B&Q survey reveals the rise of the multifunctional kitchen

The kitchen’s role in the home has changed dramatically over the years, according to new research from B&Q.

Some 71% of those questioned by the DIY retailer said that when they were younger, the family kitchen was only used for cooking meals. But today the room has become ‘the real hub and heart of the home’, taking on many different functions throughout the day, with six in 10 Brits claiming it’s by far the most important room in the house.

Some 92% of respondents said they spend up to four hours a day in the kitchen – it’s where the family gathers for meals (38%), spend most of their time together (34%) and where children do their homework (over 50%). It’s also the place where 50% of Brits do their grocery lists and shop online, while just over a quarter of those who work from home (27%) base themselves in this room.

B&Q’s new survey also reveals the more unusual activities that take place in the hub of the home: 20%of Brits have received bad news in this room, 12% have opened exam results there and it’s where 15% regularly apply their make-up and brush their teeth.

Meanwhile, 5% of Brits have given birth in the kitchen and five% have got down on one knee to propose to their loved one in this room. And it seems that the kitchen is not only the room where the family gathers to socialise, bond and have fun – it’s also shown to be the hub of family arguments, with over 30% of quarrels starting there.

Says Kirstie Allsopp, celebrity ambassador for B&Q: “The past 10 to 20 years have really seen the changing role and face of the family kitchen. As a nation, we are increasingly squeezed for space in our homes; Britain has some of the smallest houses in Europe.

“Brits are therefore doing away with the more traditional separate kitchen and dining rooms and opting for a multifunctional open plan kitchen that can host many activities throughout the day.

B&Q’s survey reveals that a quarter of us now have open plan kitchens – this is a sensible use of space and has really helped make what was once just an area for preparing meals, the real multifunctional heart of the home.”

When it comes to investing in the home, the kitchen is also a priority for the nation, with just 72% of respondents claiming that when re-decorating, the kitchen would be the most important room to spend money on.

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