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Build the Home of Your Dreams Part two: the kitchen

Going back probably as far as the caveman, the kitchen was and still is the most valued part of a home. Here is where food, the substance of life, is prepared, and in many instances, here is where people gather to share conversation and mental and emotional encouragement. It is for these reasons a kitchen should have a great deal of thought put into its planning. Here are some ideas to help plan the kitchen of your dreams:
(These thoughts are valuable when renovating a kitchen as well)

  • Begin your planning by thinking about:
    1. Do you or other occupants of the home love to cook or will the kitchen be used for simple meal preparation only?
    2. Will you do much entertaining and, if so, what type of entertaining. Will it be fancy or more likely tacos or a barbeque?
    3. Will children be involved in kitchen activities? What ages are they? And remember, boys enjoy cooking as well as girls. (the world’s most celebrated chefs are men) Small children underfoot need room to move around without being underfoot.
    4. Will pets be allowed in the kitchen? Pets too need room to move around so as not to be underfoot all the time.
    5. Will there be a door to the outside leading from the kitchen? If there is an outside door, you need to plan for a place to hang wet outer clothes and a place to put muddy shoes and boots.
    6. Will you and other occupants eat most of your meals in the kitchen? Will you need a bar, table space, or eating nook?
    7. How tall are the members of the household? Planning cabinets and counters, so folks can reach and work comfortably, is important.
    8. What type of storage will you need? For example, do you like a pantry for canned and dry goods? Do you want to keep cleaning tools such as a broom, cordless vac, rags, and cleaning products in a kitchen closet or under the sink?
    9. Will you be washing a lot of items by hand so will want a large or double sink? And what do you want your sink to be made of, stainless steel or porcelain?
    10. Appliances are the most important. Depending on answers to amount and type of cooking and number and ages of household members will dictate what style and size of stove, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher you will want. Stainless steel is the most popular appliance finish, but there are others to choose from. In fact, stainless steel marks easily, so it is not a good choice if young children are in the home.
  • Once you have answered the above ten questions, you can begin to choose what type of appliances you will need as well as plan for storage, cupboard and counter height, eating arrangements, and the actual size of kitchen to best suit your needs.
  • Placement of appliances, entry doorways, and the general pattern of movement about the kitchen is essential as you move into the final planning. Be sure to think through how convenient, using the fewest steps, will the major appliances be placed. Make sure the refrigerator you choose will have its door opening in the direction for easy food removal.
  • As a final step in your planning, you will want to decide on flooring, wall color and texture, placement of windows and window treatments, lighting, and table, chairs, or bar stools if required.

Planning your dream kitchen can be one of the most rewarding parts of planning your dream home. There are so many wonderful ways to design a kitchen and so many great choices for all a kitchen can contain. Take your time; visit other kitchens, search the web, look at catalogs, browse home decorator magazines, and consult with a professional if you run out of ideas. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the opportunity to design your own dream kitchen.