Heart of the Home: Turning your Kitchen into a Hot Spot
THE KITCHEN: THE HOTTEST GATHERING SPACE IN THE HOME
It is likely that you have heard the saying that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and while this may seem like a cliché, it truly has become the hottest gathering space in many homes. No longer just a functional space used to whip up quick meals, many kitchens have turned into a secondary living space where family and friends can congregate after a long day. While the living room still serves an important role by offering a space where you can relax at the end of the day, the kitchen is a great space where families and friends can gather to share stories and grow closer over a hot meal. It is then obvious why homeowners put so much effort into transforming their kitchens into a warm and inviting space where people can gather. Yet, regardless of whether you find that people congregate in your kitchen when you have company, you may find yourself wondering why the kitchen is such a common gathering spot these days. Here is a look at five reasons why the kitchen is considered the new gathering spot in many households.
KITCHENS ARE LARGER THAN EVER
Kitchens once served a much more functional role as they were meant primarily for cooking, and they were designed with this activity in mind. While the preparation of meals is still often the primary function of a kitchen, the last few decades have seen the kitchen also transition into a spot where family and friends can cook, eat, hang out, and talk about their day. In fact, many families find that they spend more time in the kitchen than in their living rooms.
The transition of the kitchen from a purely functional space to one that is meant for gathering is evident in how kitchen design has changed in the last 25 years. When people build kitchens today, communal gathering is just as important to the design as functionality, which is why kitchens are so much bigger than they once were. In addition to cooking spaces, homeowners often also prioritize gathering spaces such as countertop seating and a kitchen table around which people can gather and talk while cooking and eating together when redesigning their kitchen. Many homeowners now even prioritize kitchen seating over formal dining rooms as they find their families spending more time together in the kitchen than ever before.
PEOPLE ARE SPENDING MORE TIME AT HOME
One of the reasons kitchens have grown in importance in recent years is due to a trend toward healthier eating. While the weekend once meant spending time out on the town with friends, many people now try to eat at home more to stay healthy and save money. Instead of going out, many families now have themed dinners at home, host game nights, or throw intimate dinner parties with their friends. This trend toward spending more time at home has made the kitchen more integral to many families' lives, as the kitchen provides a perfect space to enjoy food and conversation during a night in. What was once a purely practical space for throwing together quick meals on a weeknight is now the central gathering space for friends on a Friday night who chose to have an appetizer night at home rather than go out.
FOOD BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER
The kitchen has become the center of modern home design as families learn the power of food to bring people together. Rather than being a closed-off space at the back of a home, the kitchen is now front and center as part of open floor plans that bring kitchen and living spaces together. The fact is that food is what brings us together, and the kitchen is very important to this process. In today's hectic society where we are often busy or disconnected as we spend more time online, mealtimes provide an opportunity for us to slow down and spend time with loved ones. Spacious kitchens that act as a gathering space can then help to further facilitate familial bonding, as families can spend time together and talk about their day while preparing a meal together.
It also cannot be underestimated the extent to which food facilitates conversation. A good meal can turn into hours of conversation, and you may find that you simply never make it to the living room after dinner because the conversation that started at the table continued once the meal was finished. For many families, even once all the dishes have been cleaned, the kitchen is a place where they can open up and share their hopes and struggles while sitting around the island. The kitchen is then the heart of the home for many people as it provides a safe and comfortable environment where they can gather over a meal and commune with their loved ones.
COOKING CONNECTS GENERATIONS
Food is often a way for us to connect with our relatives, and cooking can be a great way for younger generations to bond with their elders and learn more about their family's history, traditions, and the recipes that have been special to their family for decades. The kitchen is also the heart of activity on holidays, and it is where we connect with family and learn recipes that have been passed down over the years. For this reason, the kitchen is a special place for many people, and the sights and smells of the kitchen often remind us of our past and keep us connected to our families, which is why the tradition of gathering in the kitchen has become more important in recent years. The kitchen is a place we often gravitate towards, as it provides a place where we can nourish our bodies and souls daily.
If you are looking to turn your kitchen into a gathering space, feel free to contact us for advice on how to add new lighting to your kitchen to turn it into the ultimate hangout spot.