18 August, 2010

Little Things-Kitchens

By Lisa Peck
You might think that a kitchen design is pretty much the same for each home. The finishes and style might change but the basics of what is needed is fairly standard. You would be wrong!
I had a client hire a design/build firm who designed a kitchen for her without ever looking inside a cabinet, asking her about how she cooks or what her largest pot is. Then she hired our design team and we got down to the little things that make a big difference.
Cooking style
There are as many different cooking styles as there are people. Defining who you are as a cook now and anticipating what your needs will be in the future is one of the little steps that is a must-do for a great kitchen design. Do you make quick 30-minute meals? Are you an elaborate gourmet but only on the weekends? Do you bake enough to supply an army for the holidays? Do you bake your own bread and baked goods for the health of your family? Are you a freeze and pop in the microwave cook? Are the only meals served in your home catered? Do you share cooking duties with a spouse or kids?
Depending on the kind of cook you are the plan of your kitchen, the type and quantity of appliances can vary widely. Knowing and discussing all of your cooking styles helps LiLu address the little things that can make a big difference in your design.
Point of Use Storage
Storage for some spices by the prep area and others at the cook top. A bake center with a mixer stand and small pantry for flour, sugar and other baking supplies directly adjacent to the double ovens. Tupperware right next to the microwave.
A shelf above the cook top for oils and spices. Each cook uses different tools in specific locations. Some want their things out where they are on view ala Julia Child. Others want a kitchen that is buttoned up. Assessing all the things you want to store and where they will be most efficiently stored and useful and planning all the details inside of cabinets that allow that to happen creates a kitchen that will last a lifetime.
A small aside....every kitchen has a hand towel...how many do you see hanging on an oven door, cabinet know or languishing on a counter top...design in a place to hang a hand towel in the most convenient location and life will be easier.
A collection in the kitchen? Yes! Cookbook collections, cookie jar collections, copper pot collections...our clients have them and we plan for them. Having a place to store or display a cooking related collection in your kitchen is a must for some homeowners. Over looking a detail like this could result in keeping your cookbooks in the living room...I've seen it happen.
Kitchen maintenance issues are similar to bathrooms but if you cook often and intensely the concerns multiple. Who is going to clean on a daily basis, weekly basis? Will you want to use specialty cleansers? Can you tolerate finger prints on surfaces? Knowing the little things about your maintenance style is an essential part of designing a kitchen that will fit you like an glove.
Every kitchen designer will include a good work triangle...not every kitchen includes an art niche in the island for the client who loves art. Knowing how a kitchen will feed your soul, body and deliver ease of use is why a great design addresses every little thing.
Here are some kitchen designs by the LiLu Interiors design team.

Alex kitchen sink

See the entire project

Munns Minneapolis Kitchen web

See the entire project

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