How the coronavirus pandemic will see the rise of multi-purpose kitchens
Victoria Anderson, Manager of Elliotts Living Spaces in Hampshire, on how kitchens may become the new home-working hub
In April 2020, the UK's Office for National Statistics revealed that 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home due to social distancing measures.
Working from home has it’s plus points; spending more time with the family, no commute, flexible working hours and being more productive.
With 86% of UK employees wanting to continue working remotely for at least one day a week*, it seems that working from home could become the norm. For me, it’s about striking the right balance between family and work.
To do this I want to create a work space where I can leave paperwork out and hold virtual meetings, but I also want to be able to see the children and overhear what they are up to.
I think kitchens could hold the key to getting this work-life balance.
In recent times, the kitchen has become the hub of the home. No longer designed and used purely for cooking, the kitchen is also where a lot of us will eat and socialise. And with the popularity of home working starting to increase, the kitchen could also become our new work space.
Not all of us have the space for building a new home office, or even want one, so making the kitchen function as an office too will be the way forward for lots of us.
Here’s 3 design ideas that I’m expecting to incorporate more within kitchen design going forward:
Over the last few years I’ve seen more demand for pantry units with pocket doors. These are great. They blend into the kitchen and you can hide appliances that you don’t want left on your worksurface.
These could easily be adapted to create a workspace that can be hidden away when not in use. The height of the worksurface can be adjusted to suit different people, there’s high-level storage for paperwork and stationery. A pantry unit could make an ideal compact home office.
2. Folding wall mounted table
A fold-away wall mounted table would make a great home office space. It’s perfect for those with limited space and can be set up or put away at a moments notice. It could also double as a dining space when not being used for work.
3. Rise and fall worksurfaces
‘Rise and fall’ worksurfaces aren’t fixed in one position and can move up and down depending on their use. They have been designed with multigenerational households and those with restricted mobility in mind.
For those without space to create a compact office or hang a folding table, then a rise and fall worksurface could be used as part of the kitchen layout.
During the day it can be used as a desk and adjusted to ensure the workstation is at the correct height, and during the evening it returns to be part of the kitchen worksurface.
Because we’ve spent so much time in one space, we’ve probably all noticed things that we’d like to improve or change in our homes. I think that the coronavirus pandemic will make us all think more about the space we live in and how we use it.
We’ve already started to see more people coming to us to talk about changing their spaces. I’m looking forward to creating some exciting, multi-functional kitchens.