What kind of kitchen do you have?

When you start thinking about remodeling your kitchen, it can be tempting to think about style and color. But before you pick out swatches, first think about the way your kitchen will be used.  There’s so much more than cooking that can happen in a kitchen. At 3W design, we like this exercise: take out your favorite note-taking device and try to make a list of everything that happened in your kitchen in the last 24 hours. That list is likely to be pretty long. Now put a check mark next to the functions your kitchen currently serves pretty well, and a minus sign next to the functions it struggles to support. The negative functions are the ones you’ll want to address in your remodel. If you’re not sure how, ask a professional.

Kitchen remodels usually need to last at least a couple of decades, it’s also important to think about how your life will evolve during that time. The last 24 hours are going to be quite different from a day in your life ten or even twenty years from now. Maybe you don’t even want to be living in the same house. Be honest about the life of your kitchen and plan accordingly.

Since there’s no way to know the details of your future life, one of the simplest ways to plan a kitchen is by categorizing its function. We believe there are four major kitchen categories:

Experimental. This is usually the category of the kitchen in a first home. The owner(s)

don’t quite know what they need or want in a kitchen because they’ve never had one of their own. Appliances, organizational tools and design elements are all minimal. This kitchen usually evolves pretty quickly to one of the other categories. So unless you plan to move in a few years, consider what your kitchen might become when designing or simply buying this kind of kitchen.

Functional. If you own a functional kitchen, your favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations. Your stove looks a bit like an instrument of torture to you and you couldn’t describe the contents of most of your cabinets if your life depended on it. If it weren’t for resale value and a couple of special occasions, you would probably use the space for something far more useful to you. For these types of kitchens, you want to make sure you choose a layout and design elements that are simple. This not only makes them broadly appealing to prospective buyers, but also makes it approachable to you. We’re not saying the right design can make you Julia Child, but it might inspire you to skip the take-out every once in a while.

Command Central. Work papers, bills, and school projects are all part of a command central kitchen. Because of it’s location near a major thoroughfare in your house, there’s probably a space within this kitchen that attracts piles of miscellaneous stuff.  But its location also makes it an ideal space for a large number of household activities. Even thought this space is primarily for eating, members of this household spend a large portion of their day in this kitchen. As a result, your design needs to go far beyond food prep. Consider a home office in or near the kitchen, counter seating to encourage interaction with the chef, and storage and organizational tools (like key hooks) before you arrive in the kitchen to avoid the armload dump.

Entertaining. If you have as many serving platters as casual dinner plates, you probably have – or wish you had – a kitchen for entertaining.  Because you know no one ever stays in the living room during parties these days, this kitchen needs to be beautiful enough to show off, but also have some key design elements that keep the guests coming back. One of these is a clear delineation between guests and their host. Usually this is an island or peninsula where you can put food and beverages when they are ready to be served. This allows the host to engage with guests while keeping them out of her way.

one of our kitchen remodels

see some of our other guest-ready kitchens

A kitchen remodel is a huge investment. It’s important that you design, plan and build a space that serves the needs of your entire household for the life of the kitchen. Once you understand your kitchen’s primary category, it can be a bit easier to choose the layout and design elements to make it a beautifully functional space for years to come.

Still not sure how to make the perfect kitchen a reality? Engaging an interior designer doesn’t have to feel like a big commitment. We offer what we call a Design Agreement. For a minimal upfront cost, you get to tap into the knowledge, experience, and resources of our team. At the end, you will have a picture of the proposed design and a layout plan to keep. If you see the value in what we offer, we put the cost of the Design Agreement towards your project budget.  It’s that simple.

This entry was posted in interior Design, Kitchens, Redmodeling, Remodels. Bookmark the permalink.

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