart of our home, the layout and space must be well thought out. What are the most important aspects of this though?
Even the smallest kitchens can maximise storage space. If you don’t have a lot of floor area, use the height of the room. Full height cabinets make use of all available space, and bespoke cabinetry can make use of awkward angles and gaps. Especially in a small space, you want to have as much useable worktop space as possible. In this way, storage has to be one of the most important elements of layout.
The way we access our storage can really affect how useable it is. Tall, pull out pantry cupboards mean that everything is easily in reach. Similarly, extendible corner cupboard baskets mean that you can make use of those traditionally trick to access spaces.
While the traditional kitchen triangle can feel like a relic of when the kitchen was predominantly a working space, zoning is still important. Oven and prep worktop space should be close together, and sink areas should be close to a dishwasher. A kitchen island means that zones can be moved between more seamlessly.
Design touches to make it personal
A functional kitchen is one thing, but personality is what really makes something appeal to our hearts. How do you give your kitchen the personal edge while still keeping it stylish?
The quality of materials in your kitchen have a bearing on its overall ambience. For example, choosing a solid marble worktop won’t just give you a low maintenance, highly durable surface. As it is a natural stone, each mined slab is completely unique.
It might be a piece of original wall art, or designer pendants over a breakfast bar. These statement pieces provide a real ‘wow’ factor that will make you feel happy every time you walk into the room.
As part of a kitchen refit, extension, or update, choosing a stone worktop will keep your kitchen feeling like the heart of your home. Browse our range, or visit us.