The “NEW” Family Room

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family room

Written by Carol Van Zile, CKD, CAPS

Is there anybody out there, over the age of 20, that hasn’t heard the saying “the kitchen is the heart of the home?” Well, that’s just not the truth anymore. Kitchens are now the new family room, and so much more. Kitchens are unifying formal dining spaces and sitting rooms into a single, integrated living space. This trend has given kitchen professionals the opportunity to design cabinetry that looks more like fine furniture than the ever present “cupboards” of days gone by. Additionally, lots of attention is being given to the smallest of details.

Countertops and islands are replacing kitchen and dining room tables as the gathering places for meals and entertaining. In the newer open concept kitchen/gathering room everyone can be included in the conversation. Why should the cook miss out on all the fun just because the appetizers are not quite ready?

In fact, banquette seating (a throwback to the 1950s) is making a comeback. This option offers comfortable seating for people who congregate in the kitchen...for more than just good food.

As the new family room, kitchens are being accessorized with all sorts of electronics. Popular items, such as wall mounted televisions, integrated sound systems and laptop computers are showing up in this family friendly space.

Layered lighting provides the proper illumination, no matter what task you decide to undertake. Recessed, overhead fixtures provide ambient light. Pendants, and even chandeliers are popular for task lighting over an island or seating area. Under, above, or interior cabinet lighting is a great way to highlight special areas of the kitchen. Having a variety of lighting options allows you to take complete advantage of the space in your kitchen. Dim all the lights except the chandelier and you’re in an intimate dining area. Turn up the recessed lighting and it’s time to do homework. LED’s under the upper cabinets provide task lighting for projects. With the right mix of available lighting, the options are unlimited.

Excited to get started? Maybe a little scared too? The first step is to really think about how you live. If you spend the bulk of your time in the kitchen, whether entertaining or cooking, then turning your kitchen space into a more family friendly, multi-purpose room might make sense for you. Call me and I can help walk you through turning your current space into your new family room!