Family kitchens need to feel welcoming and be functional; this is where you and yours congregate to cook, chat and spend quality time together.  For most people who are now parents, the kitchen was the hub of their home as they grew up.  The space was generous and open, often incorporating a dining area or island where you could sit and watch as your food was prepared.  However, as smaller homes have become the norm for many families and apartment living is widespread, the area available for kitchens is limited in contemporary homes.

When you are remodeling you cooking area, consider applying the principles of integrated design and forward-plan every aspect of your kitchen.  Work out what features will optimize the space you currently have, making it a more dynamic and productive environment in which you feel comfortable.  Of primary importance is keeping the worktops free from clutter and easy to clean-up after use.  If you have no choice but to keep a few items out, use decorative trays or baskets to keep them looking neat and tidy.  Your bin should also be kept off the floor and out of the way, place it beneath the sink or counter to instantly make the room feel bigger.

Wall cabinets that reach up to the ceiling give you a bountiful storage solution, but if you don’t like the thought of using a stool to access them, put your everyday items on the lower shelves.  Consider storing larger appliances in a separate area or even having a designated utility space elsewhere if possible.Although it is always ideal to have your kitchen and dining area on the same level and adjacent to each other, a screen or sliding door can be installed to hide the post-cooking clutter at parties.  During less formal times, like family meals, it can be left open for a more flowing, open-plan feel.


Color can be used to create the illusion of space, so select paler shades, or even white for your walls or units. Marble is an exquisite work surface material, and its bright reflective qualities will make a narrow area appear larger.  Staging a room with the right illumination can also bring out the best in a small space; try large bright pendant lights combined withcabinet down-lighters for a gentle ambient glow.

The kitchen window is an important aspect of the overall design; it needs to let in plenty of light, but also offer privacy and shade. Polyvinyl shutters are an elegant choice; they come in a variety of modern tones, remain unaffected by moisture and are easy to clean.  For a subtle effect choose a shutter color that coordinates with your décor, or add drama with a contrasting shade.

As with all aspects of interior design, the kitchen in your home should be planned to meet the needs of your family and lifestyle.  Although organization is vital, the choice of color, the units and the dressing are down to your personal taste.  Do some research on what’s available, then take your time in drafting a kitchen plan and you’ll create a space which will make you happy every day.

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