I visited the Poggenpohl showroom in Boston this winter. For a modernist like me, seeing the MODERN PURISM collection was a real treat. I would like someday to own one of those kitchens.
Design for the Way You Live
Poggenpohl makes amazing storage system. Everything has its place with cute containers and spacers. I was going to talk about their cool storage system for the kitchen. As I assembled my montage, a trend emerged. Therefore, I will talk about kitchen layouts.
If you planning a new kitchen, the first thing you should consider is how you like to live and entertain. By answering these questions, you will make the space fits your lifestyle. Then, you can start to look at finishes and nifty storage gadgets.
I must stress out that you must design for the way you live, not the way you dream of living. So be true to who you and your family are.
Avoid the Good Look, Bad Layout Syndrome
My husband and I visited a condominium showroom last week-end. Very European, modern architecture but one thing strikes me on the larger unit: the lack of counter spaces. The architect designed a cool kitchen but honestly, I would feel cramped in it.
The 15 feet island was broken down by the stove and then the sink. The fridge and a pantry sit tall at each end. Where is my work triangle? At the end, I never had more than 2 to 3 feet of continuous counter. I imagine myself entertaining. The island would be impractical for a buffet table. It looks great but I do not think I will enjoy cooking in this kitchen.
My advice is to go beyond the look and first examine the design layout. Look can always be altered. But layout flaws are pricey to correct.
How to Plan for Great Design?
Examine these kitchens from Poggenpohl. Each one fits a story. The red kitchen is designed for a family that cooks together or for people who hire staff at parties. That kitchen spreads over 3 rows instead of 2; something we do not see often. If you have a big enough space, it is probably great because you will not bump with each others.
I enjoy a layout like you see on the bottom pictures. Style wise they look great. One or two persons can easily cook in it and I got a long space for a buffet station. Having a preparation area where my friends can sit while I am cooking is high on my list.
My Top 5 kitchen design tips
- Consider the flow of movements, the entrances and how the appliances open. Aim for more than the minimal clearance.
- Collect lots of pictures of kitchen you like, analyze them and write down what you like about each one. Share this information with your kitchen designer.
- Make a list of your priorities. Go back to the list when you need to make tough decisions.
- Be flexible. Designing a kitchen is tricky. The shape of your dream kitchen may not fit into your space. If you say what features are important to you and how you plan to use your kitchen, your talented kitchen designer will find a solution that satisfies your needs.
- Make an inventory of your cookware, dinnerware, glassware and small appliances. Consider how often do you do grocery? Do you buy really need to buy in bulk? You need enough storage.
As for the nifty kitchen storage systems, do not worry. I will talk about them later.
Learn more: Poggenpohl
JosephApril 12, 2009 at 11:58
You have some good ideas for kitchens. That has been one of the recurring themes in my own life–looking for a way to make our bathrooms and our kitchen look really glorious, even though those rooms are much too small. One of the glories of the Internet, though, is that there is absolutely no dearth of ideas. Right now I have no idea of what I will ultimately do, but I keep hoping I will come up with something really slick.
Line AtallahOctober 15, 2009 at 14:36
Thanks Kim. Very very useful. Actually, I just sent an email to my contractor yesterday, telling him that I am settling for an open kitchen concept. It took some courage on my side as I am used to closed kitchens. Now the design begins! I am trying to find an original concept in order to close the kitchen in case one day I need it. I have some ideas. Don’t know if they’ll work. I will keep you posted.
At Home with Kim ValleeOctober 15, 2009 at 15:47
Line: It is a big change. It is a great idea to factor in how you could close the kitchen later on, if you are unhappy with an open kitchen – dining room.
One idea may be to rise one side of the big island (the side where people sit) to hide some of the clutter. A little bit like you see on the last picture here, but higher.