We often see beautiful rooms in magazines and think, “That’s what I want!”, but we forget to take into account our particular lifestyle and needs.
A kitchen designed for a bustling household with children running around will be different than a kitchen designed for a couple or someone living alone. The stage of life you’re in will impact your kitchen design. You should always envision yourself living in the space. Here are some things to consider when designing a kitchen:
Kitchens are the heart of a home. Counter space and storage space are important considerations. For toddlers and young kids, you might consider having some low cabinets or cubbies to clean up toys and books that always accumulate in the kitchen. A breakfast bar is a nice idea for older children and teenagers, so they can sit and do school work while you make dinner. But you must be careful of the combination of high stools and young children! Back-heavy chairs can easily fall over when youngsters pull on them.
Stainless steel appliances show fingerprints more than other surfaces, but using alternatives such as matte chrome will reduce this inconvenience. Also think about countertops, making sure you choose a surface that won’t stain or scuff easily. Flooring, too, should be stain-resistant and stand up to high traffic. You might also consider an area rug for youngsters who spend a lot of time on the floor.
Opt for bright and whimsical colors. Have a message centre for displaying notes, reminders, photos, and your children’s artwork. Ultimately, you want your kitchen to be safe, inviting, and family-oriented.
If it’s just you and your partner using the kitchen, you can make design choices you never would if you had children. Light colors such as whites and beiges can be explored. Stainless steel appliances will not suffer the ever-sticky hands of children. Cabinetry can be as unique as you like it – used to add to a minimalist design (hide items away on high shelves, for example) or display items. You might even consider glass in your design.
If you entertain or throw dinner parties a lot, consider a bar or a prep sink. A counter overhang with stools would be practical, and guests can sit and enjoy a beverage with you while you cook. A high, goose-neck faucet will allow you to fill up water pitchers, vases, and watering cans easily.
Design choices are vast, enjoy it and get creative!
People living alone tend to have smaller spaces – a one-bedroom apartment or bungalow. Kitchen space will be limited. There are numerous creative storage options available, either do-it-yourself or off-the-shelf. Consider cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. This allows for extra storage space and also eliminates dust gathering on top. Spice racks, in-cupboard container organizers, baskets, and hooks can all help organize a smaller kitchen and make it appear larger by reducing clutter. Light wood cabinetry and light-colored paint will also help to open up the space.
Older adults living alone want functional and safe design to make life easier. Cabinetry and shelving that place items within reach are vital. Organizational accessories such as roll-out shelves and lazy Susans can make things easier. Single-handle faucets are easier to turn on and off. Lighting is also important, halogen and fluorescent lighting in the kitchen will provide more and better light.
Even a small space and one that takes into account the needs of an aging adult can be designed with beauty and utility.