Interior designer Michelle Butler of the award-winning Design Studio, located in Camana Bay, says the kitchen is the natural epicentre of any home. “It is where family and friends gather, it is the source of comfort and tradition through food and drink, and it is increasingly the most important design feature in a home. Expanding this important space to include a dining room and even an open-concept family room enhances the functionality of a home and allows opportunities for further design features.”
With this philosophy in mind, Butler offers the following five tips to help you ensure this area of your home is warm and inviting to all who gravitate there.
1. Make sure the space is both functional and beautiful.
The design (or even just the accessorising) should be a reflection of your style and way of living, says Butler. “Whimsical and eclectic or minimalist and streamlined — they all have a place. By reflecting your personal style into the kitchen and dining area, you are inviting people to share in a part of your life. However, the space must also function well. You will not have people gathering around a kitchen that is a complete mess or cluttered with countertop ‘stuff.’ Try to have a place for everything to go so that you minimise the potential mess.”
2. Draw people into the space by incorporating multiple functions.
The kitchen should provide the basics for cooking but will also have a strong multigenerational draw if there’s a designated area for technology or an open surface for games, art or play.
3. Introduce a separate bar or entertainment area if the space allows.
This is always an incredibly fun area to design, as you can be more playful and trendy. If you don’t have the space for a full built-in bar setup, you can use a stylish bar cart and curate your own small corner as a decadent feature.
4. Strategise your lighting.
An essential part of a welcoming space is always the lighting. For an open-concept kitchen and dining area, it can be tricky, as you need to balance the requirement for strong, task lighting in the cooking area with soft, ambient lighting in the social areas. I suggest having layers of lighting on separate controls so that you can create the mood as needed.
5. Let your gorgeous surrounding inspire great meals.
No matter the design of the space, it is still all about the food. Cook it, bake it, pour it — and they will be there!
Author: Lisa Boushy Mack