In previous decades, the living room was the focal point of the family home. Adults and children would congregate there in the evening, watching television and socialising with friends. But times have changed and kitchens have replaced living rooms as the focal point of the modern home.
Perhaps influenced by American TV programmes, where the average room is a vast open space, a lot of families are opting for larger multi-functional kitchens where the family can gather in the evening and share food and conversation. Instead of a small, cramped kitchen and separate dining room, the two rooms are opened up to create a light, airy space. So if this type of kitchen appeals to you, how can you create your own multi-functional kitchen?
Bigger is Better
The key to a multi-functional American-style kitchen is space. There is nothing wrong with a small kitchen, but in order to turn the room into a family room, it needs to be large enough to cope with the addition of extra items of furniture. If possible, create an open plan kitchen-dining room, or, if your kitchen looks out on to the garden, replace a back door with French windows. You could even build a conservatory extension to create extra space if there is sufficient room.
Light and Bright
A modern kitchen should be light, bright and airy. There are lots of lighting options to choose from when redesigning an old kitchen. Ceiling spotlights can be fitted at the time of installation. These will give you plenty of light for preparing food. Under cupboard lights are a nice feature, particularly at night. You could even opt for low level lighting along the bottom of base units if you need a landing strip to guide you to the fridge at 4AM.
Pick the Right Units
There are dozens of modern kitchen units on offer these days. Solid wood units (oak and pine) are still popular, but if you want to create a modern look, check out the latest gloss styles in pale colours. Dark wood or wood effect is also back in vogue. Accessorise with black granite worktops, stainless steel appliances and a few splashes of colour, and you will end up with a modern, sexy kitchen.
Colour is the Key
For a light, bright modern look, go for light or dark units and add an injection of accent colour in your accessories. Glass splashbacks are a fantastic way of stamping your personality in a kitchen. Glass splashbacks are available in any colour under the sun, so if you have a passion for hot pink or startling magenta, pick a glass splashback to suit. Once you have established your main accent colour, co-ordinate blinds and other decorative features accordingly.
No American-style kitchen would be complete without a large wall mounted TV, a dining room table and a cosy couch where the family can chill out while you prepare the evening meal.
If you are stuck for inspiration, check out photos on Pinterest to give you a few ideas. Then you can start making plans to turn your boring old kitchen into a multi-functional dream space.
About the author:
This article was written by Ian Shaw from Morley Glass. Ian writes for a number of websites on the subjects of home improvement and glazing solutions. As you might expect, he has a special interest in glass, particularly coloured glass, which he has recently installed in his own kitchen