Entertainment Vs Family Kitchen Design in NZ - Advice by Our Lead Kitchen Designer - Misc. NZ
Entertainment Vs Family Kitchen Design in NZ - Advice by Our Lead Kitchen Designer

Entertainment Vs Family Kitchen Design in NZ - Advice by Our Lead Kitchen Designer

Words by Superior Renovations

It can often be stated that the kitchen is the heart of the home as it’s where meals are created, and where friends and family gather to enjoy a wonderful home-cooked meal. When thinking about kitchen design NZ, always consider an entertainment factor as it is where everyone gathers. Designing kitchens for entertaining comes from an open kitchen layout  as it makes the space feel more inviting.

Designing or upgrading your kitchen to your needs is important to make it perfect. Especially if you’re the type to host events at your house, the kitchen needs to accommodate for everything. An entertainment kitchen is the perfect type of kitchen for you if you love hosting events. This type of kitchen represents a space to welcome guests, cooking, eating and working from home. A kitchen has many uses so when making your kitchen design, consider all those factors.

In this article:

  • Design a kitchen for entertaining
  • Family kitchen design ideas
  • Top 8 Lighting Ideas
  • 5 Tips to Design a Kitchen Layout

How to design a kitchen layout suited for an entertainment kitchen? If you’re considering an entertainment kitchen, consider the shape and size of a kitchen island or a breakfast bar. What kind of dining space you’d like to integrate and how much fridge and freezer space you’d need. As well as ensuring that there’s enough space for a general family/relaxing area. If you’re unsure of these factors, don’t worry! Our amazing in-house designer NZ can help guide you through the process.

Below, are some elements that we think you need when designing entertainment kitchen.

1.    Make Space For a Drink’s Fridge

Making space in your kitchen design idea for a drink fridge can be essential for an entertainment kitchen. It’s incredibly useful to have a mini fridge for drinks, as it’d be easier and more comfortable for guests to grab a drink instead of looking through your fridge. Some people consider installing a wine fridge. While that can be quite an investment purchase, wine fridges aren’t for everybody so we suggest installing a mini fridge that can fit up to a variety of drinks ranging from water, soda drinks or alcohol.

If you have a walk in pantry, try including a fridge to utilise the space better. Of course, this doesn’t mean have a second big fridge in there as that’d take up unnecessary space. But opt for fridge drawers if you can to keep your fridge more organised. Having all these options for your kitchen design idea as it allows you to have enough space in your kitchen for catering options. As well as being able to accomodate your guests by having a drink station to keep guests comfortable when they grab their own drinks.

Mini fridge for drinks | Photo Credit - iStock

2.    Make a Kitchen Island Central to Your Design

Having a kitchen island in your kitchen is essential and possibly the best decision you could make for your kitchen design. A kitchen island has many uses and is highly functional in kitchen design NZ. The island is where you can relax, catch up on newspapers, do homework, or even work from home sitting at your kitchen island. This is a feature for kitchen design NZ.

Not only that, but when friends and family come over it provides a space for everyone to catch up or play some card games. The island itself becomes the epicentre of the party as they can all gather around the island to have some party snacks.

Now, if the island is going to be constantly used for entertainment purposes. It’d be wise to consider purchasing extra bar stools for special occasions and you can keep them in storage. This would help ensure that your friends and family all have a seat and feel included during gatherings. For decorative purposes, consider some seasonal flower display, some candles or even some fairy lights will create a warm atmosphere.

Island in the Kitchen

Check out our kitchen renovation in Blockhouse Bay 

3.    Get Kitchen Lighting Right

One kitchen design NZ concept that is important to think about is kitchen lighting. Whilst you can design the perfect kitchen with our kitchen designer NZ, if your kitchen lighting is left as a last thought then it can ruin the look for your kitchen design idea. The perfect kitchen lighting for an entertainment kitchen is atmospheric mood lighting. An example of this would be a collection of candles and lanterns around the kitchen and also consider built in lighting in your kitchen design ideas.

When thinking of kitchen lighting, there are three different styles you need to consider. Task lighting, ambient lighting and accent lighting. Task lighting can help get rid of any dark corners on your countertop. Ambient lighting is there to help illuminate the room and create a modern kitchen look. When thinking of creating a modern kitchen design, consider recessed lighting. Accent lighting is purely decorative lighting like wall or pendant lights.

Example of kitchen lighting being used right to get rid of any dark corners

See more information and pictures on this kitchen renovation 

4.     Ensure Kitchen Extraction is Efficient

The key to any great kitchen, whether its open space or closed space kitchen is great air circulation/ventilation. Nobody wants last night’s food aroma to loiter around in the kitchen the next day. Which is why thinking about having good ventilation in the kitchen or around the house is important.

To improve ventilation in your kitchen, definitely consider using a range hood above the stovetop. You could also consider a ceiling-mounted extractor that you could put in the middle above your kitchen island. However if that is not within your budget cost, there are alternatives. Some of these alternatives are opening windows and doors when cooking to let some fresh air in or simply investing in an air purifier. Air purifiers help remove bad odours and is portable, so you can move it to any room you want whenever you want.

Range Hood To Help With Kitchen Extraction

See more pictures from this kitchen renovation in Avondale

5.    Think Seating

Seating is an important factor to consider in your entertainer kitchen design NZ. If you plan on throwing dinner parties and guests will be seated at the dining table for a long time. Comfort is important! Upholstered dining chairs should be considered as they can provide support that’s required for several courses.

To make use of your kitchen space, you could also consider a built-in seating for the dining table or consider a banquette seating idea. This can create the same effect and support as upholstered dining chairs and can be positioned alone a walk or linked to kitchen cabinetry. This could be a kitchen design idea to consider and make your kitchen feel more cozy.

With these seating kitchen design ideas, it presents and opportunity to bring in colour or patterns to your kitchen design scheme and could possibly enhance the decorative detail of your kitchen design NZ. Or provide an element to make give your kitchen a modern look for your modern kitchen design.

Example of seating in dining area | Photo Credit - Unsplash

6.     Take Acoustics into Account

As kitchens mainly have hard surfaces, they could affect the acoustics of the room. When you’re entertaining and having guests over, there will most likely be music playing in the background or people talking to one another.

To solve this issue, consider soft surfaces and furnishing in your kitchen design ideas for your entertainment kitchen. This could be in the form of upholstered chairs, window treatments, or even rugs. Although, rugs would be best suited away from cooking and preparation areas. If you’re looking for kitchen flooring ideas, consider a timber floor instead of a tile as that will be softer underfoot.

How Do You Build A Kitchen Design For Entertaining?

Building a kitchen for entertaining is important to focus on the kitchen layout. You’d want to make sure that there is enough space for guests to sit comfortably, without getting in the way of anyone cooking. This could make you consider your kitchen layout by dividing the cooking and dining zones that include a kitchen island so that whoever is cooking can still socialise with their guests and not feel excluded.

When thinking about designing a kitchen for entertainment, making sure that seating is comfortable is another important factor to consider. Having seats that are comfortable will ensure that everyone can linger around the kitchen for longer.

One of the most popular kitchen design NZ style is a modern kitchen design. A modern kitchen is all about space. A space to cook, space to entertain and a space for family gatherings. The modern kitchen has many uses and would be great for hosting parties as they’re spacious. Creating a new kitchen design, is more than new appliances and cabinetry as nowadays there are many other factors to consider.

The biggest appeal for a kitchen is to be able to cook and be apart of the action when entertaining as everyone is included. For normal days, it’s a great setting for busy families to cook and help their kids with homework and be able to keep an out for their kids while preparing a meal.

Down below we have 11 kitchen design ideas that helps blend form and function

11 Kitchen Design That Blend Form and Function

1.    Boost Storage In A Family Kitchen With A Beautiful Banquette

When designing your kitchen, you’d always want to make sure there is enough storage space for your kitchen appliances and utensils and other things you may need to store. This is where you might consider banquette seating. Combining function and form, banquette seating offers built-in seating for a dining nook in an open plan kitchen.

The banquette seating offers an opportunity for extra storage space. The storage space doesn’t just have to be for kitchen gadgets but it can be used for any storage needs. Like containers, toys, or even a little secret snack area.

2.    Create A True Social Hub For Family Time

Open plan kitchen layouts are becoming trendy nowadays especially with a modern kitchen design style. Ditching the formal dining room, home office and sitting room. An open plan kitchen provides a large, multifunction space. The kitchen layout would be suitable and designed for everyone that can use it and make it the heart of your home.

Creating an open plan kitchen, helps make your family be more sociable. As parents are able to prepare meals while still being able to see and interact with their kids. Having this kitchen design ideas allows the host to interact with guests while preparing food and drinks when they have guests over. Having an open plan kitchen removes the walls which can make the room look bigger and provide additional space for people and furnishings.

When having an open plan kitchen, kitchen layout is important. Having a big space to decorate can be exciting yet stressful as you want to decorate it so the room doesn’t look empty. There is a general rule you may want to follow which is that the dining table shouldn’t be too far from the kitchen. Also ensure that there is a direct route from the table to the dishwasher to make is easier for cleaning.

Open plan kitchen, perfect for entertaining and being sociable while cooking

Read more about this open plan entertainment kitchen. 

3.     Enhance Your Kitchen Layout

To achieve your perfect kitchen layout that avoids any obstructions and can provide the best access to frequently used ares like the fridge or the stove. It’s important to work with a kitchen designer NZ as they’re able to help bring your visions into a reality. Our kitchen designer NZ can help accommodate to your needs and give you the kitchen you’d want.

Focusing on distinct areas of your kitchen like cooking, dining and relaxing, will help you maintain order in an open plan kitchen or a multi-use family room. You can use different flooring, decorative light fittings or different kitchen colour schemes to help show the different rooms in one setting. This can be effective and won’t lose sight of the overall design cohesion.

To help visually tie the room together and keep it simple and uncluttered, consider coordinating the dining table top with the worktops. If you need more help our kitchen designers NZ will gladly help you out and guide you through it.

Want more information? Check out our blog on open plan vs closed kitchen. 

Here is a blog to guide you through kitchen layouts. 

4.    Include A Kitchen Island Into Your Plans

A kitchen island is always a great addition to kitchen design NZ and you should always consider having a kitchen island in your kitchen design. The island itself has many uses, from extra prep surface, a place for the sink, a place for friends and family to gather around. Put some bar stools, then it becomes a space when kids can do their homework and even where you could work. The island can also be used as another storage space area.

A suitable size for a kitchen island ranges from around 2m to 3m long and around 1.1m to 1.4m wide. Any wider can create wasted space in the centre. Although the sizing may depend on how much space your kitchen has. You should always allow at least 1m of space around the island. Remember that not all barstools tuck right in, so measure correctly.

Kitchen Island Tying The Room Together

Check out the before and after pictures of this kitchen renovation in Epsom! 

5.    Opt For Smart Storage Solutions

At some point, we always end up running out of storage, which is why in your kitchen design you should always think about ways you can add drawers and be able to utilise space. Consider open shelving on your kitchen walls as not only can it create space but it can also be visually appealing. You can add decorations onto the open shelving which can add a theme to your kitchen.

Example of creating a smart storage solution in kitchen pantry

Read more about organising your kitchen drawers. 

Read more about this kitchen renovation in Papatoetoe 

6.    Make Space For Working From Home

Ever since the pandemic hit and we’ve all be stuck at home and having to work remotely. We’ve had to find a place for us to work. Most times if we don’t have a home office, it would be working at the dining table or somewhere near the kitchen if not in the kitchen. Which is why it’s important to make your kitchen feel welcoming while also having them to be sleek, smart and functional.

When thinking about your kitchen design, consider the aspect of having to work from home to make your kitchen suitable for you to do that. This could be where a kitchen island might come in handy with bar stools as it could be a place where you work. It’s also a good place for household admin, and become a work station that is designed to complement your kitchen.

7.    Put Functionality At The Heart Of Your Kitchen

A kitchen has many uses. It’s an ample space for entertaining, generous storage and room for family gatherings. It’s the heart of your home. Making your kitchen function is the number one priority when thinking about your kitchen design and kitchen layout. Having a big kitchen can create layout issues. Large kitchens can be overwhelming to design and if your kitchen layout isn’t planned properly, it can result in a lot of unnecessary travel.

The best way to create a kitchen layout in a large kitchen is to add a kitchen island. This is a popular solution and can perform a variety of functions therefore making your kitchen functional. In a large room, or an open plan kitchen it acts as a bridge between furniture. Improving the work triangle and allowing more than one cook in the kitchen to work comfortable side-by-side. So if you enjoy teaching your kids how to cook or cooking with your significant other without getting in each others way. This would be perfect.

Open plan kitchen that serves multiple purposes

Check out our blog on creating a functional kitchen!

Want more examples? Here is our blog showcasing our top 16 renovations in Auckland. 

8.    Put The Focus On Functional Flooring

Kitchen flooring is also another priority when thinking about your kitchen design. You’d want flooring that last long and not ones that would chip or break easily. Kitchen flooring have to be incredibly tough to stand up to dirt and knocks in a family kitchen.

Natural stone flooring can be something you could consider for your kitchen design as they are the most forgiving floor coverings if the right stone and finish are chosen. Some stones can be denser than others and all flooring will be subject to a little wear and tear over the years.

However, if you have children, porcelain tile may be another flooring style you might consider for your kitchen design. Porcelain tile is non-porous and can provide a strain proof option which is wise if you have children that are creative and often make a mess. Easy to clean up and leave no stain behind.

Examples of Kitchen Tiles That You Could Consider | Photo Credit - iStock

9.    Light The Way

Kitchen lighting is a vital part of any successful kitchen design scheme and is important when it comes to designing an entertainment kitchen or a family kitchen or kitchens in general. Using task lighting above your kitchen island can help create a characterful lighting serve. It helps light up the whole island and provide as a decorative function when combined with materials like marble tops and metallic accents.

10. Go For A Dark Colour On Cabinetry

To bring some colour into your kitchen design, opt for using dark colours on your cabinetry as it can create a bold and interesting family kitchen space. For a kitchen design ideas it’s often tempting to use an all-dark paint scheme. But for sociable spaces like the kitchen, a balanced approach can be more suited.

A benefit of having dark cabinetry, is that it can help hide any fingerprints, stains, or scuff marks that may occur over time. Having good natural sunlight in your kitchen design can also help bring out the colour in a dark shade.

Example of dark cabinets in kitchen

See more photos and information on this kitchen renovation in Stanmore Bay. 

11. Plan Your Kitchen Around Family Life

Banquette seatings beats dining chairs when you consider your kitchen seating idea. Banquette seatings help save space and can also seat large number of people when you have guests over or host family events.

Usually, with dining chairs the rule is to leave around 90cm between a chair and the next piece of furniture or wall. But with banquette seating you can reduce that down to 30cm, especially if the seat fits onto the wall. Not only do they save space, but they can also accommodate more people. It’s perfect for birthday parties and family gatherings and make photos look better as there are no chairs in the picture. Consider banquette seating in your kitchen design if possible.

How Do You Design A Family Kitchen?

There are many needs and uses when it comes to a family kitchen. In your kitchen design, you’d have to think about the kitchen layout, where you cook, eat, and to entertain. Even if you have a large kitchen, the meal prep, cook and cleaning areas will always be close together for better efficiency.

The amount of work surface area you need, depends on you and your family needs. It’s important to have enough worktop for meal prep as well as when you’re cooking with others. A family kitchen can be designed for entertainment use as everyone is willing to help cook. It’s become the new normal to be sociable while cooking and entertaining guests at the same time. It’s also a great space to multitask and catch up with one another while preparing food.

Our Top 8 Lighting Ideas for your Kitchen Design

Kitchen lighting can often be left as a last thought and that is a mistake many people make. Lighting brings the room together and can help transform your kitchen. For example, a contemporary kitchen requires a layered and responsive lighting scheme that can keep up with the changing demands throughout the day.

Having an expansive glass door and skylight in a large kitchen will flood the space with natural light, making the room look bigger. Task lighting can be used for prep areas and ambient lighting for social spaces.

For a modern kitchen design, the lighting helps create depth, marking out different zones and help create a clear and safe passage though the space. The different types of lighting that can be used is general, task, ambient and decorative lighting in your modern kitchen design. Since some kitchens may require lots of light switches it would be easier if you brought smart lights which can be controlled though your phone, making it easier for you to turn the lights on and off. When it comes to lighting, consider the warmth of the bulb as the cooler end gives brilliant task lighting. While warmer whites can make a seating area feel more inviting.

Down below is our top 8 lighting ideas to include in your kitchen design.

1.    Install An Eye-Catching Modern Lighting Centrepiece

Installing an eye catching modern lighting centrepiece is designed to create ambient lighting and the the purpose of a lighting centrepiece is to draw attention to the kitchen island. The centrepiece helps give the kitchen a living rom appeal, rather than to provide practical task lighting.

Example of task lighting to draw attention to island | Photo Credit - Unsplash

2.    Make The Best Use Of Down-lights

Ceiling down-lights are a popular solution for general lighting for your modern kitchen design. You’re able to turn them up for when you want to clean the room. Or dim them down to create a softer mood. With down-lights, you’d want to create an even spread of light. You might have to accommodate if you have a skylight, or TV screen that could affect the lighting. You’d also want to avoid putting down-lights right next to a pendant or hard up against a wall cabinet.

Example of Downlights in a Kitchen | Photo Credit - iStock

3.    Layer Light

A complex room, like a living-kitchen open floor-plan requires different light levels for a range of activities. Nobody likes a dimly lit work area. Which is why when you think about your modern kitchen design. Make sure to position spotlights or pendants directly above key areas in your living-kitchen room. This will ensure that light isn’t blocked when you stand or work around your kitchen.

Example of task, ambient and accent lighting in a kitchen | Photo Credit - Unsplash

4.    Tackle Task Lighting

Task lighting is an important feature to add to your kitchen. As they can be discreet and hidden under wall cupboards or shelving. But you can also create a nice centrepiece feature that can be angled to direct brightness where it’s needed.

5.    Consider Low Light Sources

LED strips can help provide a soft low light that can be useful to direct traffic through the kitchen space. Some LED strips can be controlled with a remote and can change colours creating a different atmosphere in the kitchen. You could also wow your guests with different colours. It’s like a party! Putting a subtle glow beneath your counter will encourage your guest to pull up a seat or gather around.

6.    Light The Inside Of Cabinetry

Having light inside of your cabinet can be a key component for your modern kitchen design as they provide soft, ambient lighting. It helps bring display back into the kitchen and create an opportunity of soft diffused light. Which can help create a focal point in your modern kitchen design and help brighten up darker corners of the room.

Lighting in shelves/pantry | Photo Credit - Unsplash

7.    ‘Wash’ Cabinetry With Lighting

Another kitchen lighting to consider is to use track lighting and up-lights to wash surfaces with a soft reflective light. This can be linked back to using down-lights as you should only place them where light is required as part of your kitchen lighting scheme. Consider using a low glare directional downlight to direct light to wash the front of your kitchen. Added bonus is that when you open your cupboards, it will also light the inside of it up.

8.    Ask An Expert In Modern Kitchen Lighting Design

If you’re confused and wondering how to plan your kitchen lighting that fits your kitchen design. Consider asking a kitchen designer or the kitchen designer you’re working with to help you. They’ll be able to help you balance a range of sources into a cohesive scheme to enhance your space. You can’t go wrong with asking for help as designers are there to help you bring your visions into a reality.

4 Modern Kitchen Lighting Tips For Your Modern Kitchen Design

1.    Create Light Reflections

In your modern kitchen design, opt for pale countertops in a darker kitchen as that will help create light reflection in your kitchen. Pale colours and reflective surfaces will amplify the glow, while dark shades absorb light. Having dark shades that absorb light can be advantageous as it can help create mood or create a different atmosphere.

Example of light reflection in the kitchen | Photo Credit - Unsplash

2.    Light Beyond Your Modern Kitchen

As you know, having skylights or walls of glass can provide plenty of natural sunlight into your kitchen during the day. But can turn into black holes at night. Consider running strip LEDs in a skylight recesses as well as great outdoor lighting ideas. This will help create a light show in the garden beyond the glass. And help get rid of the black hole.

3.    Choose Discreet Modern Kitchen Lighting Ideas

There are many lighting options that you could consider in your kitchen design that can be discreet. Spotlights aren’t the only solution for directional light. There is an exhaust light, which has a smart tubular design that comes in two colours for a powder-coated casing and four metallic options or the trim. Lighting options that go with your kitchen design aesthetics.

Example of modern kitchen lighting ideas | Photo Credit - Unsplash

4.    Use Modern Kitchen Lighting To Play With Room Proportions

If you have a large kitchen or a kitchen with high ceilings. Don’t just leave that ceiling space empty. Complete the kitchen look by choosing a modern kitchen light fitting that helps tie your kitchen together. Choosing a modern molecular lighting with multiple bulbs, that shine their light in all directions may be a suitable option for your modern kitchen design. This is best suited to be installed over an island or dining table to create a focal point.

5 Tips For A Kitchen Design Layout

As a first time homeowner there are many questions that you have in mind before starting to renovate your kitchen. How to design a kitchen? How to design a kitchen layout? Which kitchen layout is best suited for you? There are many questions and research involved before you start. There are many kitchen design NZ and kitchen designers NZ that are able to help answer your questions and help guide you through the process.

But, to further your research more. We have come up with 7 tips that you should consider in designing your kitchen layout. These tips would help answer you question on how to design a kitchen layout and how to design a kitchen as well.

1.    Create a Wishlist

To begin, start by creating a wishlist and writing down all the features you’d like in your dream kitchen. It’s a chance to create a brand new room that is fitted more towards your needs and build a new space that you love. There are many kitchen layout NZ ideas that you might have in mind for your kitchen. Also reflect on what isn’t working in your current kitchen to avoid having it in your new kitchen.

You can also include intangible ideas on your wishlist which our kitchen designers NZ can help with and give suggestions when needed. These intangible ideas could be mixed materials cabinetry, different countertop finishes, etc. To gather more inspiration you can look on Pinterest on look at our case studies and see how previous clients have designed their kitchen layout NZ.  The more you see other kitchen design NZ, the more you’ll know what kind of kitchen style you’re after.

2.    Set a Kitchen Design Budget

It’s important to set up a kitchen design budget as kitchen costs need to be clearly defined at the start of your project. How much are you willing to spend? You’d also want to set aside some money just incase there are any unforeseen costs or any problems that may occur during the process. At Superior Renovations, you don’t need to worry about paying separately for plumbing, wiring, or labour as that is included in our renovation process.

Find out what your kitchen style is here!

3.    Consider How You Will Use Your Space

How to design a kitchen layout isn’t just about working a layout that fits the space but more-so on how you can use the room as well. How to design a kitchen layout that you can use the space? Carefully think about how you wish to use the space and your requirement. Nowadays our kitchen is the heart of our homes as it’s a place where we cook, eat, and entertain. Also a place to sit and work. Our kitchen designers NZ say that kitchen layout NZ should have the prep, cook, and wash areas close together in a kitchen to make the space more efficient. This will help avoid any run ins and save time especially in a large kitchen.

Example of how to utilise space for an entertainment kitchen | Photo Credit - Unsplash

4.    Measure Up

Kitchen nowadays perform a variety of roles like family dining, relaxing, working, and entertaining. It’s important to have a good kitchen layout that have adequate storage as having enough storage space in your kitchen is important. You’d want to ensure that you can fit everything you want in your kitchen. But that all depends on accurate measuring which our kitchen designers NZ would be able to do during their consult with you.

If you’re thinking about having a kitchen island in your kitchen design, make sure to precisely measure the floor so that the island can fit comfortably within your space. When placed, it should leave enough floor space for you to maneuver around the entire space.

5.    Consider the Perfect Layout

Choosing the perfect layout for your kitchen begs the questions as to how to design a kitchen layout. Looking at kitchen layout NZ ideas would be a starting point to start the journey of designing your kitchen. Making your kitchen efficient and maximising the space can make time spent in the kitchen more enjoyable. In your layout try to put your sink, refrigerator, and oven within easy reach of one another. In your kitchen layout, consider natural light and seating areas are best placed near windows.

Example of our designer designing a kitchen

Read more about this design case study

Check out our guide on designing different kitchen styles 

Kitchen design ideas can be overwhelming as there are many different ideas that fit into your aesthetic. Creating your dream kitchen can be exhausting as you’d want it to be perfect and practical for you and your family. Designing an entertainment kitchen requires a lot of thinking and can be quite an investment to make. But it’s an investment that’s going to do wonders for your home.

Having a read through this blog would have given you more information and more insight on designing an entertainment kitchen and creating a family kitchen. With wonderful advice from our designer NZ and tips to create better lighting in your kitchen design idea as lighting is an important factor to consider. Our kitchen design NZ will be sure to help give you an idea and provide inspiration for you. Have a read, have a browse and start designing!

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