Friday, 11 February 2011
Five Things to Consider When Designing Your Dream Kitchen
By Jodi Leedy
Are you planning on purchasing new kitchen cabinets? Whether for a newly constructed home or for a remodeling project, consider one important factor, your kitchen is the heart of your home! It is not just a place to dine; it is also the main gathering place for family and friends and a place for entertaining. This is particularly true with today's popular open floor plans and great room designs. Because your kitchen plays such an important part of your home there are a few things to consider in your planning process.
1) Kind in mind future buyers
Even if you are currently building your dream home, it is possible that someday you will have a need to sell your home. Or, if you are remodeling your existing home to make it more comfortable for you and your family, you may still find the need to sell it someday. Because of this, even if you aren't ready to sell your home today you should always ponder what potential buyers would think of your kitchen cabinet selection and layout because opinions of your kitchen can drastically either increase or decrease your selling price. A practical kitchen layout is typically everyone's goal, but cabinet styles and finishes are more of a personal choice. Are you attracted to traditional styles or more modern styles? Do you like kitchen cabinets with distinct wood grain or ones with nearly no grain? Whichever you personally prefer always keep future buyers in mind as it can play an important part in your bottom line.
2) The Work Triangle
All homeowners seek a functional workspace in the kitchen. In planning your kitchen layout it is important to consider the distance between your sink, stove and refrigerator in relationship to each other. Connecting these three workstations from their center points should create an invisible "work triangle." According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association the sum of the three distances should be no more than 26 feet, with no single side of the triangle being less than four feet or more than nine feet. There are a couple things to consider with planning a well-designed work triangle; watch out for any triangle legs that may intersect an obstacle like an island, and make sure that no major traffic patterns cross through the work triangle. Proper planning of your "work triangle," taking all obstacles and limitations into review, will help create a functional workspace that will be both practical for you and your future buyers.
3) Kitchen cabinet storage is key
When designing your dream kitchen it is key to consider your storage space, along with ample countertop space. Kitchen cabinet layout services are available to help you maximize your space and create the best flow of cabinetry. The first place to look for extra storage space is your corners. In small, tight kitchens a blind corner cabinet can be used to get the most use out of the corner. However, to get the most efficient use of the corner space a lazy susan corner cabinet or easy reach cabinet should be used. These cabinet options maximize the corner space while allowing easy entry to it contents. Or try adding rollout trays in your base kitchen cabinets to help access your pots and pans, or in your pantries in order to reach cans and dry goods more easily. Another suggestion would be to include a 24" deep bridge cabinet in your kitchen cabinet layout above your refrigerator. Most people keep unused or seasonal items above the refrigerator for the simple fact that they can't reach the cabinet. Therefore, consider a 24" deep refrigerator cabinet for easier access.
4) Use kitchen cabinets to create islands or peninsulas
Kitchen cabinets can be configured to create center islands or peninsulas. These cabinet configurations are very attractive to homeowners with an open floor plan. Using kitchen cabinets this way creates an area for a breakfast nook with the ability to pull up stools. Kitchen cabinets used in this manner instantly increases seating space, which is ideal since kitchens are typically gathering places. Islands and peninsulas also create more storage space.
5) Bells and Whistles
Just like purchasing a new vehicle, there are upgrade options to consider when purchasing your new kitchen cabints. For example, what type of drawers do you want in your base cabinets? Will the standard particleboard drawer secured with glue and staples be sufficient? Or would you prefer an all-wood drawer constructed with dove-tailed joints? Or better yet, would you want the all-wood, dove-tailed drawer with full-extension drawer glides that include a silent close feature? Other construction upgrades can include all plywood construction, and custom depth cabinets. Besides construction upgrades there are accessory cabinets that provide you with some "bell and whistle" qualities that can give your kitchen a custom and personalized look. Give consideration to glass door cabinets for displaying your keepsakes or china dinnerware, an appliance hutch for hiding small appliances on your countertop, roll out trays for base cabinets, integrated waste baskets, corner shelves, and wine racks. When selecting your bells and whistles keep in mind both your budget and overall functionality and flow of your kitchen for optimal results.
Remember, your kitchen is the heart of your home! Success in constructing a timeless, comfortable space is creating a balance between an efficient layout and design with your personal tastes, while keeping with the end goal of adding value to your home.