Archive for the 'Kitchen Design Layouts' Category

Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish

Portrait of happy senior woman cutting vegetables in kitchen

A 2015 Houzz report showed that over 50% of homeowners age 60+ are planning to age in place. As the baby boomer generation begins to enter the golden years, home construction and renovation contractors are seeing an increase in accessibility modifications being made. With more spending power than the younger millennial generation, the boomers are also a large player in the interior design industry; frequently updating their home to incorporate the latest design trends. Combining the need for accessibility with the desire to keep the attractive appearance of the home, these modifications are not only practical but stylish as well.  Read below for some simple yet important modifications to make to your home accessible for any generation.

Continue reading ‘Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish’

Minimize the Kitchen Footprint with Single-Wall Design

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft.

Kitchens are most commonly laid out in one of three floor plans, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley. A less popular, but still functional design is the single-wall kitchen. Single-wall kitchens are designed with the elements of the typical work triangle along one wall. Typically seen in apartments or other small homes where maximizing space and efficiency is at the forefront of design, this style of kitchen is gaining popularity in larger homes with open concept floor plans.

Kitchen interior sketches hand drawing front view. Contour vector illustration kitchen furniture and equipment. Cupboard shelves dishes table lamp clock crane dishwasher fridge microwave.

These kitchens work well because they keep all appliances and cooking tools within reach. This design often has the sink set in between the range and the refrigerator, offering easy clean up and usually has counter space on either side of the range.  With the kitchen viewed as a social hub within the home, the small kitchen footprint creates a feeling of openness and flows seamlessly with other rooms.

3d illustration of interior design loft style kitchen and livingroom. The concept of commercial interiors "My room" for gatherings with friends and Leisure. You can watch football and play computer games

A common challenge in single-wall kitchens is the lack of work space with the range, sink, and refrigerator taking up valuable counter space.  A solution to this in apartments or small homes is purchasing a counter height dining table that doubles as work space or a rollaway island.  In larger homes, a permanent kitchen island is a popular addition to provide supplementary storage and work space while maintaining the open floor plan.

Kitchen interior in modern flat with stove dining table picture on wall. Concept of cooking at home. 3d rendering. Mock up

Maximizing storage space is one of the most desirable features in any kitchen. With the compact design of the single wall kitchen, it becomes even more important. Tall upper cabinets, bridge cabinets, and creative use of built in shelving will help to maximize storage. Additionally, the use of an island (both permanent and rollaway) will help to increase the amount of available storage.

an image of Modern Kitchen drawers and Granite Countertop

No kitchen is too small for the talented designers at Kitchen Views. Visit one of the six Kitchen Views showrooms to meet with one of the designers and begin designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

Making the Case For A Tiny Kitchen

With the growing popularity of “tiny houses” with their own television shows, many people are thinking about how downsizing can free them for enjoying activities other than cleaning a regular size home. Whether you have a small condo that needs better space planning to make the best use of every inch, or find that your regular size kitchen is in chaos, careful planning can improve your everyday life.

One of our favorite contributors to the Kitchen Views blog recently retired, but her wisdom regarding good kitchen design is timeless. So we are sharing again her perspective on making the most of limited space.

“Making the Case for a Tiny Kitchen” by Pam Kuliesis
Originally published on November 26, 2013

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

After turning a corner in life, I find myself living with a teeny, tiny kitchen. It’s a U-shape space. The working triangle is about 9 feet total, no more than 3 feet between the sink and the range to the left and the sink and the refrigerator to the right and just about 3 feet between the range and refrigerator across from each other. I can stand in the center of the room and reach all three without moving my feet. I pretty much don’t even have to lean. Very tight.

At first I couldn’t imagine being able to create anything in this “Easy Bake” kitchen that would be worth serving. But, a girl’s gotta eat, and take-out gets old pretty quick.

Once I started putting stuff away I was amazed at just how much storage this little kitchen had. And then I started cooking. Everything I needed was within arm’s length. Prep time was so much faster, not having to schlep across the room for the pepper mill that, in my old kitchen, I would leave way over by the sink. Also, I’m much neater. I don’t have the luxury of moving around the kitchen leaving a messy trail behind me. I clean as I go, making the final clean up a breeze!

There are so many great kitchen storage options available from all of the quality cabinetry brands we sell. Stacked wall cabinets maximize every vertical inch. Carefully planned base cabinet configurations and storage accessories make the best use of every nook and cranny.

Kitchen Views designers have the knowledge and the tools to create great kitchens in any space, big and small. Our designers are pros and the views are yours

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
(508) 339-8020
www.kitchenviews.com

An Open Kitchen Floor Plan Increases Function and Inspires Creative Cooking

Fluted columns, multi-level work areas and mixed materials add to the charm of this versatile kitchen

Re-configuring an undersized floor plan into an open floor plan requires being open to new ideas. Sometimes,  removing a preexisting support wall allows us to expand and combine living spaces. This improves visual sight lines and traffic flow. The new configuration also allows for more countertop work areas and storage space. With the added square footage, you can also add a great deal of fashion to the new space.

In this particular example, fluted cherry wrapped columns conceal the required supporting post. The columns also add additional layers of visual interest to the multi layered work stations in this island. Soapstone along with wood top counters adds a casual inviting atmosphere fusing old world charm with rich detailing and warmth of Brazilian stained cherry wood.

K VChef's kitchen (2)

Here, we also combined materials in the cabinet selections, mixing painted maple in a vintage oyster married with a coffee glaze, which adds additional texture. Once you meld the warmth of cherry wood to the oyster ample, it evokes a versatile timeless appeal.

Custom cabinet lines allows for rich detailing. Using faithfully recreated traditional details can provide instant ambiance and layers of interest. In the example above, the door styles we selected were a traditional classic raised panel beaded inset with 5 piece drawer fronts. For the display cabinets, we chose Prairie-style doors with seeded glass accents and open book-ends. The clipped fluted corners on all cabinet ends amplify the attraction of detailing in this kitchen.

K Vchef 7 (2)

An open floor plan also allows details in the cooking area to be enjoyed by everyone. Here you can see an example in which cooktop ventilation is hidden beneath beaded detailing of the wood hood, mirrored below in the beaded back splash. Architectural decorative legs anchor the cooktop below. A streamlined stainless steel farmer’s sink fuses ideas of yesterday with the materials and clean lines of today. In a space like this, any chef can feel inspired.

Open kitchen layouts allow you to have a space you can organize your life around, with just the right blend of personality and functionality. We can call that “room for living.” One moment, you can be preparing pasta. The next, you’re uncorking a bottle of Cabernet at the seating area. There you can be pouring it with close friends and family without ever actually leaving the kitchen. An open layout adds a social element that traditional closed-in kitchens simply don’t offer.

Function is the new fashion in this open kitchen design

For a chef that loves to cook and entertain, a closed-in space can leave one uninspired. It also leaves out of the social indulgence that an open floor plan offers. The newly designed reconfiguration and combining of two rooms now allows for full family participation. Function is the new fashion.

Kitchen Views
http://www.kitchenviews.com

Historical Roots of the Modern Kitchen by Don James

Don James, Kitchen Views

Have you ever thought about the historical roots of the modern kitchen? As with most things in life that we take for granted today, form really does follow function.

Born and raised in historic downtown Hingham, Massachusetts, I’ve always had an affinity for elements of architectural design and aesthetics. Researching historic facts of architecture has informed my design ability. There is so much we can learn about ourselves by studying the past and the lessons learned by those who came before us.

Sioux indians (mid-1800s) gathered around the cooking fire

Sioux Indians (mid-1800s) gathered around the cooking fire

Settlers of the American West gathered around the Chuck Wagon

Settlers of the American West gathered around the Chuck Wagon

We are inherently drawn to the source of our nourishment, but most of us don’t think about it consciously. Without a building, we are drawn together around the cooking fire. This shared experience forges emotional ties. Family loyalty is strengthened by these everyday routines.

The kitchen is now truly the heart of the home, however, this wasn’t always the case. From the colonial period up until the mid-20th century, most kitchens were an afterthought in the planning of a house.  They were simple rooms predominantly for food storage and minimal food preparation. They lacked space and no one could say they were “designed.” The cooking methods and tools of the day were primitive, which left kitchens dysfunctional for centuries.

Typical kitchen in the early 1900s

Early 1900s

Typical kitchen 1920-1930

1920-1930

Typical kitchen in the 1940s

1940s

It was not until the late 19th century that iron stoves became commercialized and municipality systems for gas, water and electric became readily accessible. Once these advances took place, kitchens were poised for transition, and the kitchen industry was born.

The industrial period led to scientific studies of productivity that considered efficiency dealing with movement and spacing, from which came kitchen design concepts that took into account the process of food preparation. The stove, sink, refrigerator and counter space were identified as key work areas and were now being spaced according to a well-thought-out design for maximum efficiency.

Starting in the 1950s, household work came into vogue depicting the “perfect” middle class household. As a result, even more emphasis was placed in the kitchen. Traditionally, the kitchen had been built at the back of the house, away from living areas. The advancement in technology, flooring, lighting, etc., changed the location of the kitchen within the home.

With this new focus on kitchen appliances, and the development of suburban neighborhoods, competitiveness required that upwardly mobile families had state-of-the-art kitchens. “Keeping up with the Jones’” became a way of life. These modern appliances had become both necessities and status symbols.

With pride in their modern kitchens, families were happy to gather at the kitchen table to eat meals together, instead of in a separate dining room. Kitchens were becoming the place that brought the family together. This was the beginning of the concept of a kitchen as “the heart of the home.”

This period of rapid development from the 1950s through the end of the century saw the family gathering place being improved. With homeowners willing to invest in modern kitchens, designers explored color choices and new materials (such as the aqua blue 1960s kitchen shown below), storage options inside the cabinets, and new configurations to eating areas (such as the 1970s picture with seating around an island instead of a stand-alone table).

Typical kitchen in the 1950s

1950s

Typical kitchen in the 1960s

1960s

Typical kitchen in the 1970s

1970s

The 1980s saw a change in kitchen layouts, which most people didn’t realize was moving them out of “the heart of the home.” Kitchens began to be designed with work islands in the center, to provide more work space for meal preparations. The kitchen table got pushed to the side, or back into a designated dining room. Individuals went to their bedrooms or a designated family room and/or entertainment area during their recreation time.

Typical kitchen in the 1980s

1980s

Typical kitchen in the 1990s

1990s

How many people understood that this physical separation was creating an emotional rift in their family? There is no one factor responsible for the shift in American society. But any honest observer recognizes that we went through a turbulent period with jobs requiring relocation or frequent travel, a rise in the divorce rate and a generation that was out there trying to “find itself.” Perhaps that’s why we’ve finally seen a shift back to the importance of family, whatever form that family takes.

Today’s kitchen is the focal point and gathering place for family and friends. Kitchen islands have transitioned back to include seating for the family to gather in the kitchen, at least for casual meals. The family is also being brought together with the contemporary concept of an open floor plan. This could include a dining area as well as a family room and/or entertainment area. Parents want a line of sight to see small children playing while they do their kitchen tasks. Older children working on homework or playing video games are still “part of the family” instead of off in their bedrooms alone. The family cook may have felt separated from the family, alone behind a wall. With open concept layouts, the person preparing meals can easily converse with the family. The concept of the kitchen as “the heart of the home” has been expanded to include a larger family living area.

It’s where family bonds are made, a place where kids do homework and preparing meals with one another is a pleasant activity. Today’s kitchen is fully integrated into your lifestyle and deserves to be stylish and functional.

contemporary 2014 open concept kitchen and living area

This open concept kitchen and living area layout is a good example of what we have discussed as a contemporary style.

Traditional cabinetry details are included in this contemporary open concept kitchen.

Traditional cabinetry details are included in this contemporary open concept kitchen.

current-2014-two-islands-in-open-concept-kitchen-layout

This open concept kitchen includes two large islands, with natural flow into the family living area.

 

As you can see from these examples, there are endless variations on the theme of open concept. Your kitchen should reflect your aesthetic and your lifestyle.

Don James | Showroom Sales & Design
Kitchen Views | 3356 Post Road, Warwick, RI
djames@kitchenviews.com

Don graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Architectural Engineering Program. He began his career in 1986 hand drafting kitchens for other designers. Don’s notable skill in conceptual design has earned him a reputation as one of the areas premiere kitchen designers.

As More Homeowners Remodel, Universal Design Becomes More Relevant

spacious kitchen with low ovens and storage options

Having space to maneuver around, along with lower placed storage and cooking options will allow for possible handicap accessibility

When you think of home remodeling, do you think of upgrading to add value, or do you think of the remodel lasting into your golden years? An upward trend shows more homeowners are considering the longevity and accessibility of their remodeling projects. One factor in this consideration is the option to do what is referred to as age in place.

Aging in place refers to the concept of designing for senior living in the residence they choose, in order to maintain a healthy and happy quality of life. Having a home that will accommodate for future needs such as physical restrictions and safety will offer great value whether you choose to stay in the home or sell.

Kaitz Kitchen - Kitchen Island

This kitchen was designed with a desk area, refrigerator drawers and open space, just to name a few options, in order to accommodate the homeowner who is handicapped.

Universal design in spaces such as the kitchen and bath areas includes wider doorways, storage options that are below the countertop height, refrigerator and microwave drawers, seamless thresholds, grip bars, high friction tiles and roll-in showers, just to name a few. There is an idea that designing for a universal fit will leave the space looking sterile and institutional, having a bland aesthetic, rather than feeling like home. But as you can see with these pictures of homes designed by Kitchen Views, a home that is designed for future needs and physical challenges can be beautiful.

corner kitchen drawers for easy access

This is where you work hand in hand with your designer. As a team, you will be able to come up with the look and feel you want while your designer has the expertise to inform you of potential issues that may impact the functionality of your space in the future. To give you an example of how unexpectedly things in life can change, and how your surroundings directly impact your life, read this article on page 5 of our Kitchen Views magazine, summer 2009, titled Things Change.

Thinking of the future may be a challenge, but our design professionals are here for you and happy to help every step of the way. For more inspiration, visit us online at kitchenviews.com and on Houzz.com.  To speak with one of our designers, click on his or her photo for contact information.

Kitchen Views – Where the designers are pros, and the views are yours!

Resource:  Universal Design Becoming Common in Bathroom Design – JLC Online Nov 13 | jlconline.com

Kitchen Views at National Lumber logo

 

Can you spot the errors? Educate yourself on “good” kitchen design.

In Paul McAlary’s post, Good Intentions, Bad Designs, he poses the question “What design errors do you see most often, either in the media or in your local market?” This is in follow up to his earlier article, Death by Kitchen Design, where he defines several examples of kitchen design gone wrong.

Some examples he describes include the range or cooktop being too close to cabinetry, a window or an entry doorway. Another hazard is having an island cooktop located too close to the edge of the island where pot and pan handles can overhang and have the potential to be knocked off the stove.

dangerous kitchen design with open space under wall cabinet

Building codes are in place to regulate safety hazards in building structures, but does that mean every design project is actually safe?

Another example he gives is about cabinetry that extends beyond the counter below or not having some other protective base beneath. In this photo of a modern kitchen you see wall storage above and drawer storage below. What’s wrong with this picture?

  • One potential hazard is the possibility of hitting one’s head on the underside of the wall cabinet after going into the lower drawers.

While this design may technically be “up to code,” the potential for danger is still there. Designing your kitchen can be exciting and scary, throughout the whole process. While working with a professional designer and professional contractors are of the utmost importance, so is your own education and vision for your new space.

As you look at different ideas, see if you are able to find instances that you think might be dangerous. Then see if any of these are designed for your new kitchen. If you find something that concerns you, don’t hesitate to tell the professionals you are working with. It’s better to address something that can be potentially harmful as soon as possible, instead of having to spend more money to fix something that may have been averted in earlier stages of the project.


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