Mapping Out Your Blueprint
At Oakwood Homes, we’ve seen home builders and designers in Colorado evolve their idea of modern living. How we think about the modern kitchen has changed over the years. It’s no longer just a place to cook. It has become a gathering spot, a place where family and friends socialize for hours on end. If you think about your last holiday get-together, chances are that a good majority of it took place in the kitchen. Many families treat their kitchens as a second living room, which is why the planning and design of them is just as much focused on hosting guests as it is on cooking. If you are in the beginning stages of building out your kitchen or planning a kitchen remodel, here is a list of items to make sure are on your checklist.
The Layout – Divvying Up Your Kitchen’s Space
We know that people like to use their kitchens to entertain guests, but don’t lose sight of what you’ll be needing that area for when doing your planning. Above all else, cooking should be your primary area of concern. Make sure your blueprint is accommodating to the three major items that all kitchens have, which is the refrigerator, stove, and the sink. Place these areas in close proximity to cut down on the amount of walking that needs to be done during meal prep. A short trip comes in handy for those times you have to pick up a boiling pot of pasta and bring it over to the sink to drain it.
The other thing to keep in mind during your layout phase is counter space devoted to cooking versus counter space for multipurpose use. If you are a home cook that finds yourself preparing large meals with lots of ingredients on a regular basis, then you’ll want to maximize your cooking counter space. If you only cook once in a great while (such as the holidays or special occasions), then you can devote more counter space to entertaining guests or as a daytime work area for kids who are learning remotely.
Finally, draw up your blueprint so that multiple people can move through the kitchen area without bumping into each other. If your kitchen includes an island, make sure it’s pushed out far enough from the main wall. The last thing you want is to create a tight alleyway that can’t accommodate people walking through.
To recap, the three main spaces to divvy up when planning are cooking, multipurpose /entertainment, and foot traffic. The remainder of the space can be devoted to storage and other appliances.
Choosing the Right Appliances
Appliances are going to be some of the most expensive items that you will outfit your kitchen with, so you need to decide how important they are to your daily routine. If you’re not much of a home cook, then obviously you don’t need to invest on the latest and greatest stove or convection oven. But if you are cooking for a family on a daily basis, then this is going to be an expense that makes sense when you’re planning your kitchen. A good rule of thumb to follow is high-use appliances make for good investments. Also, keep in mind the style and aesthetic you’re going for when making your purchases. Ideally, you want to keep the look consistent throughout. Most modern appliances can now be bought in white, black, stainless steel, wood finish (that can be matched to your cabinets), and even custom colors to make them pop.
Another detail to keep in mind when purchasing appliances is their energy efficiency, especially when it comes to the refrigerator, which is going to be on 24/7. Look for verbiage that shows the appliance is Energy Star-certified, which shows that appliance is exceeding the federal minimum energy efficiency standard. An Energy Star-certified refrigerator, for instance, is about 9% more energy efficient than a standard model. You’ll pay more upfront when you purchase the appliance, but you’ll save money down the line on your energy bill.
When planning out your kitchen and what appliances are going to be in it, plan for the footprint but also plan for how much energy is going to use. Denver home builders and those working in home personalization can assist you in choosing appliances that are eco-friendly and fit your overall aesthetic.
Storage, Accents & Lighting
Never underestimate the need for storage. A good way to get started with planning out how much storage you need is by taking inventory. That’s going to include all your cookware, drinkware, dishes, pantry items/ingredients, and small appliances (crockpot, panini press, etc.). It’s going to give you a pretty good idea of how much storage you need, which makes for better planning.
From there, you can focus fully on the aesthetic factors. This is where you get to be really creative with the look and feel of your kitchen, from the finish on the cabinets to the style of flooring and fixtures. There are so many different types of materials and looks available that the combinations are quite literally endless.
Finally, don’t forget about the lighting. This is what ties together the entire space and serves as the proverbial cherry on top to your project. When it comes to placement, make sure that it is ample in the areas where the majority of your cooking and prep work is taking place. Have a safety-first mentality when doing your planning. Don’t let dim lighting be the reason for an over-seasoned dish or inaccurate knife cuts.
Build Your Dream Kitchen with Oakwood Homes
At Oakwood Homes we have the experience and all the best locally sourced materials to help you fully develop and personalize your dream kitchen. If you’re currently located in the Denver, Colorado area and want to see your kitchen reach its full potential, then the first step is to set up an appointment with Oakwood Homes. We can show you some inspirational looks and ideas that your kitchen can potentially include and start formulating a plan to make it happen.