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  • Oct 15th, 2009

    Kitchen Design: Storage, Style, and Celebration

    Nooks, Islands, Carts, Racks and Creative Use of Space

    The modern kitchen is much more than just the room where cooking takes place. Kitchens serve as informal eating areas, communal gathering places, scheduling centers, and even homework help zones. People may gravitate towards kitchens for the food, but they stay for the warmth and company.

    If you have an older kitchen, it may not be able to fulfill all of these functions. Older kitchens are often smaller than we might prefer. If you are remodeling, you can try to find a way to expand your kitchen’s space—even adding a bay window breakfast nook can open up space and add value to your home. But even without additions or dramatic renovations, there are solutions that will help you increase your kitchen’s storage capacity and style.

    Smart storage is another good way to open up space. Even if you don’t have room for a large kitchen island, consider adding a small one as extra counter space. Add a few stools, and you have an informal eating area. A kitchen cart on wheels can add an extra dimension to your storage space, and it can be moved according to your needs. This helps you maximize a small, awkward space. If you have too much storage, you might consider eliminating a top-heavy upper cabinet or two, which will make your kitchen feel more spacious. If you have attractive cookware, a pot rack is both practical and decorative; it frees additional cabinet space, keeps your pots and pans more accessible, and makes a nice display.

    Good kitchen storage solutions come in a variety of styles to match popular kitchen styles. Keep this in mind when choosing storage solutions. For a French country style kitchen, choose smooth wooden surfaces, Mediterranean blues and yellows, and the occasional delicate touch of terra cotta or wrought iron accessories to make your kitchen feel warm and friendly. If you have mid-century vintage-style appliances, look for retro storage in bright colors with chrome hardware. Or, if you’re a minimalist, keep your colors neutral and your focus on clean, sleek lines. No matter what your style is, consistency and attention to detail will help your kitchen be a welcoming place for friends and family.

    Have parts of your kitchen do double duty. Let the breakfast nook be the place for homework. For your next dinner party, let your kitchen island be a prep station before your guests arrive and an hors d’oeuvre station when they show up. With a little planning, even a small kitchen can be reconfigured to meet the needs of modern life.

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