7 Strategies for a Well-Designed Kitchen from Dylan Chappell, Houzz Contributor
What are the hallmarks of a well-designed kitchen? Houzz Contributor and California Architect, Dylan Chappell is known for his sustainable and green approach to projects. Dylan is a South Coast native and serves on the Architectural Review Board for the County of Santa Barbara.:
What’s the most important room in your house? For me it’s the kitchen. I love to eat, cook and spend time with family, and the kitchen is where I can do it all. With today’s busy schedules, mealtimes are often the only times families have to spend with one another. So how can you have the perfect custom kitchen for your lifestyle, stay within your budget and maximize resale value?
One of the most important steps in any project is starting with a great design. It’s not just about looks, it’s more about function and adding value to your life. More than any other room in the house, a kitchen has to be well thought out, carefully configured and designed to accommodate multiple functions. You probably spend more time in your kitchen than any other room, and that’s exactly why it’s so important to start with a great design. Consider these seven ways to get there.
1. Avoid isolation. For many of today’s families, the kitchen is the heart of the home and should be a place where people can gather, entertain and relax — not just cook. That’s why an open plan, like in this kitchen, works so well.
The open plan isn’t your only option, but it isn’t going anywhere yet. Consider your family’s needs carefully before choosing a kitchen plan, and know that if resale is an option for you, most buyers these days are looking for an open kitchen.
Open vs. Closed Kitchens — Which Style Works Best for You?
2. Plan a functional layout. If you like to cook and enjoy making meals for family and friends, there is nothing more frustrating than a kitchen that doesn’t function well. Most designs today follow the basic kitchen work triangle of the sink, refrigerator and range to maximize functionality. But take your own needs into account too. Plenty of counter space for prep, especially next to appliances, like in this kitchen, can make your cooking routine go much more smoothly.
3. Choose a good location. If you plan to make your kitchen the heart of your home, choose a location that connects it with all the other major circulation points. Having your kitchen anchor your home’s great room or provide access to the garage through a mudroom or laundry room is a great way to achieve this.
4. Include ample storage. There are so many accessories and appliances available for modern kitchens, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and forget about storage. Don’t underestimate how much storage you’ll need for food, flatware and all the little gadgets you’re planning to stock up on.
5. Add an island if there’s room. Let’s face it, people love to hang out in the kitchen — especially when there’s something cooking that smells delicious. For families a kitchen island can help make the kitchen a space where everyone can gather and spend time. Space and kitchen layout will impact your island’s efficiency, so it’s not for everyone. But it’s absolutely worth considering.
Which is for you? Kitchen table or island?
6. Plan outdoor access. Again, this will depend on your home’s layout and spatial considerations, but it’s always great to place your kitchen adjacent to the outdoors. This will give you plenty of natural light (and an enviable kitchen sink window), and can also increase your entertaining space with an outdoor patio or dining area.
7. Have fun. Above all else, your kitchen should be about you. Don’t be afraid to incorporate personality into your design and material choices. Start simple, but don’t be afraid to choose what you like best. No one else’s opinion really matters in the long run.
The truth is, great kitchen design is less about looks and more about how it works. Great design translates to a house that functions better, costs less to build, is more efficient to run and maintain, and gets you more for less.
A great meal doesn’t have to cost any more than a regular one. It needs to start with a great recipe, have quality ingredients and be carried out with confidence and execution in the kitchen. The same thing could be said about your next kitchen design. Make sure it’s a great one!