Adapting to lockdown: Inspired, fresh interior projects
For some homeowners, lockdown unfortunately put renovations on hold and any dreams of a fantastic new kitchen faded into the distant future. For others, lockdown was an opportunity to save money, meanwhile spending so much time at home inspired fresh interior projects. Either way, we’ve all had plenty of time to consider and plan our new kitchen and interior endeavours which can only be a good thing, but what can we learn from using our space during lockdown and how might our new way of living change the emphasis of our kitchen design plans?
During lockdown we have had to adapt to carrying out our entire lives in our homes, alongside the rest of our family. Some of us have found a new hobby in the kitchen, dedicating more time to cooking and trying new recipes.
Others have had to transform their kitchens into classrooms or offices. While this unusual set of circumstances may have been somewhat stressful to navigate, spending so much time at home has highlighted the impact our interiors have on our lives and has encouraged us to positively enhance our environment. Spending this time at home has given us the perfect opportunity to really analyse how we use our spaces, allowing us to make wonderful improvements that have a lasting effect.
Indulging in a passion for cooking
An end to tiresome commutes has left many of us with more time for discovering or indulging in our passion for cooking. In doing so, you may have noticed potential for some practical improvements to your kitchen design. Perhaps some of your appliances are no longer being used (get rid of that microwave for good) or are in need of updating. An organised and clutter free kitchen is key to efficient working, consider introducing innovative storage solutions to your new design such as pantry cupboards or pull out larders.
Drawers are often more easily accessible than cupboards and can be integrated into units for a sleek and functional feature. Changing your kitchen layout can make for a more practical cooking space, establishing dedicated areas for food preparation and ensure the three most important features (sink, hob and refrigerator) are all easily accessible. A fantastic addition to any kitchen design is a kitchen island. An island provides extra storage and workspace and is an ideal place to position appliances to create distinct functional zones, benefiting the overall flow of your space. While a kitchen island has a host of benefits to enhance your kitchen’s cooking capabilities, there are also plenty of features that make it great for families and open-plan living.
Creating kitchens for all purposes
For some time now the way we use our kitchens has been changing and with the family at home during lockdown, you might have found your kitchen is seeing much more use and not just in the cooking department. Kitchens are no longer purely a practical space, they are the central hub of our homes, a place to socialise, work and relax.
Open-plan living has been increasingly popular in recent years and is a great way to encourage a social environment, however it can have downsides which, if you have an open-plan home already, you might have noticed over lockdown…someone is trying to revise while someone else wants to do a Joe Wicks class. Zoning your space is a step towards a broken-plan design, a new hybrid interior concept that aims to improve open-plan living. Look at creating defined areas in your kitchen design, a cooking and food prep zone, a dining area, a space for relaxing and a multiuse indoor/outdoor space.
A fantastic way to achieve this zoning effect is by including a kitchen island in your design. An island can help to define a boundary between cooking and social areas and can be adapted to your needs on different occasions. Get the family involved in the cooking activities, setting them to work around the island can keep them out of the main traffic areas and provides a safety feature for younger children. Placing seating around the island creates a fantastic space for casual dining and socialising or even working. Install electrical sockets so the children can use their phones or tablets and you can quietly sit and work on your laptop.
Kitchen interiors that create wellbeing
Perhaps one of the most significant takeaways from lockdown is the importance of wellbeing. While we might not always associate this with our kitchen and interior designs, creating a welcoming environment that you can share with your family and friends can have a real positive impact on our mental health.
Enhancing the practical capabilities of your kitchen by improving cooking facilities and creating perfect zones for different activities will have a dramatic effect on the atmosphere of your space. Clear and tidy worksurfaces (made possible by effective storage) help to create an open and relaxing feel as well as making you less stressed when cooking.
Sharing your kitchen with family (through use of casual dining and social zones) brings a positive mood. Enhance this further by introducing plenty of natural light into your design. Whether you knock through a wall for patio doors or simply replace an existing window, bringing more light into your home will create a fresh and healthy ambience and improved views into your garden will create a closer connection with your environment. Likewise, softer natural touches can improve the welcoming and relaxing feel of your home, opt for wood finishes, a neutral colour palette and even include houseplants in your scheme.
Lockdown has taught us the importance of friends and family and has given us an understanding of the impact our environment can have on our lives. With so many of us choosing to spend money on renovations this year, it’s clear to see that people have been affected by this experience. With a new perspective on your home, now is the ideal time to rethink your kitchen design and use it to enhance your wellbeing, whether that means creating more space for family activities or a stress-free cooking station.
At Kitchenology our talented experts take a modern and innovative approach to kitchen design to craft exceptionally functional and beautiful spaces. If you would like to begin a new kitchen project or reconsider your design, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation at our Bury St Edmunds design studio. Click here to book an appointment or call us on 01284 619728.