Design trends are more opinion than fact but opinions count.
Here are some ideas to spice up your kitchen
Accessibility; Often called ageing in place adding more accessibility features such as lower cabinets, wider isles, lever handle faucets and more can make a house more comfortable for senior citizens with less mobility.
Pet Friendly; Creating areas in the kitchen for pets such as self filling water bowls and even built in shelves for dog beds.
Brighter Kitchens; Whites and grays instead of dark colors.
Pull Outs and Roll Outs in Cabinets
Built ins for multiple small appliances and smaller cooking appliances like steam oven and small built in oven,
Floating vanities: modern look and easier to clan floors.
No threshold shower: Part of the aging in place trend but popular among other age groups as it provides clean design line.
With the popularity of granite, quartz and other hard surface countertops under mount sinks particularly vanity bowls are on a rise.
Articles often refer to kitchen designs by style. What is the difference between and modern kitchen and a contemporary kitchen. The article linked below tries to sort out these styles with pictures instead 0f words.
A gallery kitchen is a kitchen with two parallel runs of counters and storage framing the work space. If you are creating a gallery kitchen design either out of need – that’s all that will fit in the space available – or for to increase open space – one side up against a wall and the other open over low countertops to dining area or other living space – planning is the key.
Make sure you do not make the corridor between countertops too far or too close so that working becomes cumbersome or uncomfortable. Remember your kitchen triangle of working surfaces.
There are a number of layouts that can work including symmetrical runs – both sides similar heights and layout or asymmetrical with all the tall cabinets on one side of the kitchen and lower on the other either for windows or opening to other living space. Varying the size and location of the cabinets can reduce the corridor look.
Be careful if the gallery kitchen is also a hallway to other parts of the house. If the working space is in a high traffic area in can be uncomfortable for family and the cook to have people constantly passing through while food is being prepared.
If one end of the gallery kitchen is closed off enhance it with contrasting colors or wall art to make it a focal point instead of just a dead end.
A island can also be used to create a virtual gallery kitchen. By adding an extended counter and some tall chairs you can create a social space for family and guests to gather while meals are prepared.
Because gallery kitchens tend to be smaller and more confined than other style kitchens make sure there is enough light both natural and artificial.
Ughghghghgh. That Pinterest beet salad seemed like such a good idea at the time…and now your beautiful granite countertop is a bloody shade of purple. But fear not. We’ve got a sneaky trick for cleaning up easy.
What do I need? Flour, hydrogen peroxide and plastic wrap.
What do I do? Mix the ingredients to the consistency of peanut butter, spread on the stain and cover with plastic overnight. Scrape the whole thing off in the morning.
What if I’m worried about slopping hydrogen peroxide all over my beautiful Caesarstone? Do a test first, on a small area in hidden spot that nobody will see.
A kitchen Island or at least a peninsula that works like an island has become a standard for upscale kitchen designs.
A well design island provides added work space, storage space, and even a place to put built in appliances such as oven, microwave, wine cabinet, under-counter refrigerator or a vegetable sink. A poorly designed island with very little circulations space or poorly placed features can become a major impediment rather than a centerpiece of the kitchen.
You should consider the following when considering an island.
Size of room: obviously the size of the room will limit the size of the island but also consider making the island proportional to the room. Too small can be as bad as too big. You also need to consider the surrounding space. If you follow all the recommendations included herein and the island extends into and limits other spaces – family room, dining area – then it will not be successful.
Size of island: If only a small island will fit consider custom or undersized cabinets. Islands with wheels are also an option if the island fits for everyday use but is in the way on days when major meals are prepared; think Thanksgiving and Christmas. Usually forty inches square is the smallest usable size for and island.
Clearance required between cabinets and other work areas and island: The rule of thumb is three feet but if more than one person will be using the kitchen regularly at one time or the kitchen is used for a lot of entertaining this may need to be increased.
The work triangle which is the triangle formed by your cook top, sink and refrigerator. If you are adding an island to an existing kitchen do not block the triangle or make it uncomfortable or awkward.
What work spaces or appliances will you want to place in the island.
Dining space: do you want a breakfast bar on the island. Is there room and if so what height. I did a kitchen for a customer with a peninsula which a lower second row of cabinets with knee space on the side away from the work space so the children could use it as a desk and do their homework while Mom made dinner.
Can you convert the kitchen into a single row galley kitchen and use the space created by removing a second line of cabinets or dining space to accommodate and island with cabinets or even dining space.
If you are creating a large island make sure the top will through the doors for installation.
Look at alternative islands such as table with open shelves. A table is also a great way to try and island in your kitchen it see if it works before tearing up your kitchen to install and island. You may even consider using a dresser as an island with a granite or other kitchen type countertop installed – see here.
All the same considerations can be applied to a peninsula which may be easier to fit into your kitchen design.
Kitchen Designs must be more than just about looks. Kitchens need to be functional. One of the critical elements is what is referred to as the Kitchen Work Triangle.
The “work triangle” is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. The NKBA suggests these guidelines for work triangles:
The sum of the work triangle’s three sides should not exceed 26 feet, and each leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet.
The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 12 inches.
If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator.
No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.
The goal of the work triangle is to keep the major workstations close enough for efficiency without being too close and crowded. The triangle assumes a single person doing the cooking which in modern homes is not always the case. It also assumes that only four stations are in use: sink, cook top and refrigerator. Today’s kitchens have ovens that increasingly are not co-located with the cook top. There are also many other appliances such as microwave, steam oven, toaster oven, bread oven, spaghetti maker and many others.
The appliances you have and how often you use each item should determine the layout of and individualized kitchen.
When our daughter was born no one we knew had a microwave much less considered one in their kitchen design. Three years latter when our son was born nearly everyone had a microwave. They were much bigger than today’s designs. They were noisy and the cooking was uneven.
Today they are sleek, efficient and necessary for the modern kitchen. So where do you put the microwave? Here are some suggestions.
Below the counter: Yes below the counter. It frees up counter space but it can be harder to load and small children can be a problem. Our youngest grandson is obsessed with the beep on the microwave. Luckily our is high and he cannot reach it.
Built into the cabinets like a built in oven: The good thing is you can put it any height but it is hard to put into an existing kitchen. Make sure there is counter space near by to set a hot pan.
Put it in an unused cabinet.… as if there is such a thing in modern kitchens: Many designs today can be put in a shelf built by removing a drawer or pair of drawers. If you find a space it is an easy retrofit. Leaving the door open and crumbs in the cabinet can be a problem. You will need to add electric and perhaps change the swing on the cabinet door.
Over freestanding stove: Many microwaves designed for this application have built in exhaust fan making dual purpose. You need to make sure the stove and microwave match in finish and design. The microwave might be too high for some users.
In a corner of the countertop or in a corner cabinet: This solution can make use of a corner but it also create dead space and if exposed a place for dust and other kitchen debris to build up.
In a butler pantry area instead of the kitchen cooking area: The advantage is it can be used for items such as coffee or side dishes and not interfere with main cooking area. If the butler pantry becomes a place to make coffee, breakfast or snacks it can become a second area that needs to be cleaned regularly.
In appliance garage; This gets the microwave off the counter and out of site but it has the same disadvantages as putting it in a cabinet such as collecting crumbs.
In the island: This has the same advantages and disadvantages of having it under the counter. It also can put the microwave out of site but be careful when designing in a island with a larger overhang so you do not make the oven difficult to use.
Over a built in oven: This puts all the cooking in one area but may make the microwave too high or the oven too low for some users. It is also difficult to add unless you are replacing the cabinets.
See the pros and cons of locating your microwave above, below and beyond the counter
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