Kitchen remodels can be the most stress-inducing because of the need to match functionality and form without breaking the budget. It can also be the most labor intensive, with appliance replacement and cabinetry updates necessary to bring the vision of a new look to life. Since families tend to spend the most time at home in the kitchen, from meal preparations, eating, socialization, and homework time, careful consideration should be given to the following.
Any gathering at your home inevitably draws guests into the kitchen for a comfortable and less formal conversation. It is advisable to plan for a space where friends can rest a wine glass or a plate of hors d’oeuvres. Counter space is often at a premium, so this thought should help you stay mindful of what design elements are incorporated into the kitchen presentation – aim for clutter free counter tops.
To create a pleasant and usable social space in the kitchen, consider your lighting options. Not only are there traditional cans and pendant lights available, but also recessed under-cabinet lighting to create warm spots. Up lighting is also a nice touch, tucked away behind a crown molding on top of a cabinet that illuminates the ceiling without being seen. You may also wish to consider well-placed candles for warmth and charm.
When remodeling a kitchen space, try and stick to the triangle rule – where the refrigerator, the sink, and the stove are in a triangular relationship to each other. This configuration is an efficient way to move food to the stove, and then the cookware to the sink, without traversing the kitchen floor for every little thing.
Appliances should match the décor of a kitchen as closely as possible – while maintaining desired functionality. A stainless steel array of professional grade appliances may not be the best choice for a family with small children, just as retro avocado look may not be appropriate for an uptown luxury condo.
Consider your needs when designing kitchen to maximize space and functionality. Ask yourself, do you truly need a warming oven or a wine refrigerator? Take rational stock of your needs and design accordingly.
More than anything, cabinets define your kitchen style. Glass doors allow for display of design integrated place settings, but show fingerprints after being handled by even the cleanest of hands. The richness of mahogany makes a completely different statement from country pine, where one reflects an opulent lifestyle and the other offers practical family warmth.
The shape of the cabinet doors should be carefully considered when making your selection. Straight lines reflect a minimalist design, whereas scalloped edging offers a more traditional rural feel. Pay close attention to the quality of the hinges and style of knobs, which say much about your kitchen.
Tile is a very attractive option for a kitchen space, but unforgiving when a plate or glass is dropped. Tile is also chilly under foot, though in warmer climates this might be a perk. Hardwood flooring is warm to the eye, and will be more forgiving should something be dropped on it. It is a very durable surface, perfect for heavy traffic, including children and pets. Linoleum is your most economical choice by far, and is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns – some of which are designed to resemble both wood and tile, and are attractive on their own merit.
For those looking for something unique, flooring manufacturers also offer cork, which is easier on the feet and knees when standing at the cook top for long hours.
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