- Posted by Kaye Marshall
An Artisan Kitchen for an Artisan Chef
When you are beginning to plan your ECOterra Custom Home, one of the primary considerations will be your kitchen. If you are a gourmet cook, you will want a kitchen fit for your talents. Even if you aren't an accomplished cook, surrounding yourself with a kitchen that fits your lifestyle, works really well and is beautiful can be inspiring. Kitchens are also one of the places in a home where people tend to congregate during get-togethers. So giving great thought to your kitchen will pay off in many ways. Kitchens are a large percentage of the value of a home.
Square Footage, Shape and Flow
The first thing you will want to do is imagine how you have used your kitchen in the past and if this is how you anticipate using it once you are in your new home. Has your kitchen been mostly used to cook for family gatherings or to prepare for small parties? Or, has it been put to the test with large amounts of food being prepared and many people cooking and cleaning? This will help you figure out the ideal square footage and flow of your kitchen. If you have always wished that your stove was closer to your sink or that you had stacking ovens, now is the time to make that happen!
When you are thinking about the flow and size of your new kitchen, imagine if a kitchen island would be a benefit or would just get in the way for the way you use your kitchen. Islands can be very practical, with sinks, counter space, electrical outlets and additional storage that you would not have otherwise. You can also use an island to accommodate a cooktop or sink.
The right appliances for your kitchen will reduce your workload and energy costs. We will show you which appliances have the best energy-efficiency vs. cost ratio. You will have to make the decisions about what colors and finishes you find appealing. Will you want wood or another kind of veneer doors over the refrigerator doors (see photo above) to blend in with the rest of your cabinetry? Will you need or want industrial grade appliances or will consumer grade suit you just fine? Appliances are interacted with a tremendous amount over the course of their lifetimes so taking the time to make the right choices is a good idea.
Cabinet Styles, Finishes and Inserts
Nothing gives an instant visual style to your kitchen more quickly than your choice of kitchen cabinetry. You will be considering what wood(s) and finishes you like best. Dark wood? Light wood? Glossy, semi-glossy? Contemporary with clean lines or traditional with a bit of detail? You will also want to think about what, if any, inserts you would like to have in your cabinetry. Spice racks, sliders to hold vertical items and dividers are just a very few of the dozens of innovative organizers that cabinet fabricators offer. We will explain it all to you and help you choose exactly what is right for your kitchen.
Are you a marble or granite person? A quartz person? A tile person? Regardless of what you want your countertops to look like, there are both natural and composite choices available for nearly every budget. Sometimes the composites actually have a longer and higher-quality lifespan than the “real thing.” You will be amazed by the many, many options available.
With hundreds of kinds and styles from which to choose, your kitchen floor should first be practical for your lifestyle. If you will have kids and pets running in and out a lot, something that is easy to clean and doesn't show dirt would be first on your list.
Secondly, what sort of surfaces do you find to your liking and what complements the cabinets, appliances and colors you are thinking of for your new kitchen? Wood floors may not be the most practical solution for your particular family lifestyle but if that is what you have your heart set on, there are many new products, both natural and composite, that look just like wood but are more durable, Tile is a timeless option. You can choose from ceramic tile or composite tile. Stone floors are beautiful and there are many natural and composite options. Bamboo has become very popular in recent years as well. We will show you all the options.
Lighting is one of the most important and least noticed aspects of a good kitchen design. Under-counter lighting makes it extremely easy to see what is being prepared or arranged on countertops while overhead spotlights can add extra light where it is needed most. Lighting inside your cabinets makes it so much easier to see what is hidden behind that large bowl you can't see around very well. Decorative lighting, such as glass pendants or chandeliers can accentuate and play off of the style of the rest of the kitchen and add a great deal of panache.
Do Not Fear!
ECOterra will be there the entire way along to help you decide on the perfect materials, styles and colors for a perfect kitchen. It may seem daunting at first but once you start seeing samples, photos of other kitchens and hearing the pros and cons from the professionals at ECOterra, your decisions will fall right in line. It will be one of the more challenging and fun things you will do while working with ECOterra!