Every day we create dream kitchens for our clients. Our experience indicates that there are several key components essential to creating an individual's dream kitchen that too often are not given due consideration. These elements include the following:
- Organization and Storage
Good lighting makes a new kitchen more enjoyable, and bad lighting does just the opposite. Lighting can make or break how a new kitchen looks, feels and functions. It is equally as important as cabinets, countertops, appliances, backsplashes, flooring, sinks and faucets.
Effective lighting illuminates a space in layers using different components and strategies to paint the final picture. You can buy a functional $70 faucet in a home center, but that faucet will not add much to the beauty of the kitchen. A similar analogy holds true for lighting. Simply placing flush-mounted fixtures in the center of your ceiling can provide functional light, but it may do little to beautify the space, create a mood or evoke favorable emotional responses.
Layers of light contribute not only to the functionality of the kitchen but also to its design and beauty. Kitchens require ambient, task and accent lighting.
The goal of ambient lighting is to provide soft, general illumination without necessarily drawing attention to the light source. Ambient lighting provides enough light for safe navigation, cooking and washing dishes and helps to define the space.
Task lighting is employed to illuminate the activities that take place in the kitchen and provide light to prep, cook, bake, read recipes, easily find ingredients, watch television or do homework. Recent technological advances enable designers to integrate task lighting into drawers and cabinets by installing LED strip lighting or puck lights. LED lights are often installed under wall mounted cabinets to illuminate countertops.
Accent lighting is used to help keep the kitchen from looking ordinary or bland by highlighting open shelving, artwork, architectural details or other objects. A feature or work of art that draws the attention of the eye is referred to as a focal point. Light fixtures that provide light and shadows can make the space more inviting and comfortable. These may include track lights, recessed adjustable fixtures and spotlights. Accent lighting is subtle. A focused beam of light directed at a plant or highlighting a work of art, or a spotlight placed behind a plant and pointed upward through the leaves creates shadows on the wall that can make a kitchen more attractive.
Most homeowners in the northeast want to have an abundance of seating in their new kitchens to entertain friends and family and to use the kitchen for additional purposes such as preparing meals, cleaning up, doing homework, bill paying, reading, relaxing and working from home. That why islands have become so popular. They serve multiple functions in addition to serving as a focal point.
A great kitchen must not only look out of this world, but it also must incorporate the best functionality that meets your needs. There is a vast array of storage and organizational tools ranging from drawer and cabinet organizers to pull out drawers and pantries that provide a place for all of your kitchen utensils, small appliances, plates and glassware, cookware and pots and pans.