The Kitchen Island – How It Defines The Busiest Room In The House

There was a time when “kitchen islands” consisted of sturdy tables set in the center of the room and… only in kitchens large enough to accommodate them. In the 1930s, Frank Lloyd Wright brought kitchen islands to suburban homes with his “open plan” living space. They have continued to evolve ever since. Currently, the island has literally become the hub of our homes for doing more tasks than just cooking. They’ve become the center for socialization. If you’re looking to modify an island already in place or add one to your kitchen, it’s best to work with a professional to draw up a floor plan. An island should have about three feet of space around it. If it’s too large, the kitchen becomes crowded. Too small and not only does it not look good, it may not fit in with the normal workflow. Bottom line, it shouldn’t be too close to doors or other countertops but you don’t want it to be standing off by itself. The next consideration is how you want to use it. Islands can be strictly functional by providing additional countertop space and storage. But as suggested above, islands are where people interact. While the cook is chopping tomatoes, he can talk to family about their day, help the kids do homework, and just show off a little as guests nibble on appetizers as dinner is prepared.  This brings up the question of how many people do you want to be able to sit around it?  And do you want one level or two? Take a look at our Projects to see what we can...

The Future Of Kitchens – Will They Be Open Or Closed?

We know some things in kitchens never change. Appliances may be sleeker, materials improved and color palettes may be broader. But let’s face it, the kitchen continues to be the heart of the home where most of the hard work takes place. Probably the biggest change we’ve seen over the years is to open the kitchen up to the rest of the house. And for good reason… After all, who wants to be isolated from company or the rest of the family while preparing food? Now the question is whether or not open kitchens are here to stay. According to Sam Cochran of Architectural Digest, “Kitchens will continue to be the gathering spaces, with dining nooks and multipurpose work surfaces where you can both roll your dough or type on your laptop. But it’s no longer a universal truth that a dream kitchen must be an open kitchen. “ In fact, many high-end homeowners are adding a second kitchen to serve as a working kitchen. It’s especially popular with those who entertain a lot. Second kitchens or “backstage workhorse kitchens” allow the “social” kitchen to serve as the gathering space.  This way the kitchen continues to be the place to hang out without getting in the way of food preparation. For those who have the space, two kitchens provide room for unhindered food preparation while maintaining the social kitchen we’ve come to...

The Smart Kitchen Trend – What Will Your Dream Look Like?

With the trend in adding a “work” kitchen to the “social” kitchen, let’s look at where kitchen appearance and function is headed. Last February, the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas showcased a plethora of new views. Many kitchen designers now incorporate fashion-forward features like glass fronts and LED lights on refrigerators. Appliances and cabinetry have chic leather and metal hardware. Back-splashes now feature unusual finishes like shagreen, metal, raw wood and artful murals. Tech is also the buzz and smart kitchens are definitely going digital. Currently Smart-touch faucets turn on and off with just a tap. Refrigerators feature integrated cameras that allow people to check their groceries from both inside and outside the home. Induction cook tops save energy with technology that changes heat settings instantaneously. Now think of dishwashers responding to voice commands and appliances that could communicate with each other to create shopping lists, meal recommendations and cooking instructions. Not only futuristic, these features dovetail with the trend towards Universal Design – the approach that makes living at home easier for everyone at every age. This is why experts believe innovations for the sake of technology alone will be weeded out. They see the market moving towards technology that not only looks sexy, but improves kitchen function and ease of food...

Color your kitchen safe (and beautiful)!

We’ve  read about the Great White Kitchen and how white stands the test of time. Whether you opt for white or choose another color, the fact is - color not only enhances the beauty of your kitchen…it makes it safer to use. Here’s why. The percentage of our population with eyesight challenges is probably much higher than most of us realize. Think about this - you don’t have to be blind or have cataracts to be sight challenged. Anyone with glasses, contacts…even corrective procedures like Lasik can leave you with less than perfect vision. This is where color comes in. Color creates contrast. Done properly, color separates objects which help you move around your kitchen with ease.  We talked about how lighting adds ambiance along with safety. The same principle applies to color. It distinguishes where floors end and walls begin. It outlines doors and delineates how far cabinets stand out. Good color blocking minimizes the potential to bump into objects when you’re in a hurry to get food on the table! Whether you have perfect vision or even minimal vision correction, paying attention to the nuances of color makes time in the kitchen more enjoyable for everyone who uses it. If you’re not sure how to use white (or whatever color you choose), consider a color consultation with a professional designer.  You’ll be amazed at how any color used wisely brings out the best in your...