Have you ever noticed how it seems that the life of the house takes place in the kitchen? The kitchen is about a lot more than just the place where you keep the food. It is where a lot of conversations take place, where mom helps the children with their schoolwork and where much of the life of the family happens every day. When you think about it, it is strange that a room dedicated to the preparation of food has such an importance to family life. But clearly everybody gravitates to the kitchen, which is often a very busy room.
The same thing happens when guests come over. Even if you have a wonderful entertainment room or living room where guests are encouraged to gather and socialize, they will naturally gravitate to the kitchen especially if that is where the hostess is preparing the evening meal or snacks. But even after the food or drinks are ready, people tend to ‘hang around’ in the kitchen and much of the activity of a night of social activity will happen in that room.
The old phrase ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ applies here because since it is clear that for some reason, humans love to be with each other in the kitchen, you might as well plan for that when you make your plans to remodel this very important room to family and social interaction. Step back and look at the kitchen as more than just a place to cook food but as a social center. That one change of orientation can alter how you remodel your kitchen entirely.
The installation of an island, for example, is a way to centralize the cooking process. In other words, since the one preparing the food can stand at the island and face the entryways to the kitchen, he or she can continue to be social as the food preparation is underway. In fact, an island invites the guests or family members to come to the counter and either help out or sample as the food is prepared. It is the ultimate social center and this one step can vastly improve the social possibilities of your new kitchen.
Other improvements you plan for your new kitchen should facilitate movement and congregation in the kitchen without interfering with the food preparation process. Make the entryways between the social rooms of the living room or the dining room wide and welcoming so people can flow from room to room easily. Provide openings in the walls so the cook or others in the kitchen can converse with those in the other rooms. Provide lots of light to make the room look happy and large which encourages conversation.
These steps will take what is already a natural instinct of people to socialize in the kitchen and go it one better by turning the kitchen into a social center. When you do that, you will find your social times flowing easily from room to room and your remodel will have made your home an even better place for entertaining and family times as well.