THE EVOLVING SPACE WE CALL THE KITCHEN

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The kitchen, the most talked about room of the 21st century, has multiple uses and multiple names.  The hub of the house, command center, At our house it is sometimes referred to as “Grand Central Station”.  This is where we spend most of our time with our families and friends.  This room is also the most functional, complicated and expensive square foot expenditure in the entire home, so we cannot afford to underrate the planning and design process for this space. Great kitchen design should adapt to the people using it, not the other way around.

Without boring you by listing all of the ways you and your family might use this space, I want to emphasize how important the kitchen is in the overall function of your home.   If we were to set aside the kitchen design, and assume it is going to receive the kind of attention it deserves in relation to creative space planning, state-of-the-art technology with all product selections, artistic esthetics supporting the function and reflecting the homeowner’s personality.

The first and probably most important thing we need to address is the traffic patterns and the flow from the garage through the house, and how they influence the overall kitchen floor plan.  This will establish the guidelines to design the kitchen space and how it integrates into that flow. We need to look at the way we use the space today as well as in the future. It’s important to remember that our family’s needs will definitely vary over time in this home whether you plan on living there for five years or the rest of your life, so we need to accommodate this evolution process through innovative design.  For instance we need to consider the ergonomics and function of the space between the garage and the kitchen.  Is this a space where we need to manage coats, shoes, backpacks, cell phones and communication or is this really where we need to do the laundry?  As technology progresses we should be open to ideas that are logical solutions but not always conventional to making our lives easier.

Every family is different with diverse needs, motives, aspirations and goals as they apply to their kitchen space. And, those almost certainly will change with each episode in our lives. In planning a project we should always try to predict or visualize the path your life might take, and plan for the inevitable changes to influence your decisions.   Remember the goal is to simplify and advance our quality of life in the space that we live.  Design trends, style, lighting, future products, promotion of health, well-being and universal design are all important subjects that need to be considered as the evolution of the plan takes place.

 

This article, “The Evolving Space We Call The Kitchen” was published in the July/August 2007 Issue of KCH&G Magazine under the Sound Advice article.

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