Kitchen design is much more than where you place the refrigerator, sink and stove (the kitchen triangle). Kitchen design requires that you know yourself, how you use your kitchen and your preference for easy access with visual clutter versus a tidy, calm kitchen where everything is hidden behind cabinet doors.
What? Are you wondering why anyone would have a kitchen like this? Maybe you're right that someone just took the cabinet doors off to make a point although the artist, Erik Klein Wolterink in the Netherlands, has a series of 14 photos including the one shared here. For another way of looking at kitchen design …
Kitchen Design: What's Hiding in Our Cabinets?
Kitchens are multi-faceted today (read Kitchen Design Starts with Activity Centers) in what we do there, but most kitchen storage is used for food supplies, cooking pots and pans, baking dishes and eating utensils. Much of today's kitchen design focuses on which products to use — cabinets, counter tops, appliances and hardware, what we see when we walk into the kitchen.
Erik's photos challenge us to dig deeper, to really look at what we store in our kitchens and it's possible, this insight will help us design kitchens which fit our lifestyle better. Erik didn't take the cabinet doors off — he opened each door/drawer and photographed the contents. Then he stitched the cabinets back together to create these great photos. As most people are visual, you could do something similar and in light of the recent hurricane, these photographs would help you document what you lost if you had a fire or flood.
Kitchen Design Balances Function and Aesthetics
Our homes are for living, to support our lifestyles so we can focus on what's important to us. The fact that our kitchens have become the social center for most families is great. With today's chaotic lifestyles, we need a place where we feel grounded, where we can slow down and relax so today's kitchen design needs to fill these important roles.
- Food central – where we store our food along with everything we need to prepare food, and today eat our meals.
- Family communication center – where we share information with family members from a calendar to school papers, mail and more.
- Social center – where we eat, snack and relax talking to family, friends and host informal gatherings versus yesterday's formal parties.
- Kitchens provide an emotional safety net – where people feel safe from the world outside, from work or school, from people outside the family who have their own agenda. That's why the kitchen also needs to be aesthetically pleasing, to calm and soothe us when we're tired, overwhelmed and need to rejuvenate.
Rethinking Kitchen Design
These ideas started with Pinterest. My research began when looking at the types of kitchen photos people pinned and with a little focus, I found far more than I was looking for and that's a good thing. My goal is to find ways to use Pinterest as more than entertainment, and offer ideas for how people can take dreams and turn them into reality. Last time I wrote about bathrooms (Pinterest Ideas for Remodeling a Bathroom) so I decided to focus on kitchen design.
My original idea was to pin 8 to 12 kitchen photos you like (or you might already have a kitchen design board), i.e. these dream kitchens can offer insight into the type of kitchen design you prefer. From your kitchen design board, you can identify the one thing you like best and one thing you like least about each dream kitchen. By creating these lists, the expectation was you would be able to find several items or themes that are most important to you versus focusing on the traditional kitchen cabinets, counter tops, appliances, etc.
Understanding that your kitchen provides emotional grounding, that it influences how you start the day and how you unwind at the end of the day, says this kitchen design goal is where you want to start planning your new kitchen, whether you're building a house or remodeling your kitchen.
Your kitchen should nurture your soul and give you the energy to do the things you want to do. For my kitchen, color is extremely important (even more than the cabinets) and my kitchens reflect this although I probably haven't understood that until now. I share this because I was amazed when looking for kitchens with color (read Kitchen Decorating for the Holidays), to find most kitchens use mostly neutral color and that's sad. You only live once so why not create your dream kitchen today!