Rethinking the kitchen: Life after lockdown


If you began thinking about a new kitchen at the start of 2020, it’s likely that COVID-19 may have not only disrupted your plans, but also influenced the plan itself. Confined to our homes like never before, we’re more conscious of the space we share and the limitations it has. How can it be made more pleasant, safe and comfortable for us to enjoy?

This whole episode in our lives will accentuate the existing tendency to design multi-functional spaces. When we need to do nearly everything at home, from working and cooking, to schooling our children, it is essential that we start to think about the space we operate in. From creating independent rooms to open-plan areas that can be reconfigured depending on the time of day.

…others are welcoming some of the lifestyle changes. Across all the different experiences the pandemic has brought, more time at home with family has allowed us to reflect on our work-life balance. There is no time like the ‘now’ to consider whether your kitchen space really works for you.

We’re spending even more time in the kitchen than ever before. It will need to work harder to become a space that can transition from social dining to home office, or to an activity play area for the kids. To help keep the family entertained within this space for prolonged periods of time, it will also need to feel a more pleasing space to occupy than it may previously have been. Prioritising the different functions required is a great starting point in appropriately dividing up this space.

     Open living

Open-planned kitchens have been with us for some time now; the purpose of which was to bring families together after work, school and other activities. As we are now sometimes spending extended time in the one same space, the open-plan layout needs to be harmonious with the home and family, so that it connects products with people, making life in this space effortless.

Within the context of the home, the pandemic has probably put the most pressure on our kitchens. We’ve faced the dance of the appliances and the battle for the plugs and avoided noisy devices that disturb the neighbours, wake up the kids or disrupt video calls. Now we’re craving solutions that maximise kitchen space and offer us a sense of calm amongst the chaos.

Think about bringing in more greenery to your kitchen as well. Avoid dividing spaces up using visual barriers. Instead, subtly blur the lines with plants and flowers, bringing the outdoors in.

     Peace and quiet

Once upon a time you may have jumped on the ‘open-plan living’ band wagon so that you could get together as a family after work or school. If you, like many others are rethinking this due to the disruption of constant noise and activity, then you won’t be alone.

Keeping your kitchen as a separate room, retaining the adjoining room as a space for a home office, will allow for peace and quiet and assist productivity. It will also enable the kitchen to be used in a more traditional manner. However, you don’t necessarily need to leave walls up to create this divide. Think about screening off parts of an open-plan layout so that the space can be sectioned off for work, but opened back up for family time.

Well-considered furniture and accessories will always improve living and aesthetics, but now it can especially be used to creatively transform a room so that it can serve very different functions.