In my last blog post, A Post COVID Kitchen Design: Part 1, I showed you my vision for how a family might design their kitchen after living through a pandemic.
The layout was not unusual but it incorporated design solutions to make the space function more efficiently for the family of 4.
What many of our clients have learned from the pandemic is that they need their Kitchens and Greatrooms to accommodate multiple individuals for a variety of activities happening simultaneously.
Check out the solutions I envisioned for my Post-COVID Kitchen family, and read on to see how I would design the greatroom and adjacent spaces for them.
The greatroom of this home consists of a Kitchen, a Dining Space, and a Living room.
Additional spaces include a Front Foyer, a Mudroom, a Powder Room and a Pantry.
Something that I really wanted to incorporate into this design was multiple, flexible workspaces.
With more and more people working from home and children of all ages involved with online learning, I explored options on how to do this within this space.
Multiple Work Spaces
This layout offers 6 built-in areas where some form of office or schoolwork could be performed, other than at the dining room table or on the living room sofa.
These “work” areas are located in the foyer, at the kitchen island, at a mini office at the end of the mudroom, in the dining area and at either side of the fireplace in the living room.
Let’s have a look at them.
This first designated workspace is what I call command central.
It is located between the mudroom and the walk-in pantry.
It is situated under a window, so the user does not feel boxed in, and it provides storage for a family’s basic home office needs.
A printer could sit on the counter or be designed into the deep pullout drawer below.
There is room for printer paper in the wall cabinet above and the two narrow drawers could store miscellaneous office supplies.
In most cases the door from this area to the kitchen would be left open for easy access, but it could be closed if someone needed to make a call or concentrate on a task without distractions from the greatroom.
It would be the perfect place for the family desk top computer to be permanently set up for anyone to jump on to and check something online.
The Zoom Room
The front foyer is the perfect workspace for anyone conducting business.
With the double pocket door closed, it becomes an office where zoom meetings can take place or private calls can be taken.
The built-in closets provide a backdrop that echoes something that might be seen in a traditional executive office, producing a professional feel.
This space also allows the user to receive courier packages easily through the front door.
When not used as a workspace, the room easily converts to a welcoming entrance for guests with the double pocket doors left wide open.
The Individual Work Station
The extended counter at the end of the lunch zone is the perfect place to open a laptop and do schoolwork or surf the net.
It is a space that provides a lot of natural light and is tucked into a corner with the tall upper cabinet separating it from any food prep.
Under the extended counter a shallow pullout was specified to store some basic office supplies in case the user wanted a break from using the computer.
The back of the island has been set up as homework central.
Under the counter, off the back of the island are shallow storage cabinets where the children can store their personal schoolwork supplies and projects.
There are also three narrow pullouts here, with two of them storing miscellaneous supplies and the one on the far-left a keyboard connected to a smart TV in a niche on the wall beside the wall oven.
The location of the TV in the wall niche allows online learning to be viewed by anyone sitting on the island stools.
This TV and keyboard could also be used by the cook to pull up recipes on YouTube or Pinterest.
Suggesting solutions such as this will help your client get the most out of their remodel.
You would be bringing things to the table that they may never have thought of.
Another reason for you as the professional kitchen designer to keep up to date with new accessories coming to market!
These last two built-in work areas are window seats that flank the fireplace in the living space.
Window seats are great places to perch when you need to read a book for an assignment or want to cozy into a corner with your laptop.
I would present these two areas as producing slightly different environments.
The window seat on the left is more hidden from the action of the dining room and kitchen, and would allow the user to tuck into the corner to do some reading.
The window seat on the right would be a great place to be to get some work done but still be able to observe what was going on in the rest of the space.
Window seats are great alternatives to formal table, or desk and chair set ups, and sometimes a change of scenery can make for more productivity.
Mudroom, Powder Room and Entertaining Space
To conclude the functional exploration of my Post-COVID kitchen I also wanted to encourage you to look for other areas within the home where you could present your functional design abilities to your client.
In the case of this space, developing a mudroom off the garage is a perfect example.
A cubby for each family member with a drop off counter on the end, would help keep them organized.
The powder room is conveniently located to allow everyone to sanitize before entering the home.
The greatroom entertainment area is another opportunity for you to design a functional space and tie it in with the kitchen.
The closed storage down below can help to coral clutter, while the floating shelves provide a great place to display items.
When you study this space you will see that it is not a big leap to take an open concept space from an OK design to one that really WOWs with functional design.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you plan to incorporate more function into your designs post-COVID.
Leave me a comment below.
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Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.