For many families, the kitchen is the most important room in the house; it is the place where everyone comes together to cook, eat and socialise. Therefore, when you are thinking about designing a new kitchen, it is important to make sure that all members of the family will feel happy there and will want to use the room with you.
Psychologists are starting to suggest that there might be a bigger link between a person’s environment and their behaviour than you might think. Different people feel more comfortable in different spaces. Someone with an introverted personality will tend to feel more comfortable in a quieter environment, whereas an extrovert will usually prefer a big and open space which is full of light and visually stimulating colours and therefore good for socialising.
So, in order to create a place where the whole family is going to feel relaxed you need to consider a few important things about who is going to be using the kitchen and how. All sorts of subtle factors can change the atmosphere of a room, from the colours you choose for the walls and fittings to what sort of lights you decide on. Here we will explain how to utilise your space with your kitchen designer, to ensure you create the right kitchen for your home and everyone in it.
When thinking about how you’d like your kitchen laid out to consider whether you are a family of entertainers or whether you enjoy a quieter, more intimate home life.
If you are keen to have everyone involved in the kitchen, whether that means helping with the food prep or just including everyone in the conversation, an island in the centre of the room could be a good call. This will physically keep people in the centre of the room and involved in the action. You might also want to consider putting the hob on the island too so whoever is cooking isn’t left out.
If you use cooking as more of a therapeutic activity and the kitchen as a space to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then try to make it a cosier room. Don’t fit any big television screens or any loud, distracting gadgets, instead, go for something simple where you can comfortably catch up with the family after a day at work or school.
There are some simple principles concerning colour that could make a big difference when trying to create the right atmosphere in your kitchen. Too many dark colours won’t be inviting, whereas too many bright ones might get overwhelming.
Colours are known to trigger different emotions. For example, soothing blues create a sophisticated and calm atmosphere. Blue is also known to reduce appetite which could be useful for someone looking to cut back on the calories but not for someone looking to throw a dinner party. Warm colours, on the other hand, are much more visually stimulating and are likely to encourage a lively atmosphere. Reds will increase the appetites of those in the room – you may have noticed that many restaurants use red in their décor to encourage hunger in their customers. Green is associated with healthy eating but also with abundance whereas yellow promotes happiness which makes people more likely to want to eat.
Depending on what sort of atmosphere you want to create or what sorts of foods you want people to be eating in your kitchen you might want to have a careful think that goes beyond simple aesthetics about what colour palette you want to use.
This is a very important element of kitchen design. Lighting is both a practical and an aesthetic consideration. Your kitchen is host to many scenarios so you need to make sure that your lighting is flexible enough to meet all of these needs.
Firstly, you need to make sure that cooking will have enough light to work comfortably in. Natural light can be very useful with this so maximising the potential to let sunlight into your kitchen near where the cooking will be done is important. Natural light is also good at making a room seem more inviting and relaxing. However, once the sun goes down you want to be able to continue cooking and entertaining while maintaining a good atmosphere. Harsh, bright lighting won’t help with this but softer, warmer lighting will. Wall lights and cabinet lights are a good way of subtly creating some atmosphere.
So, instead of going through magazines and deciding what you like the look of best, a more productive way of thinking about your new kitchen would be to think about exactly who is going to be using it and how they will be using it. You need to find the right compromise between what works functionally and aesthetically to make sure that everyone will feel comfortable there.