Form and Function in Kitchen Design

Your kitchen is the center of hearth and home. It is where you do the most of your house work, where you entertain your most familiar and cherished guests, and where you nurture your family. The decor in your kitchen should support all of those functions. Therefore, the kitchen must first be organized well to enable efficient and easy work conditions, and then made homey and beautiful. Design decor can effect both.

Work smarter not harder. Imagine that your kitchen was a factory. How would you arrange it for maximum efficiency? First, arrange your kitchen ergonomically. Build counters and sinks and stoves to fit your height. Give yourself a comfortable stool or chair to support you when you are pairing and peeling. Store heavy things in a way that will allow you access to them without hurting your back.

Build twice as much shelving and cupboards as you think you need. You don’t want to have your appliances cluttering your work surfaces. If you have to lift all those gadgets every time you want to clean your counter top, you’ll clean less frequently than you would if the counter was already clear. Hang or mount what ever you can on the wall, instead of having it sit on the counter.

Now remember, you are not a ship’s galley slave; the kitchen must be pleasant as well as functional. This means, for instance, that you should design your kitchen with lovely windows that look out at a beautiful view. Large windows keep the kitchen from becoming claustrophobic. If the view is nothing special, use window boxes to create a garden view that will obstruct the view of anything ugly.

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If your kitchen is dark and the light from the windows has a blue quality to it, use yellow or orange filmy gauze curtains to create a warm sunny glow; it will improve your mood, motivation, and the look of most food. Your artificial lighting should be warm colored as well. Now available are energy saving fluorescent light bulbs with a warm soft light that doesn’t flicker.

Decorate your walls with just a few sparsely placed pieces of art that add splashes of color. This will not shrink or crowd the room visually, and yet it will make the kitchen more homey and personal.

Finally, avoid the ultra modern kitchen designs where every surface is metallic. Those were developed for easy sterilization, but are alienating and harsh when you sit in them. You are not running a hospital cafeteria. Give your chairs cloth covered cushions in beautiful colors , and use a pretty potted plant or flower as a focal point for the table. Use bamboo or polished stone counter tops , both of which are strong and easy to sterilize, but give the room an earthier feel and a splash of color.

When your kitchen is both lovely and practical, the food will taste and look better. Your happiness and comfort will affect your cooking.

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