Creating a Multisensory Kitchen Experience

The kitchen is far more than simply a space for preparing meals; instead, it’s a place where families gather, friends chat over coffee, and culinary creativity comes to life. Whilst planning your perfect kitchen is important, you can enhance your space even further by transforming it into a multisensory kitchen environment. By engaging the senses of touch, smell, and sound, you can create a kitchen that is functional but also inviting and enjoyable. Here are some practical ideas to help you design a more sensory-friendly kitchen.

1. Enhancing Kitchen Textures

Textures play a significant role in how we experience our surroundings. In a multisensory kitchen, incorporating a variety of textures can make the space more interesting and pleasant. 

  • Work Surfaces  
    Work surfaces such as granite and marble offer a cool, smooth surface that’s perfect for rolling dough or chopping vegetables. Their natural patterns add visual interest and can complement a variety of kitchen styles.  Alternatively, a wooden butcher block worktop brings warmth and a tactile contrast to stone surfaces. Wood is also great for adding a rustic or cosy feel to the kitchen. 
  • Splashbacks and Walls 
    Consider using textured tiles for your splashback. Options like subway tiles, mosaic patterns, or even 3D tiles can add depth and character to your kitchen walls. Alternatively, consider washable paints with a satin or eggshell finish, which provide a subtle texture. Or another option is textured wallpaper, which can also bring a unique touch. 
  • Flooring 
    Natural stone flooring including slate or limestone flooring provides a rugged texture underfoot and is durable for high-traffic areas. Alternatively, materials such as cork and bamboo are softer and warmer than traditional tiles or hardwood, making them comfortable to stand on for long periods. 
multisensory kitchen | MHK Kitchen Experts
multisensory kitchen | MHK Kitchen Experts

2. Inviting Aromas

Our sense of smell is a powerful tool, often evoking memories, and it can prove very effective in enhancing the atmosphere of your kitchen. Introducing pleasant aromas can make the kitchen a more welcoming, relaxing and enjoyable space: 

  • Cooking and Baking 
    With universal appeal, there’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread! Should you have the time and inclination then consider incorporating a bread-making routine into your week. Alternatively, growing fresh herbs like basil, mint, and rosemary can also provide delightful scents while also being handy for cooking. 
  • Scented Candles and Diffusers 
    Use candles or diffusers with natural fragrances like citrus, lavender, or vanilla to keep the kitchen smelling fresh, but be sure to avoid overly artificial scents, which can be overpowering. 
  • Cleanliness 
    Ensure bins are emptied and that your kitchen is cleaned regularly to prevent unpleasant odours. Use natural cleaning products with pleasant aromas, such as lemon or eucalyptus.

3. Soothing Sounds

Sound is often overlooked in kitchen design, but it can greatly influence the atmosphere. Creating a sound-friendly multisensory kitchen can make cooking and dining far more enjoyable for both family and friends alike: 

  • Quiet Kitchen Appliances  
    When planning your new kitchen, and especially if it’s open plan, be sure to invest in quieter models of dishwashers, refrigerators, and extractors. This can significantly reduce background noise and create a more peaceful kitchen environment. 
  • Background Music 
    Install a voice-activated sound system or use a smart speaker to play your favourite music while you cook. Choose playlists that are upbeat or relaxing, depending on your mood. Alternatively, a classic kitchen radio can add a nostalgic touch and provide a steady stream of music or news.
  • Nature Sounds 
    Open Windows whenever possible to let in the sounds of nature, whether it’s birds chirping or leaves rustling in the wind.
multisensory kitchen | MHK Kitchen Experts
multisensory kitchen | MHK Kitchen Experts

4. Visual Appeal

While textures, scents, and sounds are crucial, the visual aspect of your kitchen also plays a vital role in creating a sensory-friendly space: 

  • Kitchen Lighting 
    Maximise natural light by keeping windows clear of obstructions. Skylights can also be a great addition if feasible. To enhance natural lighting, use a combination of task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting to create a well-lit and inviting space. 
  • Kitchen Colour Schemes 
    Choose colours like warm whites, cashmere, pale blue and muted greens which can make your kitchen feel light and inviting. You can also add visual interest with contrasting colours in your kitchen accessories, such as towels, utensils, stools, and small appliances. 
  • Decor and Accessories 
    Incorporate houseplants into your kitchen décor which add a touch of nature but also improve air quality. Also consider hanging artwork or family photos to personalise your space and make it feel more homely. 


5. Functional Layout

A well-designed kitchen layout can enhance the sensory experience by making the space more efficient and enjoyable to use: 

  • Workflow Efficiency 
    The classic work triangle (sink, oven, refrigerator) can provide optimal efficiency. If space allows, also consider incorporating a kitchen island or peninsula to provide additional workspace and a gathering spot. 
  • Accessible Storage 
    Use open shelves to keep frequently used items within easy reach and add a sense of openness to the space. Pull-out drawers in cabinets will also make it easier to access pots, pans, and other kitchen essentials. 
  • Multifunctional Spaces 
    Create a cosy dining nook within your kitchen to make it a more versatile and social space. You might also want to designate a small area for a laptop or cookbook stand to make following recipes easier and more enjoyable. 
multisensory kitchen environment  | MHK Kitchen Experts
multisensory kitchen experience | MHK Kitchen Experts

Plan Your Perfect Multisensory Kitchen

Creating a multisensory kitchen experience involves more than just functional design; it’s about making your kitchen a place where all the senses are engaged and delighted. By thoughtfully incorporating a variety of textures, inviting aromas, soothing sounds, and appealing visuals, you can transform your kitchen into a space that is both practical and pleasurable to be in. Whether you’re cooking, dining, or simply spending time with loved ones, a sensory-friendly kitchen will enhance every moment you spend in it. 

For more tips and inspiration on how to make the most of your kitchen space, visit our website or contact your local Kitchen Expert today. 


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