Kitchen Design: Doing It Right!
Twenty or thirty years ago, the kitchen was a utilitarian space in the home dedicated almost exclusively to cooking and washing dishes, and was generally separate from other “living” areas of the home. Today, not only has the kitchen been integrated into the living areas of a home, it has actually become the hub of family life—the heart of the home and a family’s operations. Whether it’s eating together, visiting with friends, or trying a hand at gourmet cooking, the way you design your kitchen space should reflect your personal lifestyle and preferred taste in aesthetics. Here’s what you should know.
Designing your kitchen should be given more thought than any other part of your home, not only because, as the epicenter of the home, this is where people will be spending most of their time, but also because in the eyes of many, the kitchen can greatly affect the resale value of a home.
A person’s unique lifestyle should be the main focus to determine the functional aspects of a kitchen’s design. Your individual needs should determine everything: the size of the kitchen, the layout and traffic flow, storage requirements, appliances, and even the materials you use. As well, think ahead, not just what your current needs are.
LAYOUT AND TRAFFIC
A kitchen’s layout is generally designed around the “work triangle,” which is the area that encompasses the main components in the kitchen—the range, the refrigerator, and the sink. The right distance between these workstations is critical to a productive kitchen and is often dictated by the size of the kitchen.
The kitchen’s layout should accommodate your individual lifestyle. Large families and homeowners who like to entertain groups of people should pay close attention to the traffic pattern in the kitchen. A good traffic flow will allow the cook to interact comfortably with other family members or guests without being hindered in any activities.
Because today’s kitchens play an integral part of family life, floor plans often include the kitchen as an “open concept” space that opens to other dining areas and to other areas of the home for easy entertaining—even to outdoor spaces and views. Today’s kitchens are less about a place to prepare meals and more about a place to gather around, to keep an eye on kids doing homework while you cook, or about having a quiet place to do computer work while enjoying a cup of coffee.
ASK THE PROS
Factory Builder Stores
Kitchen Appliances and Cabinets
In the Coastal Bend area of South Texas, turn to experienced kitchen appliance and cabinet specialists at Factory Builder Stores in Corpus Christi, Texas, for help in choosing the products that are right for you. Whether you are building a new home or remodeling, Factory Builder Stores, which also provides installation services, is your one-stop shop for your kitchen appliances and cabinets.
Browse through a showroom full of trending appliances and beautiful cabinets, all of which will inspire your dream kitchen. Visit with our friendly and knowledgeable sales consultants for guidance through the many options available on the market today to find out what suits your needs and your budget best. Enjoy the luxury of seeing, touching, and learning all about the appliances and cabinets that catch your eye. The Factory Builder Stores showroom in Corpus Christi is located at 3741 Apollo Road, and open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.
Factory Builder Stores is the largest contract distributor in Texas with showrooms in Austin, College Station, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The company carries over 40 different brands of appliances and cabinets and caters to builders, remodelers, contractors, and the public. As a testament to the company’s excellence in product quality and service, repeat customers—especially building professionals—account for much of its success.
For more information,
call (361) 906-0045
or visit FactoryBuilderStores.com
APPLIANCES AND TECHNOLOGY
One area that directly affects the functionality and design of the kitchen is the selection of appliances and new technology. We now have a new generation of high-tech kitchen products with features like the ability to schedule the brewing of your morning cup of coffee to smart ovens that will have supper ready for you when you get home from work. For homeowners with busy lifestyles, there are a myriad of appliances that are powered by apps and i-devices on the market today. Because kitchen appliances and their technology are constantly evolving, it is recommended to get help with your selection of appliances from a professional.
Because cabinets are prominent and generally command a lot of the space in a kitchen, they tend to set the overall tone of the kitchen. It is important then to decide from the beginning which style of kitchen you wish to pursue. You will find a variety of styles to choose from, including traditional-style cabinets with rich detail, glass-front display cabinets, and sleek contemporary designs, to name a few. Your cabinet choices of stock and semi-stock items, or custom-designed items, will be determined primarily by your budget. Cabinet hardware, materials, and color should complement each other to achieve the whole-kitchen look you are striving to achieve.
KITCHEN FAUCETS & LIGHTING
Faucets are available in many styles and with many functional features, and it is importantto balance both. Some of the key elements to consider in choosing a faucet for your kitchen are the following: faucet height, shape, style, finish, color, and, of course, function—including water-saving features. With so many options and new technologies available on the market today, it is again advisable to consult with an expert before making your buying decision.
Aside from the range and oven, the kitchen sink is the workstation where people spend a lot of time. It should be a pleasing and comfortable area in which to work. Kitchen sinks come in a variety of materials and styles. While stainless steel continues to shine in the kitchen sink category, a new contender made of composite granite primarily from quartz and combined with an acrylic binder promises unsurpassed durability. These sinks with their smooth soft finishes are heat, bacteria, stain, and scratch resistant.
The type and style you ultimately choose should be based on your individual use, how the sink blends in with your kitchen’s decor, its maintenance requirements, and, of course, by your budget.
While it is human nature to choose a countertop for its beauty, this should not be your primary requirement. Because countertops in the kitchen function basically as workstations that involve food, cooking oils, liquids, powders, and other cooking ingredients, maintenance issues should be your main concern.
Granite—especially an exotic granite countertop with exquisite natural beauty—is a popular choice. There are other natural stone products like marble and limestone that also offer a luxurious look in the kitchen, but these are a softer material with less durability and are more difficult to maintain. A good option to consider: engineered stone countertops which mimic the look of natural stone products and provide durability that greatly reduces the need for maintenance.
Lighting in the kitchen can be divided into three types: ambient, task, and accent.
Ambient lighting is what illuminates the entire room, generally originates from the ceiling, and also includes available natural light from outdoors. Effective ambient lighting is one that provides enough light to illuminate the entire kitchen in a uniform manner.
Task lighting is basically what it means. Since the kitchen has several work areas, it is important that work stations have enough light to complete tasks efficiently and safely. Under-cabinet lighting can be a tremendous and cost-effective way to provide the proper task lighting needed.
Accent lighting adds character and beauty to a kitchen. While accent lighting can also add to ambient light, it has more to do with decorative light fixtures and accents that add an esthetically pleasing atmosphere to the kitchen.
The type of flooring you choose for your kitchen will have a critical impact on the overall tone of the space. While you will want to stay focused on the whole-kitchen look you want to achieve, when it comes to flooring, it is important to find a good balance between what looks good and what gives you good durability. There are a huge variety of flooring options from which to choose: hardwood, ceramic tile, slate tile, concrete, laminate, natural stone, and cork are a few examples.
When choosing your flooring, remember to consider the wear and tear from kitchen traffic and the sure-to-happen spills of food and liquids. No matter which material you choose, you will have many options of colors, shades, textures, patterns, and styles. Know that some colors and patterns can make a space look smaller or larger. Overall, choose a flooring product that will give you durability, easy maintenance, and, most important, give you the whole-kitchen beauty you want.
2019 Coastal Bend Showcase Kitchens
Discover beautiful kitchens designed by 2 highly skilled home builders in the Coastal Bend area of South Texas.