Once you decide to remodel the heart of the home, be sure to consider the optimization of you and your family’s needs in addition to the aesthetics. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Americans whip up meals faster than residents of any other country: 30 minutes total. The actual design of your dream kitchen can help you make the most of those minutes.
Each family is different. By answering the following questions, you’ll ensure that your particular family’s needs are met and your kitchen dreams come true:
How will your family members use the new kitchen? While today’s open concept designs are sleek and streamlined, many contain open shelving which could prove disastrous if you have young children at home. Shelves are certainly ideal for displaying your favorite things: photos, vases, cookbooks, etc. However they should be high so that a new walker or toddler cannot climb them and risk falling- or getting into things you wish they would not. If you or your spouse works from home, considering hiding electrical outlets inside of cabinets or selecting drawers vs. shelved cabinets in which to store file folders. There are many options available to provide flexible work spaces within the kitchen and to keep counter-tops clutter free.
Is there anything you wish to hide? If you love using your blender, convection toaster oven, food processor and Espresso machine, but are not fond of looking at them, have garage doors installed. Appliances remain plugged in and out-of-sight until you actually need to use them. When preparing meals, simply lift the garage door, pull the appliance out and get to work! If it annoys you to see your family’s mobile phone chargers, iPad, hand blender, etc. plugged into the wall, have the electrical outlets installed within the actual cabinet. No worries; they’ll still get charged behind closed doors and you won’t have to stare at nests of cords.
How will you use your kitchen to entertain? Many people are opting for larger, eat-in kitchens vs. a separate formal dining room to combine smaller, separate spaces or simply because the open-flow concept has become so popular. If you like to serve your meals to guests buffet-style, consider if you would prefer to arrange the meal on an island or a separate buffet, away from the main workspace. It may seem awkward to serve food on an island if the stove or sink is built into it because of messes which occur during food preparation. You may want to store and display wine and cocktail glass in cabinets with glass doors if you tend to tell guests to ‘help themselves’ vs. making them open every cabinet door searching for the right glass.
No matter what, your kitchen renovation should be the result of your very own family’s needs! By considering these questions, you’ll ensure that your new kitchen will be a dream come true vs. a dangerous or cluttered nightmare.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/incomedream/