Kitchen design is the hardest part of interior decorating. Here are some things to consider:
1. Kitchens have changed more than any other room of the house in the last generation.
If you look at a home built in the 70s, the first thing you’ll notice is that the dining room is the center of the house. Back when more women stayed home, the kitchen was the industrial area for women to work, while the rest of the family lived their lives in other rooms. Now, most families share kitchen work. When they cook for friends, they don’t want to be stuck in a galley kitchen away from the fun. Instead, they want the fun to be happening around them.
Due of this, we need to look at kitchen design as equal parts to create a room for entertainment, a room for family time, and an industrial workspace. However, this is not always easy.
2. Floor space is part of work space.
Everyone knows that counter space is a good indication of how practical a kitchen is. Fewer people think the same about floor space. The floor should have open space between the fridge, sink, and stove. This is called the “kitchen triangle,” and needs to be large enough for several people to be moving around in it at any given time.
3. Dinnerware matters.
Which cabinets and countertops you use will depend on which dishes you want to keep. Glass cabinets look great with simple dishes, but terribly cluttered with eclectic mugs or varied colors. Granite countertops look good with stainless steel appliances, but out-of-place with hand-painted plates.
4. Lighting is important.
Natural light is the best option for kitchens, but it is easily blocked by bulky furniture or objects. A good home design consultant should consider how both daytime and nighttime lighting will affect how the kitchen looks.
5. Natural materials don’t go out of style.
Different synthetics come and go, but wood and stone have lasting appeal. If you want to maintain your kitchen’s resale value for years to come, stick with the basics.
6. Fun gets in the way of work.
Most modern kitchens need to divide wine-drinking space from working space. It sucks to have to crawl over all your guests just to cook, so an island or counter should be used to mark off the work space.
Mark Clair is a 46 year old interior designer, decorator and planner. He is a prolific writer and enjoys putting his thoughts into words on pretty much anything around that evokes an interest in him. Happily married and the father of a new born girl, Mark is now exploring the many little joys and challenges of parenthood. For more information, follow him on twitter.