The kitchen is the most hard-worked room of the home, but more so than ever now due to the current changes of the pandemic. We welcome back family and friends into our safe havens, with social distancing measures to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread. Making the right decisions early on in the planning process will allow you to create the ultimate multi-functional kitchen that’s perfect for entertaining as well as every day living as we prepare for the ‘new’ future.

This past year is not what we thought 2020 would be like, and the importance of a multi-functional home that is safe for everyone is key in today designing. There is now an increased awareness of social distancing and hygiene practises that have been implemented in the last 6 months and understanding how to zone your kitchen can be one of the most effective ways to design a space that is not only adaptable for the future but a beautiful story too.

The right layout for your space

The kitchen layout is one of the most important aspects of the design, as it helps you to use every inch of space efficiently and build a hub of the home which is suited to your lifestyle and needs. An open-plan area can be pulled together as a whole with multiple zones within the space allowing each one to work separately. Another layout to consider is the ‘kitchen triangle’. It is one of the most well-known layouts as it includes the cooking area, cold storage zone and the wash area. Using this as a starting point, kitchen designers can then build zones depending on your lifestyle and individual family needs.

Now that we can bring our family members and friends together under one roof, bearing in mind only up to 6 people, we need to carefully consider how the kitchen will work as a whole. An open-plan space can demonstrate multiple zones with the kitchen flowing into one and of course keeping socially distanced.

  • A kitchen island or peninsular unit can divide the areas and add a safe seating area from the cook and guest
  • A relaxation zone allows the homeowner and guest to sit comfortably at a safe distance
  • Prep and cooking zones
  • A defined dining and entertaining area allowing you to be altogether
  • Opening up the kitchen into the outdoor space, bringing in as much fresh air as possible

Multi-functional kitchens are designed to have a clear story behind the on how they should be used. When designing your kitchen you want to think about if you are creating a safe space for entertaining or a retreat when the family can eat and relax.

The island

The kitchen island is a truly social feature that adds lots of amazing functions to the space. It allows you to cook and still feel part of the conversation with family and friends. Guests can be seated comfortably at a social yet safe distance. If you have a smaller kitchen and the option of increasing the size is not viable, a small island or peninsular unit can be added with just 2 or 3 seats to divide the space as well as create a place to gather.

When designing the island with Nicholas Bridger, we will work with you to create a space that is perfect for traffic flow and allows clearance between storage and appliances so others can use it simultaneously.

Seating areas

There are many seating areas that you can include within your home that allows for more flexibility and multiple guests. Are you after a formal family dining zone? A casual sofa for entertaining? An island for family and friends to gather?

A kitchen island is a wonderful way to bring people together, especially when they incorporate seating. You can position stools underneath to create more room on the other side, or maximise your storage and opt for a pedestal table towards one end. This allows you to prepare and cook the dinner at a safe distance while your guests sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of vino.

Building a safe socially distanced dinner party, a separate dining zone is a must. Divide your space with a rectangular dining table, or opt for a freestanding round table if you don’t have the floor space available. Both seating areas are ideal for the perfect family meals. Our kitchens are crafted around you and your lifestyle because they are truly bespoke, so all areas in your space will be designed unique and personal to you.

The ‘kitchen triangle’ is the perfect layout to bring the three main elements together in the kitchen – the oven, sink and refrigerator. These need to be positioned comfortably in the kitchen, as it will allow you and your guest to move freely around the kitchen without interruption.

If you have a small task zone they can be a chance to create a high traffic hotspot. If you have the space incorporate two sinks, one central wash zone and a small prep sink. Add a Quooker tap to one to allow others to access drinks without crossing paths. A kitchen pantry is normally on everyone’s kitchen wish list, especially when we have stocked up on food over these past months. Place a dresser full of glasses and mugs near your coffee machine or boiling water tap and stocked up pantries with all the cooking essentials and ingredients near to your cooking appliances so everything is within easy reach.

Build in relaxation zones

Relaxation in life is key to a healthy lifestyle. We need to focus on our security, wellness and comfort and many interiors are designed in this way. They don’t have to be extravagant but can be just as cosy. In the corner of the room, you can create a cosy nook, a window seat for guests to perch on or zone an area with comfortable seats and soft textures. If you are thinking of incorporating sofas into the space, consider materials that are hardwearing and easy to clean so they don’t hold smells from the cooking area.

Connect to the outdoors

Extend your kitchen outside, where dinner parties can be held and the host can still be part of the conversation, cooking just a few meters away. You want to make the most of your garden views too. Drop the window sills or install floor-to-ceiling bi-fold doors to help bring the outdoors in.

We have realised the importance of fresh air and the effects natural light, nature and outdoor spaces have on our moods and wellbeing more so than ever right now.

If you would like to know more about how to plan a socially distanced handmade kitchen contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you. We are on hand to make your dreams a reality keeping within current guidelines in keeping everyone safe. Understand how to zone your kitchen in a multi-functional way that is safe and welcoming for family and friends.