Photo by: Charles Ward
Creating a Kitchen That
People Will Want to
Whether it's one person preparing a sophisticated gourmet
meal or the whole family pitching in on a hurried supper
- enjoying a cup of coffee with the morning paper or casually
entertaining a group of friends - paying bills at the computer
or helping a youngster with homework ...homeowners are spending
more time in their kitchens. So it comes as no surprise that
kitchens have become one of the most important rooms in the
home. Today's kitchens often convey a sense of richness with
quality materials and attention to special details like crown
moldings and stylish hardware and fixtures. But even more
importantly, they meet the individual needs of the home and
its owners. We recently spoke to Charles Ward, CKD, Lisa
Anderson, CKD, ASID, and Megan Warren of Ward's Kitchens
and Baths in Omaha, Nebraska, about some of the essentials
and extras that go into today's best kitchens. They highlighted
the following trends:
have evolved from utilitarian workspaces
to favorite spots, open to the primary
living areas of the home.
The "everything must match" thinking
of the past has been replaced
with an emphasis
on variety. Once the standard, oak
is now giving way to fine grained woods such as cherry and
maple. Mixing different woods and finishes (i.e., stain, paint,
glaze, whitewash) adds interest and depth to the room. Using
a different countertop or finish on one item, such as a work
island, makes it stand out.
in both contemporary and traditional settings, stainless steel
appliances are widely used. The pewter finish is particularly
popular. Other appliances are often concealed with wood panels.
This is especially true in kitchens that are open to formal
living areas. Bosch makes a dishwasher with all the controls
hidden for a total cabinet look. Fisher & Paykel makes
a dishwasher drawer that is also hidden. Another trend is to
include two ovens and two dishwashers.
notion that "everything must match" has
been replaced with an emphasis
on variety in the materials used
Remarkably durable and perennially beautiful, granite, slate and
marble are being used quite extensively. Sometimes perceived
as exorbitantly expensive, granite countertops don't have to
cost a great deal more than other high-quality surfaces, provided
a slab is not overly thick and does not feature elaborate edging.
Tile mosaics are used to add interest on back splashes.
To the axiom, "you can never have enough storage," the
designers added, "make the best use of the storage you
have." Roll-out shelves, vertical tray dividers and pull-out
can pantries provide easy access. Drawer inserts keep silverware,
utensils and spices organized. Recycling bins make quick work
of trash. Appliance garages give counters a clean look by hiding
toasters and can openers.
It's important to choose flooring material consistent with the
rest of the home. Tile is distinctive, but it can be cold if
not heated underneath and its hard surface may require an area
rug in work areas where prolonged standing occurs.
Vivid colors are in vogue because they add life and energy to a
room. But it's most cost effective to choose neutral colors in
more expensive items such as counters, cabinets and floors and
reserve more daring choices for items that are easier to replace,
such as paint and wallpaper.
by: Charles Ward.
Track lighting has largely
been replaced with recessed, adjustable can lights
that can be aimed at different work areas. Decorative
lighting fixtures are often added to spotlight a
dining area or work island and accent lighting is
used inside display cabinets, on top of wall cabinets
and in the toe space around islands.
by: Charles Ward.