You spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Between cooking for your family and entertaining guests, it is one of the most high-traffic areas of your home. So it is important that it is designed in a way that facilitates utmost comfort and convenience. If you feel like the space is too cramped, outdated or simply not laid out in a way that is beneficial, there are many design and remodeling tricks you can use to make your kitchen feel significantly more spacious and luxurious.
According to kitchen and bathroom designer Sherry Gossett, we typically spend most of our time home in the kitchen. People often say, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” Designing a kitchen effectively can improve the way we live. Design can create spaces for cooking, for entertaining and for congregating. It can improve the flow of a kitchen, organize a space and separate distinctive areas.
Space planning of a kitchen can actually make a kitchen feel larger or more open. Some tricks of the trade in designing a kitchen include creating a triangle. The triangle concept puts the cooktop, sink and refrigerator all at a position to form an imaginary triangle, which offers convenience for cooking.
Another tip in designing a kitchen is to consider the way we live. How often do we use the formal dining room adjacent to the kitchen? Very often we can take down a wall, open up a pass-through, install an island or peninsula to capitalize on space, add light, or establish a new open floor plan. Finally, when designing a kitchen, increasing the height of the cabinets can create space and luxury. Taking out soffits and using taller cabinets presents more storage and offers a grander, richer and cleaner look.
Maximize counter space
Even if your kitchen is one of the biggest rooms in your house, if you don’t have enough counter space to fit your needs, it is not going to feel very spacious. Your kitchen countertops are where you often prepare and sometimes eat meals with your family, where you store some groceries and many appliances, and it is one of the surfaces people notice first.
When deciding how to redesign your kitchen, it is important to take into consideration what you will be using the area for the most – and how. Obviously you will spend time eating in there. But do you spend a lot of time preparing and cooking meals yourself?
“In most homes, counter space is considered a luxury.”
Counter space in most homes is considered a luxury. This real estate is certainly at a premium, Gossett explained: “The biggest request we receive as designers is to offer the client more counter space.”
We prepare our meals on the counter, dump our grocery bags and keep our toaster oven, microwave and coffee maker there. Even before we start to prepare our food, the countertop is already cluttered. Finding appropriate places for appliances, creating pantry areas for groceries and extending countertops for dining purposes will maximize counter space.
Microwaves can be installed over cooktops or in draw base cabinets to open counter space. An island is a luxury item that can offer added counter space and an eating area. Often a peninsula can add countertop and seating space, too. Both these installments can offer added cabinetry and needed storage as well.
Choose colors and patterns carefully
Understanding the role colors, patterns and designs play in our perception of a physical space can go a long way in making a kitchen feel more spacious. For example, bright colors tend to make interiors feel more airy and open. Using the same color on the walls as you do the cabinets, and possibly other surfaces such as your countertops or floors, is a simple way of making a room appear bigger than it actually is. When the same shades span multiple surfaces, it makes it harder to tell where one ends and another begins. If you are concerned an all-white kitchen will seem too boring, mix it up by adding some different textures or complementary materials, such as glass and stainless steel.
Incorporate reflective surfaces
Use stainless steel appliances throughout your kitchen and incorporate some glossy materials, such as satin paint or glass tiles. Using glass or metallic tiles can reflect light and help contribute to the illusion that the room is more spacious. Another option for adding more shine to the kitchen is to use polished granite, quartz or marble countertops.
“Quartz is a popular countertop right now and there are so many choices that offer some sparkle as well,” Gossett explained.
Install open shelves
The use of open shelving in kitchen remodeling designs has gained a lot of popularity over the years. It offers a stylish appeal to the room, allowing you to put special pieces of kitchenware or décor on display. And using open shelves – or cabinets with glass doors – is also helpful in making the kitchen feel less cramped, especially if the backsplash of the cabinets is also a bright or reflective surface.
Let the light in
Even if you decide to go with darker tones for the counters and cabinetry, you should still install adequate lighting throughout the kitchen if. If the area doesn’t get a lot of natural lighting, it would be worth the investment to hire a kitchen remodeling company to redesign the layout. Another way to add more light to the room is to install light fixtures strategically throughout the room, such as underneath cabinets, to illuminate otherwise dimly lit areas.
A good lighting plan is imperative for creating the perfect kitchen. Lighting must be task-oriented. It can be directed at work spaces, cooking spaces and used to create ambiance. Lighting can be dimmable, bulbs can be LED or incandescent, fixtures can be displayed under cabinets or over islands and/or peninsulas. Furthermore, windows, skylights and patio doors can be installed to increase natural light in a room. As Gossett pointed out, “Proper lighting can increase efficiency in a kitchen, warm up a space and can show off how beautiful the kitchen is.”
The kitchen is certainly the heart of your home, so it is important not to settle for a design you are less than thrilled about. Consulting with a local kitchen remodeling company can help you get a better idea of what you can do to maximize use of the space and make it feel more luxurious.
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