Since lockdown, our kitchens have seen more use than ever, whether that’s more cooked meals to pass the time or doubling up as a home office. Even as restrictions continue to change amidst the current ‘new norm’, it’s expected that our attitude towards kitchen interior design will be forever changed with more emphasis on hygiene, flexibility and storage.
With this in mind, today we’re going to be looking at how the impacts of COVID-19 are influencing kitchen design, as well as as how you can adapt your current design to accommodate changing needs during these unprecedented times.
Design social spaces
Even with some restrictions being lifted, the murmurings of a second wave of coronavirus this winter could result in more people choosing to socialize in their homes rather than heading out.
This means the kitchen will become the epicenter of social gatherings, with more focus on open-plan designs that allow a seamless interaction between cooking and living spaces.
One concept that’s becoming a popular feature is the kitchen island. Ideal for compact modern homes, they offer a practical solution for additional storage and surface space, as well as a seated area for socializing.Whether it’s a coffee morning with friends, larger family get-to-gethers or a socially distanced Zoom quiz, having an area in your kitchen that allows for everyone to socialize without impacting functionality is key to the future of kitchen design.
Of course, if you don’t want a permanent island, opting for a mobile island or simply using your dining room table to offer that social space could be equally as effective.
Invest in ultra-clean worktops
Hygiene best practice has been a core part of the fight against the coronavirus and understandably it’s become a key focus within our kitchens, too. As a place where we prepare, cook and eat our food, people are now seeking out ultra-hygienic materials to bolster the cleanliness of their kitchens.
As the workhorse of your home, paying special attention to your countertops and backsplashes will set the right foundations to a cleaner (and potentially greener) home all round. For backsplashes, the addition of smooth porcelain or glass tiles will not only propel water and other splashes, but they can also be quickly cleaned to keep germs to a minimum.
For countertops, opting for a natural granite kitchen worktop will not only deliver a timelessly stylish, durable and sustainable solution, but also a hard-wearing and easy-clean surface to match. With exceptional scratch, stain and water resistance, you can rest easy that your worktops remain pristine and bacteria free with a simple wipe down after each use.
Add super-sized storage
Storage is a common issue for many modern homes and during the initial lockdown period many people went into a grocery buying frenzy, stocking up on long-lasting foods. Thankfully this bulk-buying mania seems to have subsided, but it has left a lingering effect with people still buying more canned and frozen goods than before COVID-19.
As a result, there seems to be a significant shift to bigger storage requirements in kitchens, with modern takes on the old fashioned larder. Of course, not everyone has the space for a dedicated food storage room, but tall, floor-to-ceiling pull out cupboards with integrated shelves and racks offer the ideal alternative. Optimizing previously under utilized space, these types of super-sized storage units are set to be a mainstay – providing savvy storage solutions even in compact kitchens.
These concealed units aren’t just for dry foods either, they can also be the perfect way to achieve a clutter-free kitchen design that’s a breeze to wipe clean – helping to maintain your ultra-clean countertops.
Create multi-functional zones
The modern kitchen doesn’t just need to be for cooking and socializing. In the current climate, they’ll provide a hub for multiple activities – from working from home to relaxation. This means it’s essential that kitchens can be versatile and ready to adapt to different activities throughout the day.
This is where features like the kitchen island offer numerous benefits that can quickly be transformed from a practical dining area into a streamlined at-home workspace. However, with the possibility of more people in the house at one time, the need to carve out a healthy work-life balance means your kitchen could also benefit from a dedicated relaxation zone.
The key here is to make this area still feel like part of the kitchen, yet distinctly separate. This is where choosing the right furniture style, size and design is essential. From oversized armchairs for a cozy reading nook to comfy sofas all the family can lounge on, pick pieces that complement the overall aesthetic and color scheme to create a unified look, but play around with softer textures and layering to give this space a more homely, serene feel.
When it comes to kitchen design amidst the current new norm, the key is to put emphasis on hygiene and functionality to ensure you have a clean and flexible space that works for you both now and in the future, whatever events unfold.