Design & Trends

Open Kitchen Design – For the Modern Every Day

Kitchens have evolved from small rooms, where food was prepared behind the scenes-style, to becoming even more of the open-plan, social heart of the home, where family and friends come together. Today, kitchen use is more multi-faceted than ever, and design needs to adhere.

Current kitchen life and cooking

Food and cooking trends are as many as they are prominent in today’s culture. The kitchen is at the centre of this – and its role and uses are multi-faceted. There is the traditional home cooking as well as the laboratory-like molecular cooking trend. The slow food and the quickly prepared meals. There is also a larger takeaway and home delivery movement than ever before. Kitchens need to be designed to be multi-operational. It is a theatre of chef-style cooking, preparing something quick, entertaining guests and getting plates for the takeaway meal. At the same time, it is also the place where one spends time with the kids, pays the bills and winds down after a long day.


Designed for socializing

All these various uses must be taken into account when designing a kitchen. Today the kitchen is open – both when it comes to design and how people use it. As kitchen life becomes more important, the design and layout of a kitchen strongly influence a buyer in their decision to purchase a given dwelling.

Designers, architects and developers find great benefits in designing kitchens in an open way so that they are an integral part of everyday life. Gone are the walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room, turning the new space into a communal area for the whole family.

Turn triangles into zones

When the modern kitchen was introduced in the ‘50s, it was designed with the “golden triangle” in mind. The three stations in the triangle represented rational movements and flow. Cooking at the stove, preparing by the sink and storing in the fridge. The model still applies to some extent. But, as kitchens become more of a social space, the triangle-design can cause bottlenecks.

One might consider, then, to move from strict triangles into zones. A modern-day social and open-planned kitchen can instead be designed around self-contained zones. One for baking, one for preparing, one for plating, one for reading cookbooks, one for mixing that new drink et cetera. Designing with zones means that more people can join the fun without being it the way of each other. The zones that are not in use at the moment can be used to “park” people not taking part in the cooking activity, but still in the conversation. Human-centered kitchen design, utilizing zones, is indeed more than the flavour of the week, so to speak.

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