I can’t say I love to cook. I should, my mom does and is great at it, and her mother owned a successful family diner but sadly I do not love to cook. I do love kitchens, how can I not? I love houses and a well thought out kitchen is essential to a well-designed home.
But how do you even start planning your kitchen? Our Dream Builders would tell you start with the basics. We all accept that budget is always a factor in home design and building. Balancing the needs and the wants can be challenging but there are ways to get creative on any budget.
First step is to do some evaluating – sit down in your favourite “creative idea generating space” with a coffee or get the dog and get out on your best “thought sorting walking trail” and get ready to think about your future kitchen space.
The first question to ask is “who will use the kitchen?”
Consider the possibilities…
Does your household include one person who primarily uses the kitchen or do multiple people love to dabble in the culinary arts? If more than one; how well do they like one another? (Seriously have you ever seen tween age sisters make school lunches within 4 feet of confined space?) You really need to evaluate how well you play with others when planning a multi-use kitchen.
Are there or will there potentially be children in the home who may want the role of chefs assistant?
Give thought at initial design stage to anyone in the household who may have mobility issues or needs that can be accommodated for.
Next you need to know “What will they be doing?”
Meal preparation is a given in the kitchen but who does it and how elaborately? Determine if you need enough counter space to make a sandwich, rest a pizza box or separate work stations for various functions?
Test -Which do you know… 3 take out numbers by heart or the responsibilities of a sous chef?
Most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes but the important thing is to have at least given it thought to help establish how much kitchen space you may need.
In addition to meal preparation baking or preserving may be going to happen in this space.
Fun Fact – counter space required to open a jar of pickles approx. 12 square inches, counter space required to turn the 50 pounds of small cucumbers you overenthusiastically grew in your first garden into home preserved pickles approx. 12 square feet.
Potential activities your future kitchen may need to accommodate include…
- Home office space
- A place for supervised homework completion
- Craft space
- Gardening clean up
- The command center for lots of indoor or outdoor entertaining
- Cleaning oil and grease from garage tools (ok probably not this one but it was once a near cause for divorce in our family)
Or your family may have some unique needs or wants for your kitchen space.
Make a list of the users, their preferences and the planned activities before you sit down to design your dream kitchen. The best way to have a kitchen that really works for you is to think about the “Who” and “What” before starting in.
Now you are ready to start thinking about the actual space, the various decisions to be made and choices available.
…what design features will make your kitchen the heart of your home?
Our next article Finding your ideal Layout will be here Wednesday Jan 27th.