creating a sociable kitchen
One of my favourite things about my role here at Collins Bespoke is that I get to visit our customers in their homes after installation. The first thing I notice is how proud they are (and rightly so) of their new bespoke kitchen. It’s brilliant! I’m so often told that the room has become their living-space; a social spot for family and friends. Most of their time is spent in the kitchen! Mission accomplished team Collins Bespoke! Hooray.
Of course, we’ve known for a long time now that the kitchen really is the heart of a home. It’s more than just a place to cook and eat. We listen to our customers and love hearing what ‘sociable’ means to them. From hosting cocktail and dinner parties, to mummy coffee mornings and family dinners - creating a thoroughly bespoke kitchen that complements and works well with your lifestyle, is just as important to us, as it is to you.
With that in mind, here’s a selection of our favourite design ideas and tips to help create the ultimate social space:
ISLAND SEATING AND BREAKFAST BARS
Island seating is usually a must-have for families and provides an informal spot for quick family meals, evening homework sessions, busy breakfast times and after-school snacks. Islands are often the central point for a social kitchen design - not only practical for family life but ideal for entertaining too! Comfortable island seating gives guests a place to perch with a coffee (or cocktail) whilst catching up and lends itself as the perfect spot for them to relax - out of the way of the host preparing food at dinner parties.
Top tip: hosting is more enjoyable when you don’t have your back to your guests. So, if possible, position your hob or sink facing the island seating. No host wants to be stuck in the kitchen and unable to join in the fun, right?
If space allows, there really is no better way to bring your guests and family into the kitchen than open-plan kitchen and dining. Yes, it’s a little more formal but still close enough to keep an eye on children crafting at the table whilst preparing dinner, and not too far to fetch wine from the wine cooler if needed (always needed) when entertaining.
Speaking of which….
WINE COOLERS AND DRINKS CABINETS
By now, you’ve probably visited somewhere that’s home to an impressive gin collection. It’s pretty quirky! And, the whole customisation and experience that goes into serving a gin is totally bespoke in itself. Having your very own designated drinks cabinet - stocked with all your favourite tipples at home – has certainly got to be the perfect way to host a party. The absolute epitome of style and wow-factor. Plus, a real talking point for your guests. A sociable spot to gather around, chat and be merry!
Of course, every cabinet designed and made here is bespoke – properly bespoke, as in, made with you in mind, naturally. Whether you opt for internal lighting, glass shelves or bi-folding doors – we design and make the cabinets to complement your style, while providing a timeless design feature and most of all - ready to entertain.
Alternatively, an integrated wine cooler is a ‘must-have’ when hosting summer parties!
Top tip: dinner parties and entertaining is so much easier when bins are positioned next to the sink/prep area and dishwasher, for a quick scrape-rinse-load action.
Plus, we think the food and recycling bins are better hidden behind beautiful cabinetry too!
OPEN UP TO THE GARDEN
Making the most of natural light is a great way to create a welcoming and inviting kitchen. However, opening up your bespoke kitchen to the garden is a whole new level of WOW. If your kitchen opens directly on to your outdoor living space, it will feel like the centre of your home, even in high summer! Summer BBQs and children’s parties await…
Al fresco dining doesn’t need to draw too far from the kitchen, and by giving your cooking station a view of the greenery outside, you’re creating a large party space, where people can sit indoors or outdoors and still be together.
That’s pretty sociable!
Your beautiful, bespoke, handcrafted kitchen is perfect. So, what’s next?
To create a welcoming space that you and others enjoy spending time in, you’ll have to consider styling options too!
Here are my top ‘social styling’ ideas :
Soft furnishings - who said cushions are just for the lounge? Add some casual seating and somewhere comfy to sit in your open-plan living-space. Your guests will appreciate it. Plus, you’ll need somewhere to relax when dinner has been prepped and is ready for the oven!
Fresh flowers/fruit bowl - there’s just something so inviting about flowers and a big bowl of fruit. It really gives the space a lived-in feel. Need I say more?
Mirrors - help make your kitchen feel as light as possible (even with dark-painted cabinetry) - you want people to feel uplifted as soon as they come in. Mirrors are a great way to reflect light around a room. We especially love mirrored antique glass splashbacks - a real talking point!
Add splashes of colour - bring your personality to the kitchen and draw people in. This is the perfect spot to hang-out, after all.
Something for the kids - chalkboard, anyone? Fun for adults too, and - great for family shopping lists!