Thursday, September 09, 2010

Kitchen Remodel

The roasting spit in this European medieval ki...Image via Wikipedia
I have been bouncing around and excited for about a month now, but haven’t taken time to write about it.  I think most of my facebook friends know, but for the blog friends who don’t know…..we are finally remodeling our kitchen! Or maybe I should say, re-creating our kitchen.
This has been a long time coming, and while it has not been an easy wait, I am really thankful for how God has worked in the wait. If we had built the kitchen we had wanted to build 4 ½ years ago, it just wouldn’t have been the best plan, or even close. We have changed, grown in our understanding of the hows and whys of kitchen design, (although we are by no means experts…) and though the kitchen we would have built would have been okay, it would have had so many shortcomings compared to the one we are building now.
So, here we are at last. Creating our dream kitchen.

In the interim, we have read books, made endless sketches, thought we had the design down, but when we set up mock counters to test it for a few days, found flaws that didn't show up on paper. I have rearranged my kitchen umpteen times for different reasons, and each time learned something new.
In our priorities for the kitchen, there are a few things that have been at the forefront of our list from the beginning. I’d like to share a few here.
  • Function. Our first priority has been it has to work, and we shouldn’t have to work extra hard to make it work. If the kitchen doesn’t function well in everyday life, expanding to meet the needs of a large group as well as handle the needs of everyday family life, it becomes more of an obstacle to the flow of things than an asset. We all have chores, but if daily stuff is a chore when it shouldn’t be, something isn’t functioning right. Stuff that doesn’t function well costs you, either time, money or both. Same in the kitchen.

  • Simplicity. Sometimes the simple things work the best. Take a tour of kitchens, modern as well as those in older homes, and you can find tons of anti-simple examples. Like, when you have to clear the counter before you can open the doors of the appliance garage, or the cupboard door. Or have to unload the pan cupboard every time you need a pan at the back of the cupboard. I’m sure many could tell their tale of simple tasks that took too much time to get done due to a design flaw.
  • Doable. I have had some BIG ideas during this kitchen thing. Everything from skylights, bay windows, two dishwashers and huge sinks to extension tables, detachable islands, (and could we figure out a way to still have electricity and plumbing on the part we move?), waterfalls and herb gardens right in the kitchen. Some of my big ideas are in my new kitchen design. Many aren’t. Function and Simplicity ruled out many of them, but budget, and plain limitations of the site we are building in ruled out the rest. (Can’t do a skylight through the attic we have, just won’t work structurally…) 
  • Efficient. Efficiency is where Funtion and Simplity meet and join together with your efforts to cause your work to go well. I may be in danger of becoming a nut in the area of efficiency. It is becoming a passion in everything I do. I haven’t arrived at the level of efficiency that I strive for, but I am excited about learning things that help me to be more efficient in everyday doings. Our kitchen design has been constantly examined using the test of efficiency. This includes the use of space and planning for the least amount of wasted space as well as planning for the easiest access to the tools used in everyday tasks.
These are some of the top factors we have tried to take into consideration as we have planned our kitchen. I could write more about each factor, and maybe I will at some point. For now, we will see how it all comes out. The cabinets are being installed as I type. =)

Here are a few resources to check out if you are interested in learning more about practical kitchen design.  These books have greatly influenced us in our design process. There are tons of books out there on kitchen design. These are just the books we had and would recommend them highly.
The Motion-Minded Kitchen
Remodeling a Kitchen: Taunton's Build Like a Pro: Expert Advice from Start to Finish
The Complete Guide to Kitchen Design With Cooking in Mind 

Here is a page with some videos featuring Don Silvers talking about kitchen design...
Don Silvers Media Links

I will post pictures of our project so far soon...
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment