Americans love affair with white and warm off-white tones shows no sign of letting up, with color achieved through the use of accents such as art work, cabinet interiors, large bowls of fruit, and displays items behind glass doors. For the most part, countertops are remaining neutral as well, with the use of bold, large-scale patterns at the backsplash. When color does make an appearance, gray remains a favorite (warm, green-brown shades of gray rather than cool, blue-grays) as well as tone-on-tone palettes.
Nothing improves a kitchen or bath project like great lighting – and one of the most exciting innovations lately has been in the area of lighting, namely LED (or light emitting diode)!
For many years, development in lighting for kitchens, while helpful, has been gradual and evolutionary. From under-counter fluorescent fixtures, to halogen and then xenon, the quality of lighting has been improving. In-cabinet lighting has been equally steady in its development.
Innovations abound in kitchen appliances! The impact on the largest appliance in the kitchen has been most profound and is a direct reflection of our changing lifestyles.
Traditionally, refrigeration in the kitchen consisted of a single appliance that included refrigerator and freezer functions, all housed in one large box. More often than not, it overwhelmed the space visually and provided a single choke point where family members would constantly run into each other.
There has been lots of discussion over the years about the “Kitchen Triangle” – a concept that is rooted in the days when Mom did all the cooking while family members parked themselves at the table waiting to be fed. When the meal ended, everyone scattered and Mom was left behind to do all the clean-up. No more! Families have changed since Leave it to Beaver. In many households, both parents either work full-time or have schedules and lifestyles that make the kitchen the active center of the home with many people chipping in. Today, more than one person often cooks, preps and cleans up.
The placement of electrical outlets in a new kitchen always presents a unique challenge. One of the primary hurdles that you must cross in designing a new kitchen is adhering to local building codes. While electrical building codes vary by county, most jurisdictions require them to be located every 4 to 6 feet – with one or two on a kitchen island. The reasoning behind this regulation is to prevent hazards such as stretching a cord across the sink or across a passageway.
Everyone has a face. A kitchen is no different. As humans, our faces express our personality and mood. They are also the first thing we look at when connecting with others. Kitchen’s need a face as well – a focal point people notice first when they enter the space. A kitchen should express the mood and personality of the kitchen. While all elevations in the kitchen should have some interest, the face is the main event with all other elements supporting its leading role.
Since the beginning of human history, the source of water has been one of the most essential elements in the preparation of meals. In the modern day, the kitchen sink became the first “appliance” and remains the workhorse in every kitchen. Some surveys have indicated that we spend upwards of 75% of our time in the kitchen at the sink. This means getting the kitchen sink right in any kitchen design is essential.
Most kitchens have at least one corner. Designing corners presents a unique opportunity to maximize storage space. The traditional solution to the corner storage dilemma is the Lazy Susan. Lazy Susans offer a simple and effective solution. Either rotating or hinging doors are used to access a “two-sided” corner. The Lazy Susan includes a series of rotating shelves inside the cabinet. The best ones are mounted on shelves (which may be adjusted to specific heights), utilize the entire footprint of the corner, and have no center post to get in the way.