Today’s Kitchens Expand to Serve More Purposes as the Social Center of the Home

Today’s Kitchens Expand to Serve More Purposes as the Social Center of the Home

In the words of celebrity chef and TV personality Rachael Ray, “Good food and a warm kitchen is what makes a house a home.” Today’s kitchens serve so many purposes in the daily life of a family from a cozy place to gather over a home-cooked meal to a makeshift craft room for kids’ art projects to an office for paying bills and doing homework. While American kitchen designs have evolved over the decades, one thing has remained constant: Kitchens have endured as the social hub in every home.

“Kitchens are the hub of all things social in homes today. As a result, we continue to see the trend towards larger kitchens in floor plans as most, if not all of the room, opens to other living space to allow seamless interaction among living, dining and cooking areas,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of The House Plan Company, a residential plan marketing company based in Oregon.

In McAlexander’s contemporary farmhouse plan, Myrtlewood #82013, the kitchen is the centerpiece of the home. In this design, the open plan kitchen takes up most of the square footage and encompasses a breakfast nook, great room and dining area. An oversized island with a built-in stovetop and overhead hanging rack for cookware anchors the space.

“Islands continue to be popular and have been gaining functionality by allowing homeowners to cook and prepare food while interacting with guests, much like a ‘chef’s table’ concept in restaurants today,” explained McAlexander.

In the contemporary stone and stucco house plan, Boulder #26815 by Dan Tyree of Tyree House Plans in Tennessee, an L-shaped kitchen island features a cooktop and double sinks along with plenty of seating. The island also serves to separate an open kitchen from dining and living room areas.

Similarly, Jon Rentfrow of Rentfrow Design in Colorado, creates home plans with open concept kitchen, dining and living room areas, such as his contemporary craftsman-style design, Bozeman Trail #15635. In this floor plan, the kitchen and dining area comprise one large space with a multi-functional island as the centerpiece that opens to a great room and a large covered patio for easy outdoor living.

Aside from large islands and an abundance of open space, other trends in kitchens today include unique cabinet designs and storage options, coffee and wine bar nooks, and even indoor/outdoor serving bars.

“One element that seems to be making a resurgence is the serving bar, opening kitchens to outdoor living space with the use of a roll-up door to create the sense of an outdoor kitchen,” said McAlexander.

As seen on PRUnderground

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