By: Michael A. Thomas, FASID, CAPS
The Design Collective Group Inc.
The kitchen is an important component of any home and getting it arranged properly to make the most of the space is critical. A kitchen can be filled with beautiful materials and high styled appliances but if the layout and space doesn't function as intended, it won’t be successful.
And because creating a new kitchen takes a lot of time, energy and dollars to get it just right, it makes good sense (and cents) to plan the kitchen on paper by first considering how you plan to use it before you think about how it will look.
We came up with five questions that can form the framework around which your design plans will develop. Grab a pencil and jot down the answers to the following:
(1) What types of cooking do you plan to do in your new space?
While cooking is a daily necessity for most, others look at it as a place to develop their culinary skills while, others see the kitchen as a space for entertaining. And if you do entertain, consider how you use the area… a casual affair or for a more a formal gathering?
(2) Who else may be using the space with you?
Consider the three critical tasks of prep, cook and clean-up and then think about the traffic patterns that you need in order to keep from crossing paths with others. Too many cooks can indeed spoil the broth when there are many in the same space. And if you entertain frequently or hire a caterer for special events, you might need an abundance of counter space.
(3) How long will you be in this residence?
A great kitchen that is both functional and attractive can provide you with a great return on your investment (more than any other room in the house), but kitchens can also be an arm and a leg. So in your budgeting, be cautious that you don’t over-design since you may not recoup the dollars spent. Consider the resale values of your neighbors and review what others may be doing to update their space. You might also speak with a real estate agent to provide some guidance.
(4) Which appliances are needed and which might be a luxury?
Cook tops, refrigerators, microwaves and ovens will make up the single largest expense in any kitchen. But while other kitchen equipment like a warming oven or a second dishwasher may seem like a luxury to some, it may be essential to you based on your specific needs, so identify what you might like to have and set aside a few dollars for any special piece of equipment at the beginning of your project.
(5) Do you, a member of your family or anyone who may visit have special needs due to a mobility issue?
Plan your kitchen to have added functionality. For instance, use handles instead of knobs, design cabinetry with full extension drawers and additional lighting can help everyone but may be really important to those who might be elder or have a physical impairment.
With answers to these questions in hand, your next step is to bring in the professionals. An interior designer or a kitchen planner who has a thorough understanding and wealth of experience in creating great kitchen spaces will be an important key to your success and to that of your kitchen.
And where do you start? Start by giving us a call. (760) 322-3784
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.