Designing a convenient shared kitchen in a home
Whether you’re designing a shared kitchen for a flat, for a home that will be shared by housemates, or just for a large communal family space, there’s a lot to consider when creating a shared use kitchen that's both stylish and convenient.
Plan the layout
Carefully planning a shared kitchen is like designing a kitchen twice over. You’ll need to perfect the layout to make sure everyone has enough room to cook, plus build in communal spaces to create a hub for people to hang out and relax – and there will undoubtedly be a lot of storage needed. Here are our top tips for planning your kitchen layout ahead of time.
How many people will be using the kitchen?
Plan how many people will be using the shared kitchen space – you’ll need storage space for each person, plus enough space for all of the house’s inhabitants to use the kitchen. Plenty of preparation surfaces and workstations will be necessary, as well as enough space for multiple appliances like ovens and grills. If you’re going to have appliances built into the kitchen design, make sure there’s adequate space for doors to open out into the room without blocking access to other parts of the kitchen.
What equipment do you need, and where will it go?
Aside from the obvious – your ovens and fridges – you need to decide if you’ll have multiple pieces of other equipment, like microwaves, kettles and toasters. If you do want these, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got adequate space on your countertops without cutting into food preparation spaces, and also ensure that there are enough electrical plug sockets to support multiple appliances in these areas.
Make sure there’s enough for everyone
If you’re designing a shared kitchen space for multiple people, you need to make sure there's enough space for everyone. Think about fridge and freezer space – a standard fridge/freezer might only give a shelf per person, which wouldn’t be enough room for most people. If you’ll be installing multiple appliances, you’ll again need to make sure that there are going to be enough plug sockets in key locations.
Make sure there’s adequate cupboard space
Cupboard space and kitchen storage is always important, but never more so than in a shared kitchen. Each person needs enough space for a kitchen’s worth of food, cookware, plates and so on – so having enough kitchen storage is essential. When you're using a shared kitchen, you may not be sharing kitchenware or pots and pans – or if you have flatmates with dietary restrictions, they might need to keep their kitchenware distinct and separate from yours.
Create a communal space
Part of the joy of living with other people is having fun conversations, cooking together, and having laughs over dinner. So, make the most of your shared space, and create a communal space where people will want to spend time together.
Add a breakfast bar
A breakfast bar is a great addition – both to add some extra preparation surface, and as a social hub for anyone using the shared kitchen. From a sociable breakfast in the morning to grabbing a quick coffee, a breakfast bar is a casual spot for friends to catch up. Plus, if you pick a breakfast nook with storage options, you’ll have even more space to give everyone sufficient storage. Choose stools that will slot into the breakfast bar to keep the space neat, and plan to decorate with some eye-catching kitchen wall art to get the conversations started.
Plan enough space for a large dining table, and enough chairs for everyone to take a seat come dinner time. If space is tight, consider smart seating solutions, like stools that will stack together, or chairs that will tuck neatly under the table – so make sure there’s enough overhang to cover the chairs and make sure they’re not causing a trip hazard.
Get smart with storage
As mentioned above, anyone using a shared kitchen will need plenty of storage space – and even with plenty of cupboards, it’s worth thinking outside the box a little bit.
Plan floor-to-ceiling cupboards, or consider a pull out pantry that will save space but still offer tons of storage for dried foods or store cupboard essentials.
Let it all hang out
Consider wire shelving or even mount a pegboard, to make the most of available wall space with smart storage options. You can hang utensils, potted herbs, a spice rack or even pots and pans from these versatile storage solutions, and allow shared kitchen users to free up some space in the cabinets.
Plan the flow of the kitchen
Our Wren kitchen experts can help you plan a kitchen layout, but it’s worth considering how the kitchen will be used. For example, if you have multiple hobs and ovens, if possible avoid having them near sinks-that way if multiple people are cooking at the same time, you’ll avoid a traffic jam as people finish cooking and need to wash or rinse their cookware. Similarly, consider spacing out any food preparation areas and surfaces – that way, people will be less likely to bump into each other (or cause kitchen accidents).
Planning a shared kitchen can be a big job – so don’t struggle alone. Our kitchen experts have designed every kind of kitchen, so book an appointment and trust them to help with creating a friendly and open shared kitchen space that people will want to spend time in. If you’ve got a space and you're struggling to visualise how a shared kitchen will fit, book a home measuring appointment and we can help you to imagine your dream kitchen.