The Most Complicated Room in The House

Kitchens are usually the most complicated and the most expensive rooms in homes. They tend to contain more cabinetry, more electrical wiring, more appliances, and more expensive surfaces than almost any other space in the house. Along with bathrooms, kitchens surfaces must withstand water and moisture, but unlike bathrooms, kitchen surfaces must also withstand sharp knives, fire...

The primary purposes of most kitchens includes the preparation and storage of food. In addition, many kitchens are used as: social areas, dining spaces, a home's primary entry point, phone center, family room, laundry, home office, bar, display space, radio and TV area, homework preparation area, circulation space, plant and pet area, paper goods storage area, recycling area, and the list goes on.

Kitchens From: A traditional Kitchen on the Main Coast by Abbey Laukka, Courtesy of Fine Homebuilding Magazine

Many North American kitchens tend to be part a relatively open "great room" which includes dining, living, family room and the kitchen. In rural Brazil, I saw many kitchens which were partially indoors and partially a part of the back yard and/or a covered outdoor laundry areas (an adaptation of that idea works well in a summer cabin!).

Some friends from Japan and Europe were very surprised to see our open kitchen, the traditional kitchen in their homes were quite separate from the "guest areas" of their homes and "off limits" to their guests (it took a second bottle of wine for one older German guest to admit that he had never seen the inside of the kitchen in his own brother's home).

The "standard kitchen", the kind found in many stock home designs, will most likely "do" for most of us. However when given the choice, we are likely to pick the model with the kitchen design which best fits "our" life style. When designing a new kitchen, we need to identify our needs and wants.

Such a planning process is required in any construction or remodeling project, but even more important with the complexity of a kitchen project. This process should be written, and can be a simple list. It is best started before an architect, designer or contractor is called in: new ideas are great, but don't loose track of your needs and wants.

A very helpful guide to a kitchen planning process comes from an equally helpful book:">Kitchens that Work: The Practical Guide to Creating a Great Kitchen by Martin Edic and Richard Edic published by the Taunton Press.

Kitchen Design