Well, we covered a lot of territory in the chat on kitchens with Brian Kelsey (Kelsey On The House) host of Martha Stewart's Morning Living radio show on SiriusXM in which I was the guest. I know, since Brian is a lover of all things "home improvement" we could have kept the conversation going for a long time!
Here is a wrap up of ten tips for a great kitchen design:
1. How long will you be in your home? The answer to this question will guide you toward budget, style and issues of function. If you will be in your home less than 5 years - think in terms of resale and be conservative in your selections. Longer than 5 years, put more of "yourself" into the kitchen design to create a kitchen that works for you.
2. Speaking of personal design, that is surely where we are headed in recent years. Do the hard work up front to determine what is a habit and what is something you really desire in the kitchen. For example - do you want the dishwasher on the adjacent wall of kitchen because you are used to it or because you really like to use it in that position? Beware of kneejerk reactions - think carefully!
3. What is timeless? I think it is safe to say that classic wood species such as cherry, maple, and other, somewhat "quiet" grained woods in brown stained finishes are truly timeless, as they communicate a classic furniture quality. Whites as well are classic for kitchen cabinetry - who doesn't love a white kitchen?
4. How to get value? Value is received, as above, in a timeless design, in timeless products and components, in quality products which will last over time. It is a sustainable way of thinking as well.
5. What are cool products? Having been to many design shows, I can tell you that sinks with glass worktop covers to conceal the sink from an open kitchen are hot! Hardware in warm finishes and hardware that is more bulky in nature (more bang for the buck) works well in today's kitchens, and of course, hardware is the jewelry of the kitchen! A warm/modern look for the kitchen is what many people are thinking about now.
6. Appliances! Appliances are becoming increasingly concealed as the kitchen floorplan is becoming more open to surrounding rooms. Even ovens are being seen behind closed doors. Panels on appliances do the trick to disguise the function behind the cabinetry facade.
7. Social Network - The kitchen is the social hub of the house and we are seeing larger, multifunctional islands being designed into the kitchen. Easy to communicate with others and great for assisting the chef or a spot to use for entertaining purposes such as arranging wine and wine glasses on one end, islands serve endless social functions.
8. Where to start? With so many activities happening in our kitchens, write a list of all the activities you see going on in your kitchen. What is your lifestyle? How much importance and use will certain activities take on in the kitchen? Be realistic about your lifestyle and a functional kitchen design will follow!
9. Healthy Kitchen Design - Appliances today have healthy features! Grills, steamers, steam cooking in ovens, rotisseries, filtered water in our taps, fresher refrigerator storage, induction cooking - these are some examples of how appliances can truly work to produce and enhance a more healthy lifestyle.
10. Take your time! The kitchen was not built in a day! The more time you can shed old habits and hone in on what is really important to your family "now", the better your kitchen will be aligned to the real "you."
Below, a preliminary floorplan for an open kitchen. Cozy, social, ahhhhh!