My Midlife Crisis ... In The Kitchen

Not a crisis, it sounds so dramatic, but a period of transition, a kitchen designer, that is. I'm no longer so concerned with the kitchen triangle, and haven't been for awhile. For the most part, the kitchen triangle is fading away in relevance. Why? Because of several things:

  • a client's increased confidence in expressing one's preferred work habits (a good thing)
  • the introduction of so many different shapes, sizes, and types of appliances in response
  • designing multiple work stations into a kitchen
  • multi generations cooking together as fun rather than as a task
  • the kitchen becoming even more the center of the home, attracting people like ants to a picnic

But, it's funny, the thing that is really making me totally rethink the kitchen is its role as a social place. We've all read the magazines talking about the kitchen as the "gathering place." We've heard that for years, and there is the island with a few stools, etc. etc.

But, my eyes have been opened even further. I now find myself thinking far more about social interaction in the kitchen design phase, putting its importance right up there with other functional issues as well as aesthetics, which they do at Hansen, and in a big way. There is more to this philosophy, but, as you know, I will go on forever if I say much more. 

Here's the point for today. Remember this kitchen I told you about? I found myself designing in more opportunities for social interaction, with the occasional traditional thinking thrown into other plans, which many people enjoy. Today, I met with my client, and this is the plan she chose, just below. It was my favorite, but I'm not always asked what my favorite plan is, and do not offer it unless asked. It's subjective, after all.

Every plan has its pros and cons, and this is no exception. In fact, the social kitchen, often with large and/or multiple islands, does sacrifice storage. That's the way it often is. But, the critical you really need all that stuff? In this case, we reclaimed a large wall just off the kitchen for needed storage space. At this preliminary point, it's all about shapes, forms, aisles, and appliance locations, really nothing more. There were others, but these are most of them. In one case, not shown, I put the cooktop in the bay and took out the rear window to have the sink closer to the cooktop in a different plan. Remember, function, social, aesthetics, the order of each is yours to define!


Posted on April 17, 2008 and filed under Kitchen Design.