Are you a full-blown or amateur gourmet, or just on your way to becoming one? Those of us who truly use our kitchens to cook have ended up with our own rituals, techniques and favorites. Remodeling our kitchens provides an opportunity to match our cooking spaces to the way we want to use them. Designing the space around personal preferences in materials, flow and tools of the trade can bring the enjoyment of cooking to a whole new level. After having designed many Greater Indianapolis cook’s kitchens, we at Case Design/Remodeling Indy offer the following advice to those considering a kitchen remodel:
Don’t Get Lost in the Triangle – We have all heard the common design advice about the importance of having a functional work triangle in your kitchen. Placing the refrigerator, sink and stove so you can draw a line from each and end up with a triangle shape is the standard in kitchen design. However, what if that layout does not suit the way you work in your kitchen? You may prefer to have the sink, fridge and work station make up your triangle, or to design around the dishwasher placement or oven placement. Knowing how you function in your kitchen is the determining factor in designing the work flow. Do not let out-of-date adages keep you from getting the space you need.
It’s All About the Tools – When it comes to appliances, cooks have their favorites. For some, it is a gas stove or a convection oven. For others, it is a stand mixer or French-door fridge. When designing your kitchen remodel, consider your must-haves and design for them. The large, professional-grade stoves can eat up a lot of wall and counter space, and may require adding fuel lines or cabinet retrofits. Cabinet-depth refrigerators give you a built-in look without the cost, but may not give you the cooling space you need. Down-draft ventilation units on cooktops offer a great alternative to large hoods, but can pull the heat off of what you are trying to cook on a gas stove. Considering the pros and cons of your favorite kitchen tools with a Case kitchen designer can help you ensure you will be happy with the end result.
However, don’t let your favorites hold you back from the newest technology. Manufacturers have introduced some time-saving appliances that are quickly becoming the next must-haves for cooks. One example is induction cooktops, which can boil water four times faster while still allowing the quick temperature adjustments one gets with gas stoves. These cooktops respond like their gas counterparts, with instant on and instant off cooking. One must use magnetic pots with induction, which is already a feature of many high-end cookware lines.
Another popular time-saving appliance is speed-cooking ovens. Using light as the heat source, these ovens boast the ability to cook up to eight times faster than conventional ovens. Functioning as an oven, toaster oven, and microwave, these appliances offer great functionality to a busy home cook.
Consider your Countertops – Many home bakers dream of having a marble baking station, while there are those that prefer wood on which to knead their dough. The ability to place hot pans on granite or quartz, or the easy care of sold surface, can also be considerations. Deciding what functionality best fits your cooking style will help you choose appropriate countertops. Mixing countertop materials is very common these days as well. For example, we have installed wood on an island and quartz or granite on the periphery countertops for some of our kitchen remodeling clients.
Material is just one factor in designing kitchen countertops. Work flow is also of vital importance. Knowing how you plan to use each part of your kitchen will influence the design you choose. Some cooks prefer the work space in an island to be more than just a blank surface. Installing the sink or cooktop in the center of the kitchen can work for many home cooks. Others prefer an uninterrupted work surface, making the island one large area on which to spread out. Consider your preferences before you remodel.
Icing The Cake – In cooking, many times it’s the little things that have the largest impact. The same concept can be applied to kitchen design. Installing the flooring that works best for your back or your family, ensuring there is adequate light over work stations, or ramping up the storage space in cabinets with inserts could be the things that make your kitchen your favorite place to cook. Something as small as having knobs instead of pulls on your cabinet doors can greatly impact how well your kitchen functions for you. Designing for the little things can make your kitchen truly yours.
For me, my favorite thing about my kitchen remodel is the appliance lift for my stand mixer. Instead of taking up valuable counter space, it sits neatly in a cabinet, and is easily lifted out when I need it. Silly little thing, but it makes my cooking experience even better. Do you have a favorite item in your cook’s kitchen? Let us help you design the space of your dreams around it. Call or email us today for a free, in-home consultation. 317-846-2600