Todays latest trends in kitchens is an integrated kitchen – family room design.
Todays kitchens have evolved to be the center of family activity so instead of keeping the cook isolated in one room, the trend is to incorporate the kitchen into the room that the family spends the most of it’s time in.
Todays family has limited time and wants to make the most of the time they are together. With a combination family room, kitchen design, family members can pay bills, do homework, cook supper or cleanup the dishes all in the same space. When it comes time to entertain, the hosts doesn’t have to be cooped up in the kitchen alone but can enjoy conversing with their guests while they are preparing the food.
If you are thinking about designing a combination kitchen area and family room there’s a couple of ways you can do it. Some prefer a totally open space, while others like a little separation. Depending on the square footage you have for your kitchen combo, you’ll need to think about traffic flow and placement of kitchen cabinets.
Totally Open Design
If you like a modern open look, then a kitchen that is open to the family room might be the design for you. This design is really just one big room with your kitchen cabinets in one section. Typically, you’ll want an island to define the space, but no other walls or columns. This area is appealing, but there is really no place to hide dirty dishes in the sink or other kitchen mess.
This designs separates the kitchen from the family room with an architectural divider. Either large columns or very narrow pieces of wall or even a free standing fireplace. The kitchen area is mostly open to the family room with no upper cabinets dividing. A bar is between the two room, and may even have a bi-level island where the sink is recessed on the kitchen side thus helping to conceal dirty dishes and other clutter. This plan conceals the kitchen “mess” area a bit more while still giving the feeling of being in the same room.
Pass Through Design
This design separates the rooms with either a pass through in the wall, or upper and lower cabinets with space in the middle. This design works good to keep kitchen activities and noise in the kitchen and out of the TV room, but with the cook still being able to keep an eye on the kids, watch the TV and join in the conversation. You should make sure the pass through is big enough and upper cabinets are short enough so that the person in the kitchen can see into the other room when standing.