For kitchens that are separated from the rest of the house by walls and doors, consider removing a wall or two. Picture: Flickr.com

While kitchens were once considered the domain of moms and grandmothers reserved solely for cooking and baking, more people are starting to realise that kitchens are a space where families and friends can gather together to spend quality time.

Turn your kitchen into a warm and welcoming space that everyone wants to spend time in, with these top tips from Cobra.

Open it up

For kitchens that are separated from the rest of the house by walls and doors, consider removing a wall or two (with the help of a reliable contractor, of course) to create a more open space that’s easier for the family to access. Creating an open-plan kitchen provides a more flowing and brighter space that the whole family can enjoy.

Add comfortable seating

The key to turning a kitchen into a family space is ensuring there’s enough room for everyone to sit comfortably, and that it’s spacious enough for everyone to be in there at the same time. If space allows, add a round breakfast table with cushioned chairs, which doubles as a place to eat, do homework, chat and work if need be. You can also make better use of your kitchen island or breakfast nook if you have one, by adding comfortable bar stools for extra seating.

Keep the decor simple

A family room should be a space where everyone – including the kids – can relax. The last thing you want to do, particularly if you have small kids, is decorate the space with items that are highly valuable and breakable. Instead, why not frame any painting or pieces of art that the kids have done and put those up on the wall – this gives kids a feeling of pride and sense of belonging.

READ: 10 ways to save money on kitchen gadgets

Create schoolbag stations and homework nooks

Make room for the kids to complete their homework while you prepare dinner, by creating a homework area where the kids can sit, as well as a station where they can leave their completed work for you to check once they’re done. This is a great way to encourage the family to spend more time together – even if it’s just completing the day’s responsibilities – not to mention keep an eye on their progress in school work. 

You can even put up a white board or paint one of the walls with black chalk paint available from your local hardware store, to help with maths problems or even just drawing out spider diagrams.

Enhance the lighting and colour

Rooms that are bright and filled with natural light are instantly more inviting. Change up the fluorescent bar lights and replace them with stylish down lights that can be positioned according to your needs. Open the blind or curtains during the day to let the sunlight in, or if your kitchen doesn’t get that much light, add a few lamps that bring warm shades of light into the space. 

If your kitchen is on the smaller side, opt for lighter colours in natural shades to make the space seem bigger, and add a few mirrors to reflect light across the room.