Kitchens built for socialising

How to create a kitchen you’ll love inviting friends and family into

Socialising is such a huge part of modern life that the average Brit spends a huge £150,000 on socialising over the course of their lifetime, including an average of £44 per week on dining out of the house.

If you’re looking to cut back on spending, there is another way you can still be social without missing out on spending quality time with those you care about.

Inviting friends and family over for dinner will not only save you a few pounds, but it can also be a great opportunity to sharpen your cooking skills and try out new recipes and cuisines with friends.

You could even host your own potluck to spread the preparation time between the group, explains Kristin Donnelly, food writer and author of the cookbook “Modern Potluck’:

“Potluck is the ultimate way to bring people together. By asking friends to contribute a dish, it makes hosting parties easier on the host and ensures there is something for everyone to eat.”

So, if this sounds like a great idea, or you love having friends over for dinner, what should you bear in mind when designing your kitchen to ensure you create a welcoming space for visitors?

One major tip is to keep your kitchen and dining areas connected in an open plan layout, so you can still socialize with guests while you’re putting the finishing touches on dishes.

Opting for a kitchen island is another great solution, as it will create a central point to gather round and serve food from, as architect and designer Johnny Grey underlines:

“A centrally located island or extendable surface allows people to make eye contact with one another whilst they cook, because conversation is natural as they are facing each other.”

If you don’t have space for a kitchen island, why not try Magnet’s innovative Worktop Plus system, which tucks neatly under countertops to maximise your space, then pulls out to reveal an worktop space when you need it.

If your room wouldn’t suit an open plan layout, you could even install French doors opening out onto a patio from the kitchen to enjoy al fresco dining in summer without taking up valuable kitchen space, or French doors opening onto a second dining room for the cooler months.

Once you’ve chosen the optimum layout for creating a sociable kitchen space, it’s time to add finishing touch3es to make guests feel more at home. Including cosy cushions on bar stools, fresh plants on countertops or decorative accessories on open shelves will all help give the room a more welcoming feel.

Likewise, music and lighting are both crucial factors for setting the scene. Install pendant lights with dimmer switches to create a more intimate feel for your evening, or play relaxing background music through Magnet’s Sound Bar speaker system, built into the spaces between your cabinets.

To finish off, we have one final tip for designing a kitchen that friends and family will love to visit …include a well-stocked wine cooler!