Creating social spaces within your home

4 years ago
4 minutes

Creating a social space brings all sorts of benefits. Whether you’re hosting friends, family, a birthday party or even a big event, designated areas for interaction provide huge mental upsides and places to create wonderful memories.

Most of the advice on how to achieve this, though, is for outdoor settings, where people gather in a garden or on a balcony. 

But to have a social hub inside gives you options in your day-to-day life, especially if you love to entertain. It’s also winter, where it’s often colder, wetter and windier, so a lot of people want to host indoors at this time of year. We look at how you can create these spaces in your home. 

Open up the space 

Let’s face it, the kitchen and the living area are going to be the zones of interest for any guest or family member — so make these areas appealing and make them spacious. 

A cramped kitchen can feel suffocating. By opening it up you will allow people to take part in the food preparation while socialising at the same time. If you have an open-plan room that flows into the dining area, even better — guests can see and converse with the chef while still enjoying plenty of space away from the cooking area.

credit: Habitations

If you have a separate lounge, the same rules apply. Reduce the clutter and give people room to have the option to stand and chat or sit down. 

If you’re hosting a party and you have different rooms where you want the action to happen, your guests are more likely to convene in places with some background music.

Add a social focal point 

Not only are people drawn to music in social settings, they also use their eyes to determine where that may be. 

The social point in a kitchen is normally the kitchen island. These multi-functional features can be used for food preparation, cooking, dining and entertaining. When combined with matching seating, such as stools, the island becomes a stage across which conversations and food can be shared all evening.

A living area is usually the centre table, so make sure the top is clean and approachable, but also place some nibbles or drinks on it. Your guests will be drawn to food and drink, it’s where conversations can be had while enjoying a delicious aperitif. 

Create social seating areas

Try to make sure there’s seating spread out around the living room table, creating a circle around the focal point. You don’t want stray chairs floating in odd positions that will isolate anyone sitting on it. An L-Shaped sofa is perfect for these occasions. It creates a natural curve around a table and allows all who sit down an opportunity to be part of the conversation.

credit: decoist

In the kitchen, the island is a great place to add seating, but in a larger room, you may have even more options. Breakfast nooks or window bay seating are hugely popular features. As well as being ideal for smaller social meals such as brunch or lunch, the nook or window bay can also function as a place to engage in hobbies, socialise over drinks, or connect with friends online.

Use of lighting 

A bight and well-lit social area looks more welcoming and warm. Try to ensure that during the day the setting gets plenty of natural daylight into the interior. If you have the option to design or do renovations to your own home, then enlarged windows or a skylight will do the trick.

Artificial lighting is also important, especially in the evening when the sun goes down. Lights with dimmer options will enable you to create different ambiances to suit varying occasions. More focused lighting can be placed in multiple locations so as to provide functional light and decorative interest, which can match with where people naturally congregate.

Incorporate entertainment technology

This can be down to personal taste, but a TV in a social setting is either loved or frowned upon. They can be a great way for friends and family to bond over a favourite show. 

For a party, a music video channel can offer both tunes and a talking point — especially if it’s an old 80’s number and it raises the nostalgic topic of how people used to wear their hair. 

credit: Samacharnama

An option for the best of both worlds is to hide the screen behind cabinet doors when it's not in use. But, ultimately, you want people to be talking, joking, laughing, and having a good time. Whether that’s with friends or family, having designated social spaces makes for a more pleasant and homely environment.

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