Now that the kitchen is the hub of all home activity, it’s becoming common for the design to include additional, specially-designed areas that have a particular purpose within the home. The inclusion of these spaces help the kitchen become a truly multi-functional zone and, when planned well, can enhance the lifestyle of all who live in the home.
Here, our Mint Kitchen Group expert designers take an in-depth look at some of the most popular inclusions and how they can be used for maximum effect.
Home office/Admin Area
Since the Covid pandemic, working from home has become the buzzword and many employers are now embracing a more flexible hybrid working environment. But this meant looking for where an adequate home office/admin space could be incorporated and the hub of the home is the obvious place.
Custom-built nooks are very popular in kitchens. Consisting of a small desk and storage area, they allow many homeowners to work from home or catch up on household admin easily while staying in the central part of the home. When considering your home office kitchen hub, think about the view. Placement near windows can be a tremendous inspiration to get a day’s worth of work done. If you can’t place your hub near a window, consider your lighting options carefully.
If you want to avoid the look of a kitchen desk sitting prominently in your kitchen, a tailored option could be the best way to proceed. There are a range of solutions available including a desk dropping down from cabinetry to reveal a computer space but staying concealed when not in use. A charging drawer that looks just like your other kitchen drawers is also recommended to keep messy cables hidden away. Your professional kitchen designer can guide you on styles and options for installing a concealed office space.
If you don’t have room for a specialised home office hub in your kitchen, utilising your island bench is another way to make a space for home admin in an innovative and comfortable way. Pop-up charging stations can be now be built into your benchtop or hidden under the bench. Remember all your needed tech – USB charging stations and ample power outlets must be considered when adding an office station to your kitchen. Hidden drawers are great for concealing office stationery and office equipment so your kitchen island bench can quickly transform back into a prep and serving area.
A custom-designed kitchen allows you to take functionality to a whole new level. Today homeowners are able to completely personalise their kitchens to deliver storage for their exact needs. Coffee pod machines have quickly become a staple in many homes. Luckily kitchen design has also caught up with this trend and you can include specially designed coffee storage drawers and holders, located in the same area as the coffee machine.
Or perhaps you like a tipple on the weekends? Beverage stations can be custom designed to provide storage that complements your kitchen while offering practicality at its best. These can be an excellent addition, particularly for those who love to entertain. Back-lit glass shelving allows you to showcase liqueur bottles or other specialty items to make a real feature of this area.
Beverage stations can allow guests to grab an hors-d’oeuvre, make a beautiful brew or shake up a cocktail – and all without getting in the way of any meal prep. Placement must be carefully considered and we usually recommend that these stations be located just outside or on the corners of the kitchen. Consider wine coolers and under-bench fridges, specialised cabinetry containing suitable storage for glasses and mugs, bench space for serving nibbles, and those all-important coffee machines.
The majority of kitchens are still focussed around the main work triangle but clever design can see the inclusion of two (or more!) work triangles to create specialised zones within a large kitchen. These zones can include breakfast and snack zones for hungry children after sport or school events, a quick morning meal before running out the door, or an after-dinner treat. The benefit is that traffic is contained within specific areas of the kitchen which keeps mess and fuss to a minimum.
Breakfast bars are an brilliant addition to many kitchens. Small dedicated bench zones can work wonderfully for those who want to quickly grab a bite to eat while catching up on the daily news. Many of these areas can be added to the end of a sweeping bench or on island benchtops. Getting savvy with your storage options is vital. Consider bespoke cabinetry for toasters, coffee machines, and cereal storage. Don’t forget the essentials – bowls, plates, and cutlery.
If you have a smaller kitchen, consider carving out a seating station on your island bench for your breakfast bar or adding it to the end of your kitchen bench. This can allow for seating for one or two without being in the way of other kitchen activity or intruding into the kitchen space.
For those who love to entertain, adding a scullery or butler’s pantry can be the ultimate in kitchen functionality. These fabulous extra spaces allow homeowners to keep their central kitchens clutter free and much more functional, while the scullery or butler’s pantry handles all of the entertaining extras.
A scullery or butler’s pantry can be custom-built and wholly concealed or open to the main kitchen. The options are endless and professional advice can allow you to create the perfect place for additional dry storage, refrigerators, sink space, and stowage of all those entertaining essentials.
This area can become a mini kitchen that complements your current kitchen while freeing up much-needed storage space. Plus, you can easily hide all your dishes during service leaving your main kitchen pristinely clean for your guests while offering the perfect place to rest food between meals and store additional extras such as beverages and hors-d’oeuvres.
With professional advice and guidance, you can easily add those unique additions to your kitchen to allow functionality to flow while completely customising your lifestyle and kitchen needs. Talk to our Mint Kitchen Group expert specialist designers today and let us bring your dream kitchen to life.