Places for hanging out – the new lifestyle kitchens
Particularly in lofts, cleverly integrated kitchens can create a homely atmosphere. Photo: AMK
Kitchen-diner-living rooms are in, whether they are a large, separate space or an integrated cooking and dining area within the living room. For many people today, the kitchen is once again the centre of their homes, where they come together with family and friends to cook, eat and chat. Kitchen-diner-living rooms offer them plenty of scope to express their personal preferences. It doesn’t matter how big the kitchen is because, with intelligent planning, it can be designed with a comfy, welcoming feel even in a small space.
The centrepiece of these rooms is usually the dining table where family and friends gather to enjoy spending time together. Everything is possible here, from a small breakfast bar with bar stools to create an intimate bistro-style atmosphere for a couple to a large dining table for parties or a big houseshare. But cooking and eating can be linked and even more harmony created by opting for a kitchen island with a countertop extension, which then does double duty as a place to serve and eat food. The members of the household can spend time together right from when they start preparing the ingredients for their meal. They can lend each other a hand or simply chat to the chef for the evening.
Living and cooking areas coordinated
Coordinated surfaces in living rooms and kitchen areas ensure a harmonious unity. Photo: AMK
A glance at kitchen manufacturers’ concepts reveals just how close the kitchen and living room now are: Coordinating materials and surfaces for the worktops, end panels and plinths continue into the living area, allowing the entire space to be designed as a whole. Shelving systems also open up almost infinite possibilities for planning and designing individual living spaces, and they can be used as both kitchen and living room shelves. To create a snug, cosy feel, many shelves are backlit and equipped with sliding doors so that items such as kitchen utensils can either be displayed beautifully or easily hidden away at a moment’s notice. With shelving systems like these that act as display cabinets, the boundaries between the living and dining areas of the home dissolve.
Comfort through the choice of colours and materials
Kitchens can be made more homely with colours, decorations, and different surfaces. Photo: AMK
But colours and decors also create fluid transitions. The design of kitchen and living furniture is becoming increasingly similar. We’re seeing more and more chairs and dining benches in colourful designs featuring materials and upholstery fabrics such as velvet that indulge the senses and exude a snug, cosy warmth. In the kitchen, there is to be no shortage of comfort or decorative touches in the form of plants, pictures or textiles, such as table runners or curtains. They accentuate the homely feel and are picked up again in the spacious worktops and shelves. Appliances such as the cooker and oven disappear into furniture units and tall kitchen units to underscore the cosy look.
Whether cosy or with an industrial look: separate kitchens can also be designed individually and comfortably. Photo: AMK
From minimalist to pared-back, from romantic country house style to an elegant art deco feel – anything you like goes. Creating a welcoming atmosphere is the new watchword, even with a raw industrial look or the ever-popular Scandi style – with lots of wood, clear lines, linear shapes and bright colours. There are hardly any limits on personal preferences. Snug and homely or striking and impressive, today’s lifestyle kitchens open up a host of planning possibilities with their modular and flexible structure. There’s so much to choose from: built-in or free-standing options, with or without wall units, an extended bistro-style bar, a long table or a kitchen island installed in the centre, and open or closed display cabinets or shelves.