Kitchens! The most beloved rooms in the world! The kitchen envelops us in warmth, comfort, love and family togetherness. This is where it all happens--where meals are prepared, plans are hatched, homework is done, guests are entertained, and memories are made. Because this room is so important, we are going to break down all the elements that go into planning a great one!
As any real estate agent will tell you, the most
value you can get from your remodeling dollars is to put them into improving
the kitchen and bathrooms. Of course,
you don't have to be considering selling to update--making every area of your
home as pleasant as possible for you and your family is reason enough. There are some very exciting trends happening
in kitchen design today which you may wish to consider. The most important things to consider when planning the kitchen are efficiency and
practicality. It can be as beautiful as you like, but if the layout and
proximity of the major appliances and work areas is illogical, it will
not be a pleasure to use. This is the nerve center of the home and it
has to function well on many levels. You want to have everything close
at hand where you use it.
Choose your appliances carefully. They are a major part of your budget, so consider how you cook and entertain and how many people you prepare meals for when making your selections. What kind of cooking appliances to you prefer? Do you prefer a cooktop and built-in ovens, or do you fancy a range with cooktop and oven combined? What about microwaves, speed ovens, warming drawers, coffee systems? What will you get the most use out of and where are they best placed in the kitchen? Your choice of ventilation will depend on the type of cooking appliance you choose as well as your theme--hood or downdraft? Stainless steel chimney wall or island hood, or integrated unit?
There are also many options for refrigerators on the market today. Do you prefer a free-standing unit or a built-in? Do you need additional or auxiliary refrigeration units like refrigerated drawers, freezers, beverage centers, wine storage,or ice makers?
The clean -up center appliances are very important and are heavily used. Today's dishwashers are quiet and energy-efficient; and there are so many choices and styles of sinks and faucets it can be overwhelming to choose.
We have lots of equipment and gadgets to store in the kitchen, so we want to plan the right type of storage for everything. From pantries to pullouts, shelving to spice storage, there are solutions for everything with the right accessories. If you have adequate space to accommodate one, an island is a great way to add additional storage space as well as function as a design element in its own right--possibly in a different color from the rest of the cabinetry.
Next to being well planned, we want our kitchens to be beautiful. After all, we spend a great deal of time in them and they should be lovely to look at, comfortable, and as capable of functioning as a place to prepare food as they are to entertain guests.
Themes are very popular design choices, from French Country to Tuscan to sleek contemporary. Kitchen cabinets will form the basis for the theme of your kitchen, and the textures of materials we choose for countertops, flooring, and walls as well as color and lighting, will build upon that theme.
Finally, the finishing touch is the hardware you choose to adorn your cabinetry. Whether knobs, pulls, or a combination, hardware emphasizes your theme and is the jewelry of the most important room in your home.
Plant of the Month