Monday, September 17, 2012


Kitchens, The Hub of the house.....

We have all known that the kitchen has and always be the central gathering place in a home.  We have evolved through the years from the old farm style kitchen with the wood stove, table and most probably a sofa and other chairs. Back then they had what we now refer to as an "unfitted kitchen". It was the warmest place in the old farmhouses of days gone by.   
During the mid century period we moved into having more utilitarian kitchens and formal dining rooms for entertaining.  As we moved into the 80’s there was a resurgence of family style entertaining and the focus was on the great room The establishment of a great room by builders was addressing the need for families to be close together as they became very busy with 2 career households and the family activities involved all members.  Great rooms afforded a space to cook, eat, help children do homework, and watch television or play games.  As the boomers were so busy, they approached entertaining as a family affair with guests bringing their children.  This hub was perfect for some group bonding.  
As we approached the millennium we have taken the kitchen even further by opening it up to the living area and in some cases to the formal dining area or even removing the formal dining area for more 'living' space.  When we are entertaining we want our guests to be part of the entire process and we want to enjoy and be part of their conversation while preparing the meal. It has become the gathering place for guests.  We also saw the incorporation of the unfitted kitchen, which is where there are individual cabinet pieces, giving the look of furniture rather than cabinetry. 
Thus the kitchen has evolved again into a sophisticated room and in fact quite a showroom of the house.  Many European kitchen suppliers have become more prevalent in North America and are offering the most state of the art high-end kitchens.  The kitchen is still the gathering spot yet is has become a place of beauty and functionality.   We all know that everyone ends up in the kitchen at parties.
When designing these ultra kitchens, it is important to look at the overall concept and how to incorporate it with the remainder of the house.  Flow is very important as well as ergonomics and optimizing space in creative ways. When utilizing a professional we find them to be more knowledgeable these days and can offer the most appropriate finishes and products for each individual client.  Overall the kitchen must function like a well-oiled machine, yet appear pleasing to the eye. In other words all the “unsightly” paraphernalia in a kitchen must be accessible yet hidden.  We want to enjoy a less formal manner of entertaining, yet maintain a sense of elegance. 
The products themselves must be of the highest quality and withstand the test of time and have the longevity needed and to be worth the large sum of cash required to obtain such a space.  Kitchens can be as inexpensive or expensive as you are prepared to spend and as long as they are properly planned and executed, they will function and be the place you want to spend time in.


Here are some beautiful photos of kitchens, reflecting many styles...


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