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Modern Kitchen Ideas for Modern Family Living

Today's kitchens are expected to work harder than ever before. With the modern trend for open plan kitchen-diners, or kitchen-family rooms, our kitchens need to be designed in such a way that they work for all purposes and all members of the family. There are some easy ways to get it right, no matter what space you have available. Before you even decide on your kitchen units, think about the design and how you can make your kitchen-cum-family-room work for you.

Kitchen-diners for small spaces

If you've got a small kitchen area, you may think that a combined kitchen and family space is impossible to achieve without a large extension being added to your home. However, this isn't always the case; you may just need to think outside the box.

For example, if your built in kitchen includes a bay window area, why not incorporate a window seat style breakfast or dining table in this area? It may not be the traditional open plan large scale kitchen and family room, but it will be a space for the children to do their homework whilst you prepare the evening meal; somewhere for the whole family to relax together.

Alternatively, you may have a dining room which is not being used due to the fact that it separates the family living space, or, in an older home, an empty pantry could be knocked through to create the space required for a beautiful new kitchen and family space.

Ideas for large-scale kitchen-family rooms

If you're planning a large scale kitchen / family room, remember that there are plenty of uses for the space; it's not all about plonking a sofa in the left over space and calling it quits.

Think about what you want to use the space for: is it going to be a sophisticated grown up area for entertaining? Or somewhere for the whole family to congregate and relax? Or perhaps even a playroom or home office?

Whatever the use, design it wisely: use furniture to separate the various living areas - perhaps using a bookcase if the area is to be a home office, or maybe even free standing kitchen units for more traditional kitchens-cum-family-rooms - and design your seating are wisely; for example, if you're extending, you may think about adding a sunken area specifically for the seating, to create a natural break.

family Kitchen

You'll also need to think about the likes of heating and storage; underfloor heating is an excellent way of heating such a large space (and our colleagues at the Stone Gallery and the Ceramic Tile Warehouse will be happy to help with underfloor heating needs!) and sleek, gloss kitchens are often the favoured type of storage to keep in with the modern feel of these large rooms.

Choosing kitchen units for open plan living

The golden rule for choosing kitchen units for this type of open plan family room is the lighter the colour of the fitted kitchen, the larger the room will look. Light coloured, high gloss kitchens create the airy, open feel favoured by this look.

You can stop the space from feeling too utilitarian by incorporating pops of colour into your scheme - either through accessories in your new kitchen or by using brightly coloured sofas and seating. Sleek appliances, as favoured by the ever fashionable German kitchen, work particularly well in these designs, as they are often integrated and can be hidden away when the kitchen part of the room is out of use.

The Art of Living for modern family living

Before you design your new kitchen and family living space, pay a visit to the Art of Living group, in Camberley, Surrey. Our experts here at Park Street Interiors are the obvious choice for supplying your new kitchen units and giving design ideas, and if the thought of underfloor heating has whet your appetite, our colleagues' expertise at the Stone Gallery and the Ceramic Tile Warehouse will be able to help. We'll be on hand to give you advice on how to organise your new fitted kitchen and make it work with your family's lifestyle; your kitchen will be working harder for you before you know it.

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