The kitchen is the mainstay of the home. It brings family and friends together. People love food and the smells associated with cooking, the overall warmth and anticipation of a good meal entice people to this area. However, cooking is not the focal role of today’s modern kitchen; in many homes the kitchen combines the role of the Utility room, with washing machines and tumble dryers forming an important part of the space. The kitchen can even become the room where people work, be it children completing their homework or adults working at home.
Modern kitchen design has evolved as people’s requirements and aspirations have changed. We no longer want the bare essentials that make up a kitchen, we want our kitchen to be a place to feel comfortable in, to entertain and to carry out routine daily activities. The way in which we use our kitchen space has been analysed to the nth degree in order to assist our already incredibly busy lives. Power sockets can now ‘pop-up’ from the work top. Lighting advancements mean that our kitchen can be lit according to the task in hand. Ironing boards can fold out or down from within cupboards. Storage is much more intelligent, making the optimum use of space.
If you then consider the kitchens of hundred years ago, appliances were virtually non-existent. Fridges, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines are the main advances that we now take for granted. These can now all be ‘integrated’ to match the kitchen cupboards. Ovens are now designed to be used at eye level and
And finally, a great kitchen has to have a practical floor covering. Areas for consideration are traffic levels within the kitchen, amount of daily use of the kitchen and budget. At the lower end of a budget you find linoleum which is very cheap and easy to keep clean. And whilst carpet tiles give a much warmer feel underfoot they can be very difficult to keep clean. Stone floor tiles and wood are both higher end floor coverings. Stone can be very cold underfoot, unless if course your budget can stretch to under floor heating.
Gadgets are the most exciting advances in the kitchen. For serious chefs horizontal fridge and freezer units can turn conventional design on its head. Cupboards utilising shutters can hide worktop clutter. Water systems can be fitted which soften water, heat water and cool water on demand. Kitchen fans now cleanse and recycle the air.
What makes a great kitchen? Ultimately, a great kitchen comes down to budget, the more you can afford the better the kitchen will be.
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