A writer with a keen interest in design, Thomas Jones takes us through the crucial elements of developing a “sociable” kitchen.

Whatever style and personality your home may possess, it is an undeniable fact that the kitchen is often the main hub of activity in any house.

Drinking in the kitchen

Therefore, the importance of having an area not only to cook and clean in, but to socialise too, is key for many home owners.

Having a healthy balance of these uses makes for the ultimate kitchen; lots of space is of course a bonus, but in reality many people only have a small to medium-sized space to work with.

This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t create a great party kitchen by incorporating these factors together.

Cooking and Cleaning

As you would expect, a well thought out cooking space is the most important part of designing a kitchen for a lot of people. But even if you’re not all that interested in cooking, it is never going to be a bad idea to make your kitchen a pleasant place to prepare food. Think practicality and placement. You want your kitchen to have an easy-to-navigate, natural flow to it.

If you have an open-plan kitchen it is even more likely that it will serve as a socialising space. Open-plan is great for many reasons, but is particularly helpful for those who host regular dinner parties. Having a separate cooking space where you can still talk to guests is really useful.

Party friendly kitchens

We have established that the kitchen is often where people go to socialise, whether it’s a chat and a gossip over a pot of tea or even acting as ‘the bar’ at a house party. Either way, there are some key points to consider when designing your socially-focused kitchen.


An attractive dining set is the standard solution, but if you are struggling for space then breakfast bar stools for kitchens can be the answer and Top Furniture Ltd stock some great examples. These tuck conveniently tuck away and give guests a place to refresh themselves and grab a drink at the party, or read the paper and eat breakfast the next morning.


The lighting can easily have a positive or negative effect on your kitchen. The room should be filled with as much natural light as possible – skylights are always a great idea if you want to bring the outside in.

Provided you position electrical lighting well, and pay attention to the colour temperature of your bulbs, it too can help make your kitchen glow in exactly the way you want it too. Make sure that you opt for dimmer switches so that you can create the right mood as the night wears on.

Good Design

Well thought-out design sounds like an obvious factor, but you’d be surprised at how many existing kitchens are lacking in this.

Whilst great design doesn’t have a direct impact on party suitability in the same way as seating or lighting do, it’s still the case that guests will be more likely to make themselves at home in an attractive environment.

If you can’t afford to do a complete rebuild, you can still do things that will help your kitchen be the place you want it to be. Changing cupboard doors has an enormous effect on the overall look of the kitchen, and can be done on the cheap if you know where to look. A simple paint job and some house plants can also give you the ‘new kitchen effect’.