Posts Tagged 'how to design a kitchen'

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

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How to Find a Kitchen Designer

This happy homeowner in Rhode Island worked with Kitchen Views designer Lisa Zompa to design her dream kitchen.

When choosing a designer, find someone who listens to your needs and is flexible enough to work with your schedule and your budget. A good rapport is key. You also want someone well-versed in the array of products available to find the best fit for your project. We have a wide selection of cabinetry, countertops and decorative hardware at our disposal here at Kitchen Views. You deserve a variety of options based on what your particular needs and wants might be. Our designers can create the kitchen of your dreams at just about any price point. Kitchen Views has a wide range of products, from stock cabinets that arrive in a few days to fully custom made to order.

It’s also important to find someone who can balance your needs along with your wants to make sure that everything comes out well. It can be too easy to get carried away with a particular dream aspect of a kitchen, and end up with the budget becoming too stretched to fit in the essentials! You want a designer that understands the limitations of a budget and finds creative solutions to reach your goals.

There are so many products available for kitchens today that the sheer quantity of choices can become overwhelming. Your designer should help you to navigate the sea of seemingly endless choices and offer you not just pros and cons. They should also explain how the price points and particular styles and characteristics of different materials fit into your overall plan. A professional designer can provide you with ideas that you may not have previously considered. At Kitchen Views, we’re not going to push one or two particular products at you for the sake of selling. You give us your ideas and we offer choices. In order for the finished room to meet your needs functionally and aesthetically, it has to be a team effort.

Good kitchen design is about transforming your ideas into reality, while being both realistic and efficient at the same time. If you’ve been frustrated in the past by having this or that trendy option pushed on you, or you are having trouble finding someone who grasps your unique situation, give Kitchen Views a call and we’ll exceed your expectations.

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
www.kitchenviews.com

Technology to Transform Our Lives at KBIS 2015

Brandy Souza of Kitchen Views

The KBIS show of 2015 was filled with plenty of brands we know and love. All our favorite brands have clearly embraced new technology and used it to make our lives easier. The one take away from this year’s Kitchen and Bath show was that technology is king. Here are my notes from the KBIS 2015 show that demonstrate how technology, design and function come together to better our lives.

Kohler’s Touchless Flush Toilets — just when you thought a heated seat was the best invention added to toilets, now we don’t even have to touch our toilets to flush them!

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Tech Top by LG — this was really cool. Just place your cell phone, exercise tracker, glucose meter, heart rate meter, or portable speaker on the LG Viatera or HI-MACS counter surface and your battery will automatically charge! Check out their website http://www.lgtechtop.com/ to get the details and demo.

Tech Top by LG - diagram

Tech Top by LG

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer — this product installs under any counter surface and cooks through it with induction technology.

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer signage

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup shows no visible signs of the technology

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven — this design gives a modern, commercial look to your oven. It matches the current French-Door refrigeration trends and allows users to open using one hand. Perfectly designed for ADA needs. The large convection fan with bi-directional movement allows maximum airflow and excellent cooking results.

Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven is perfectly designed for ADA needs

MasterBrand Cabinetry — Omega, Dynasty and Homecrest — these are our favorite cabinet lines and they can be used anywhere. Laundry, mudroom, and craft room are just a few possibilities!

Laundry cabinetry

Lots of storage keeps your laundry area organized

mudroom cabinetry

A mudroom never looked so good before! Everyone has everything they need ready to go out the door.

craft area cabinetry

An organized craft area provides everything you need within easy reach

Visit a Kitchen Views showroom and meet with a designer to add these great features to your dream kitchen, or any area of your home.

Brandy Souza, General Manager of Kitchen Views

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.

Arctic cold weather is keeping us indoors

Keeping cozy together by a warm fire

With days more of arctic cold forecast across New England, many of us will be keeping cozy indoors. To help pass the time, Kitchen Views has several PDFs of our design magazines available on our website at http://www.kitchenviews.com/magazine/index.html. You might also like to look through our True Stories section and see videos of our clients talking about their design journeys with Kitchen Views.

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.

Remodeling Relationships

Every strong personal relationship requires patience and compromise. Remodeling your home requires the same positive attitude. The best relationships grow out of challenges that are faced as a team. The best remodeling results come from a team effort. Get your team prepared for the challenge of remodeling by seeking good advice and it will be a wonderful design journey.

Have you checked out HOUZZ? You’ll find lots of remodeling ideas and helpful information, like this:

Here’s a small excerpt:

Many of the survey’s respondents suggested divvying up responsibilities so each person has a say in the creative process. “I do most of the decorating decisions, but my husband picks the TV that will go on the wall, complete with speakers or a particular fireplace that he likes,” one respondent said. “He gets his say without feeling the need to get involved with my area.”

“We early on decided to assign departments to each other based on our strengths,” another said. “I am Negotiations, Logistics, Procurement, Paint and Design; he is Health & Safety, Food & Drink, Dirty Jobs and Heavy Lifting.”

When you’re ready, we hope you’ll check out kitchenviews.com to get the professional help to guide you through your design journey.

Kitchen Views – where the designers are pros, and the views are yours

kitchenviews.com
1-508-DESIGNS
Serving the New England region


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