An architect by license and profession, I also do interior design. The two disciplines are fundamentally connected yet are distinct by themselves. Architecture is an exact science while interior design is creative art but both must come together to produce a beautifully designed house that meets the standards for total integrity.
As I keep track of trends in housing styles and designs, a noticeable feature that is getting increasingly popular is the need for functionality to fit the lifestyle of most families. With both parents having their own careers, the house must be designed to make daily living easier and more convenient, so that there is time for rest and relaxation.
The kitchen stands out as an area that has evolved from being relegated to the back to being given its due recognition because it has become multifunctional. Aside from its elemental use for cooking, it has become the informal dining room, helping-the-kids-with-homework room and a place for doing other tasks, such as making the grocery list, keeping track of bills to pay, etc. Having the kitchen as a house’s focal point saves parents a lot of moving from one room to another and burning food in the process.
For its multiple purposes, the kitchen deserves to be a clean, comfortable and airy haven that the family enjoys spending time in. Here are some kitchen design ideas that combine beauty and functionality in today’s modern homes.
In today’s smaller homes, a kitchen that flows into the dining and living rooms adds actual and illusory space. It can be central to the whole floor area to allow maximum interaction between family members, enhancing conversations and sharing of the day’s events even as the cook is preparing meals.
Tip: If you’re a feng shui believer (or even if you’re not,) never position the kitchen in front of the house. It brings bad vibes and does not conform to standard aesthetic practice.
The ideal kitchen must have ambient and task lights to provide sufficient illumination when working and create a comfortable ambiance for eating and talking over dinner. Large windows that allow sunlight in reduce electricity usage and carbon emissions. Install under-cabinet lights that focus on countertops where you do most of the cutting and slicing. Recessed ceiling lights and track lighting create a soft atmosphere and pendant lights bring focus to certain items if needed.
Tip: Use LED lighting instead of the incandescent bulb and CFLs. The cost of LED lights has gone down. They give more illumination per wattage and are eco-friendly, too.
Space is essential in all rooms but especially so in kitchens. Keep clutter at bay and make your kitchen look cleaner. Install upper cabinets for items not frequently used. Put shelves across the insides of cabinets to make more storage room. Have a banquette that serves a double purpose – for seating and underneath, for storage. Hang hooks and install shelves on walls. They serve as open storage and free the countertop of mess.
Tip: For a small kitchen, planning and forethought before building is the key to creating ample space for storage.