Inspiration from David Lisle

Looking to the future: the social kitchen

As we always say, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where a lot of us spend most of our time. Whether you have loved ones popping in and out for a coffee, or enjoy the occasional relaxing evening with friends, we all use our kitchens to socialise in our own way. Their design, therefore, should be carefully considered to not only provide a superb cooking space, but also to create a comfortable, relaxing place for socialisation.

Islands and human nature

Islands have become an almost essential feature in today’s kitchens. Not only do they form a central area for guests to gather around, but the extra worktop space enables the cook to prepare food whilst facing their guests, meaning they are able to remain socially engaged.

What some people don’t know, however, is that the shape of an island is critical to its social purpose and comfortability. Designers such as us at David Lisle Kitchen Design must consider the ergonomics of every design detail. We know that by curving one or more sides of your island, for example, you invite your guests to position themselves in a more natural group dynamic, and recessing your island to allow for seating means that it becomes a place that is occupied for much longer periods of time.

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By having the hob on the island, the chef can cook and prepare food all whilst facing and engaging with guests.

How your island fits into the space is also essential. As a species, we feel most at ease when our backs are protected and we can easily see our surroundings. Consider restaurants- the tables around the outside of the room are always booked first. This is because, subconsciously, we like to face into a room when relaxing. The same can be said about cooking. Ensuring you have a clear view of the rest of your kitchen from your prepping area will make a huge difference when welcoming visitors.

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When cooking, the host has full view of the dining and living area, as well as all entrances into the room in this open-plan space.

Reflecting your lifestyle

Considering how you like to socialise outside of your home is a great way of enhancing the sociability of your kitchen. If you enjoy meeting friends for drinks before an evening meal, then bring the bar into your kitchen in the form of our bespoke pantries. If you prefer lounging in cafes and sipping artisanal coffee, we can craft dedicated plumbed-in barista stations.

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The perfect pantry for coffee lovers, ready with fitted pull-out trays and fully plumbed-in coffee machine.

Pairing these with social seating areas encourages both family members and guests to spend more time in the kitchen. If you have the space, creating an open-plan kitchen/living area is the ideal way to do so. Dedicating a cosy corner of soft furnishings and a coffee table gives a cafe-esque atmosphere for relaxing during the day, and doubles for family gatherings as a safe space for children to occupy within sight of the adults. Allocating a space of bar stools and a table mimics sophisticated nightlife that serves for both intimate gatherings and larger parties.

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This kitchen/lounge has plenty of varied seating to suit a range of ages and scenarios.

It is a well-known saying that, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” In the current Covid-19 climate, many of us yearn for the days of dinner parties and relaxed gatherings with loved ones, especially as the holiday season approaches. However, rather than seeing this isolation period as time wasted, why not use it as an opportunity to look towards the future? By reflecting on what you miss most about socialising at home, you can use this opportunity to recreate your perfect social kitchen, ready and waiting for you and your guests to truly pick up where you left off.