I was recently asked to judge San Diego Home and Garden Magazine‘s Annual Kitchen of the Year competition. My design partner Michael and I have been fortunate enough to have had several of our kitchens featured in the magazine, and I was really excited to have the opportunity to give back. 🙂
It was so much fun to look over scores of designs by my colleagues and I especially enjoyed the kitchens that were designed the homeowners themselves. There were definitely some hard and fast qualities that set apart the more successful kitchen designs and I thought I’d share some of them with you!
1. Don’t be afraid to personalize! People get very intimidated about adding personal touches to their kitchens because it’s the room in which they invest most of their home dollars. In the kitchen pictured above, the client asked all their friends and family members to send them a piece of china or pottery to incorporate into the mosaic that covers the walls and ceiling. This is not something I would recommend if you’re planning to sell your home within the next 10 years, but perhaps there are some small touches you can incorporate. I’m doing this same mosaic idea for my own kitchen but on a much smaller scale, my mosaic will be framed and hung above my stove. Why not display heirloom china prominently in your kitchen so you can enjoy it every day? Like every room in your home, your kitchen should say something about you and your family.
2. Remember to use “The Work Triangle” – that means your stove, refrigerator and sink are placed in a triangle in your kitchen. This makes it easy to accomplish tasks quickly, safely and efficiently. For example, you shouldn’t have to carry drippy chicken or vegetables very far from the sink to get them into the pot on the stove.
3. Another great tip is to place your everyday dish and flatware storage directly above or next to the dishwasher. The dishwasher is typically placed within close proximity to the sink, making it easy to load, but many people place their dish storage quite far from the dishwasher, which can make unloading a chore.
4. You can’t have too much light. Your kitchen is the bustling hub of your home. People are passing each other all day long while accomplishing very detailed, and potentially dangerous, tasks like chopping and cooking. Try to maximize sunlight during the day by placing your stove and chopping area opposite from your windows or by adding skylights. Nighttime calls for bright downlighting (which can be placed on dimmers for maximum adjustibility) as well as indirect lighting from ceiling mounted fixtures.
Don’t just invest your dollars in your kitchen, invest your spirit as well and you’ll be surprised how much more you’ll enjoy this vital space in your home.
Wishing you love with extra cheese-