Closed In – Opening Up

by Maida Korte                                    –

It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of every home.  Well, if this adage is true then many homes are at major risk for heart failure.  Often a kitchen remodeling project springs from a faucet that no longer works properly or cabinetry that has lost its appeal, but lately the kitchen remodel springs from a new point of origination entirely.  Kitchens have become more than a work-horse for a home and are now gathering spaces for fun, food and fellowship.  Gone are the days when a kitchen was merely a place to prepare meals.  Now we require our kitchens to make us happy as we chop, boil and bake.  This can only be accomplished by inviting everyone in and how can we do this when there are walls on every side, ill placed kitchen appliances that do not allow for a dish washer to open, refrigerators that block entrances and cooking areas conceived as traffic jams?   By carefully examining a space it is possible to re-invent the kitchen – so let’s get started!

#1: Tear down that wall 

Opening up a wall to see through to the room beyond is the first way a remodel can breathe new life into a kitchen.  Every kitchen connects to an adjoining space, and by examining the rooms that have common walls, a new kitchen design can expand by virtue of line of sight.  This type of kitchen remodel also requires an examination of the cabinetry to see what will be gained by removing a wall and how an extended line of sight expands not only the kitchen but also the experience at home.   The exercise in examining cabinetry can be far more fun than pumping iron with more immediate results as well.  One of the first considerations is whether an island can be added to the kitchen remodeling project.  Islands do add to the experience of hearth and home since family and friends love to gather around this central hub.  Tearing down a wall does not necessarily add space, but it does extend the view and that can change your current cramped kitchen into a place where everyone wants to join in the fun.

#2:  Borrowing space

Every space in a home is valuable but more often than not, some spaces are just more valuable than others.  The kitchen is one of those spots since it is the hub of the wheel in a smooth running enterprise called home.  A good kitchen interior designer can see where space beyond the kitchen walls might be underused and therefore can be incorporated into a new kitchen remodel.  Borrowed space can come from adjoining rooms like a dining area or niche that is rarely occupied, or from a small bedroom or office space that is under-used as well.  Hallways can be re-routed and captured to allow for the essential large island, while closet spaces can become more efficient and expand the spacing of the best kitchen appliances.  Sometimes just tucking a refrigerator into an existing closet space, forming a clean line for additional cabinets, is all that is necessary to create the kitchen of your dreams.

#3:  The Room Addition

When space for a new kitchen remodel cannot be found within the existing footprint of a home, then a room- addition can often be the right solution.  One measure as to whether this is the correct decision is by discovering other elements that could add to the function and experience of the home beyond the kitchen.  Have you also longed for a laundry room on the main floor?  Are coats, boots, and back-packs sitting on the floor of the kitchen with nowhere to go and a mud-room is calling your name?  If so, then an expansion of space by adding on to your existing home will be exciting.   There are many factors to consider in this scenario like zoning, property size and budget.  If building a room addition is possible and your property and budget allow for this, many factors can now be considered.  How big would you ultimately like your kitchen to be?  What additional elements would bring your dreams to life and should be incorporated into your kitchen remodeling project?  It is only by bringing in a team of experts that these questions can be answered fully.   The correct questions promote the correct answers and guide the ship as it steers toward a completed project.  Never one to recommend ‘hair on fire’ procedures, it is always in your best interest to involve a professional team to make sure that all aspects of your project are considered.  The factors for a successful kitchen remodel include space planning, pathways and traffic patterns, lighting requirements and finish selections.  From general style discussions to specifics like the location of kitchen appliances, a design professional can guide from point to point, making sure that there is an effortless flow from concept to completion.   

Another advantage to renovating your kitchen is the future investment that could prove profitable even beyond the daily enjoyment of your new space.  The best kitchen for selling a house is always the updated kitchen space that mixes trend with timeless design.

A successful kitchen remodel can be compared to a beautiful symphony.  Each member of the orchestra plays a part – entering the harmony at just the right moment, creating a crescendo that is both experiential and memorable.  Once your kitchen remodeling project is complete you will then have a place of both function and beauty where you can create your own music every day.

One Response to “Closed In – Opening Up

  • Jim Walker
    3 years ago

    Beautifully written, Maida. Do I sense a “Design Book” in the making?

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