Trends or Tradition: Which is the Best Kitchen Plan?
For decades estate agents have said that it’s the kitchen that sells a house. While this isn’t always the case, a well-planned kitchen certainly does add value to any house. But when making a kitchen plan kitchen, how do you know what the best approach should be?
Trends or Tradition?
One question that often comes up when talking about a kitchen plan is whether to go trendy or traditional. When it comes to kitchens, trends relate more to look than to function, with color and style-defining the kitchen environment. Nevertheless, new-style appliances and kitchen gadgets play a role, as do improved ventilation systems, kitchen waste systems. You should also consider your cabinet spaces and utility items that you want out of sight. As you work on your kitchen plan, make note of spaces or appliances you find yourself using often.
Generally, trendsetters are kitchen design companies, interior designers, or manufacturers of kitchen appliances and gadgets. Paint companies also play a pivotal role in defining color trends. This means it is important to do some research to figure out exactly what you need in your kitchen plan.
You will, to a certain extent, be bound by the so-called trends that determine what is available. But the options suggested by most are also quite varied, and provided you don’t opt for weird and wonderful (which might put some buyers off), a good stylish approach is likely to add value. Trendy styles are typically eclectic in styling. So, mixing and matching trends can be an exciting way to make the space unique and personal.
The traditional approach is defined in terms of style. Some examples of traditionally styled kitchen plans are farmhouse or country kitchens, industrial-style kitchens. Traditional designs highlight function, unity, and beautiful embellishments. But even more so, good kitchen designs follow established traditions, and it is prudent to bear these in mind when planning any kitchen layout.
Basics of Good Kitchen Design Plan
Considering what a kitchen is primarily for, a good kitchen plan should ensure that the cooking process is as efficient and enjoyable as possible. Also, attention should be given to the old maxim: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” This is very easy given the wide choice of kitchen cabinets and cupboards available today!
Ultimately, there is no doubt that we want our kitchens to be functional. Once functionality has been established, we can decide on finishes and style.
The functionality of the kitchen plan as we know it today was defined in the 1950s by researchers from Cornell University. Considering the importance of ergonomics in the “domestic work-shop” (better known as the kitchen) researchers established two important concepts, both of which have been retained to this day: the work center and the work triangle
Work Center and Triangle
These two concepts are closely linked, with three work centers forming the work triangle. The three work centers are:
Food storage, which might be in a refrigerator or freezer, or in a larder or pantry. More than half a century later, larders have been replaced by more accessible kitchen cabinets, although some people do still have smaller pantries that are often located in tall cabinets.
Food preparation and cleanup, which is defined by the sink. In some contemporary kitchens, there are two sinks, one for washing up and another smaller one for food preparation, including rinsing of fruit, vegetables, and salad ingredients. In traditional kitchens, you often find large farmhouse sinks that not only look stunning, but also offer plenty of working space.
Cooking, which is defined by the kind of cooking appliances you own. This work center could shift depending on the required appliances for the dish that you are preparing.
The concept of a work triangle was motivated by a need to connect work areas logically, without forcing the cook and others using the kitchen to walk further than necessary. Of course, food preparation and serving food both require some sort of work surfaces, so these areas also need to be considered in the planning and design stages.
Final Thoughts on Trend vs. Tradition
Whether you choose a traditional or trendy direction, you will have a lot of research and decisions to make. With so many options available, it is not difficult to find pieces that standout. It could be helpful to first make a list of “must have’s” for your kitchen so that you can start to narrow down your searches. Regardless of how trendy or traditional it is, if the kitchen “works” it’s going to add value to your home.