Kitchens are center of modern family activityWritten by Associated Press | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The kitchen is the busiest room in the home. From food preparation and dining to balancing the family checkbook and socializing, the kitchen is the center of activity for today’s busy family.
What does it take to create a dream kitchen, one that’s beautifully designed, functional and, best of all, accessible for every cook and family member?
The Art Institutes recently posed this scenario to several of its top interior design faculty and chef instructors, challenging each group to develop a list of must-haves for a new or renovated kitchen.
According to Chris Lauderdale, a chef with The Art Institute of California-Orange County, the key isn’t the money a homeowner spends on a renovation or a new kitchen. It’s the thought and planning that goes on before.
“One evening, I was catering a party at a home where the host kept asking me what I thought of his kitchen. He had just spent $30,000 on a complete remodel. Everything looked great, very high design, but we were having a terrible time cooking because it had been designed for style, not functionality,” Lauderdale said.
Keep in mind the real-life use of your kitchen, said Gerald Brennan of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.
“Everybody these days loves stainless steel, but it’s hard to clean and really high maintenance,” Brennan said. “If you have kids, you’ll see every fingerprint.” Instead, Brennan recommends black appliances to his clients.
And what about those professional ranges? For Scott Swartz, chef instructor at The Art Institute of New York City, they aren’t worth it unless the cook can use them to their potential. Swartz recommended a commercial grade stove that’s up to the task.
Cabinets are one of the biggest investments in a new or renovated kitchen. When making that decision, Sofeeka Hasiuk, interior design instructor with The Art Institute of Philadelphia, warns against many gimmicks. For example, a wine storage cabinet isn’t the greatest idea because a kitchen is a little warm for that.
“Quality cabinetry and countertops will last longer, and make your kitchen function better over the long haul, not to mention be more pleasing to work in,” said William Niemer, a chef with The Art Institutes International Minnesota. Good lighting, counter space and placement of waste containers are important as well, he said.
The chefs and interior designers agreed on the most important attribute for a new or renovated kitchen: “work triangulation,” or the functionality and flow between the sink, refrigerator and stove.