Beautiful, Functional and Affordable are three words that should define today’s kitchen. In the age of information and technology there should be no reason a kitchen can’t be all three.
Whether a kitchen is labeled as modern, contemporary, traditional or transitional there is look for everyone. Internet sites such as Houzz and Pinterest have made it easy for today’s consumers to identify and communicate their individual styles. Today’s kitchen and bath industry is more geared toward individual preferences than ever before. In our particular design center, clients often bring us a prolific amount of design ideas that they have captured on the web and even from kitchens they have seen on a television show.
Function however is not something you can easily capture from a picture. Function is often derived from sitting down with a kitchen specialist and discussing how your particular cooking evolves. Are you a gourmet chef or the queen of take out? More often than not we find that there are multiple cooks in a family or perhaps one member is the cook and the other is the master of prep and clean up. Our teams design preference is to layout a kitchen in cooking zones as opposed to the traditional cooking triangle. We have seen kitchens have a cleaning and prep zone, baking zone, serving zone and even a homework zone.
Kitchens are no longer relegated to the back corner and they haven’t for some time. Having been in the industry for almost 20 years now I have witnessed the evolution of the kitchen. Today’s kitchens are the new family rooms. The cabinetry functions like furniture with storage features to provide a clutter free look. We have seen televisions incorporated into the cabinetry as well as charging stations for electronic devices built into countertops.
Lighting is no longer a last thought but it now takes center stage. It’s treated as a feature in contemporary designs with lighted shelving. It’s treated as functional necessity with under cabinet LEDs. At this year’s national kitchen and bath show we saw cabinets that had lightening built into the drawers and doors.
In the last few years cabinets with cushion close technology on drawers and self closing doors have gone from being luxury items to standard features. Kitchen hardware has become fashion accessories for cabinetry.
Functional beautiful design can be affordable. With the new products emerging cabinetry has become a pivotal design element that can have a huge impact on the budget without compromising on style and function. Companies like Miralis, which is a Canadian, brand available in selected US markets, have revolutionized how laminates are produced. They are not only great for our environment they are easy to clean, sleek in design and they have lines that are at fabulous price points and no assembly is required.
Now that the American kitchen has evolved into more of an interactive space comfort plays a big part in the design. Today’s consumers are looking for ways to create comfort underfoot with laminate flooring that is not only easy to clean, beautiful to touch and see it has built in shock absorbency for those aching feet. We are seeing chairs and bar stools that are not only aesthetically pleasing but comfortable as well. People are lingering at the tables and the islands as they interact with the cook or cooks for that matter.
As kitchens continue to take center stage and become a hub of centralized activity for the way we interact today, it’s important that today’s kitchens continue to evolve into affordable, aesthetically beautiful while remaining functional.
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