If you have ever spent weeks planning, prepping and cleaning your entire house for a party, only to have everyone pile into the kitchen for the whole night, you already know the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the landing pad for families to come together, break bread and share stories. It’s where friends pour glasses of merlot, pull up a chair and get down with the latest gossip. And it’s ground zero for amateur chefs to embrace their passion with culinary masterpieces or – in my case – disasters. Whether it’s the warm ovens, the sauteing garlic, or the quiet morning moments with a strong cup of coffee, there’s a magnetic pull to connect in the confines of the kitchen. So when it comes to designing kitchens, it’s vital to have a good understanding of yourself and your family’s needs so you can create a beautiful and functional dream kitchen.
Developing a plan for your dream kitchen can be daunting. You want it be beautiful but you also need it to be streamlined and reality friendly. Let’s face it, most of us are not going to clean, pack up, and store the toaster every morning. To get the real deal on what would work best for your home, we’ve come up with a Girly Modern self-inventory survey to help create the clearest vision of your dream kitchen:
o How often do you cook?
o Is the kitchen a culinary haven or a place to microwave some grub and go?
o What appliances/features are must-haves? 2 dishwashers? A command center? Built in espresso machine?
o Do people gather in the kitchen often?
o Should we factor in seating at the island or counters?
o How does your kitchen play into your daily routine?
o Do you entertain formally? Should the kitchen be closed off to other rooms?
o Do you have small children? Should the appliances be out of reach of small, curious fingers?
o Is there a memorable kitchen that you just can’t get out of your head?
These questions will lead us to a solid understanding of what role this space will play in your life and how to integrate it with the larger design theme of your home. Once we get a blueprint of ideas formulated, we can start getting detail specific. Since every kitchen tells a personal story, here are a few examples of customized ingredients used to make a dream kitchen come true. We hope it lends a little inspiration!
Let’s keep it real about what you do in your kitchen. If watching the news while you eat breakfast is part of your daily practice, let’s find a way to incorporate a tv into the design. Or maybe wine is your passion? Wine storage can be very easy and inexpensive with simple wine slots. This Coddington Design kitchen has a built in storage unit in the connecting breakfast room that integrates seamlessly into the overall design.
If an open, airy feel is on your kitchen wishlist, look to the shelving for a solution. Removing cabinets and liberating their contents can really change the room’s landscape. In this kitchen by designer Steven Gambrel, the open shelving gives a softer and more flexible feel to the kitchen and can be a perfect design move for smaller, cramped kitchens. A word of warning though, open shelving requires pretty plates and an organized personality. If you lean toward the clutter-y side, you will want to keep those cabinets in place!
Lighting makes a room and the kitchen is no exception. Kitchen lighting needs to be not only design minded but functional. With all the innovative new light fixtures out there, it is getting easier to find something special to add that extra “spark”. For those times when the perfect fixture can’t be found, I have them custom made, like the one in the breakfast room above that I designed for a client.
In part two of our series on creating your dream kitchen, we’ll tackle the golden rule of kitchen design – the work triangle! We’ll also show some beautiful examples of working with kitchen-friendly color and finishes. Stay tuned!