The COVID pandemic meant that more people spent a greater amount of time at home than they previously had. As a result, many of our clients have been interested in a variety of home improvement projects. One of the most common home improvement projects is to upgrade, add to, or otherwise improve the kitchen. This is an area which is often a primary gathering space for the family. An area which includes features such as eat-in dining areas, island seating, and multiple workstation / family organization areas.
Traditional kitchen design is based around the “work triangle” between the sink, stove, and refrigerator. This continues to be the basic work structure of the kitchen, however, additional functional elements, such as multiple workstations, prep sinks, beverage stations / bar areas, and salad prep areas have allowed for a multiplicity of functions and a variety of family members to interact and work together.
Recent kitchen designs have also incorporated more “living room” type spaces, such as seating areas, and television/entertainment centers. These inclusions, coupled with a more “open-plan” design are transforming the kitchen area into more of a “family room” gathering space. Entertaining is also often a significant consideration when designing a kitchen project. The ability to interact with one’s guests while also engaging in food preparation is a program element often requested from recent clients.
While the layouts of kitchens, and the activities included seem to be ever changing, the choices for cabinet types and finishes seem to be moving in a more traditional way. Gone are the “spaceship” sleek, featureless “cooking clinics” of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Paneled cabinet fronts, often with glazed panels with divided lites are becoming very popular. These sorts of details coupled with traditional hardware choices help ground these spaces in traditional house interiors, and with their dimensional rhythms create a space for individuals to feel comfortable in.
Color selections are also in flux, transitioning from the more brightly colored, almost Mondrian like interiors to much more “background” solid colors for cabinetry, granite and cast concrete countertops. Traditional lighting fixtures are much more prevalent than the indirect lighting solutions of previous decades, although under-counter lighting remains extremely popular due to its convenience. The bottom line seems to be that homeowners are looking for more warm and familiar surroundings in their kitchen, you might even call it “comfort food” for their souls.
All in all, the kitchen is very much the “hearth” of the home, and in many ways, the center of the family’s activities. Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects, P.C. continues to be fascinated by the trends in residential design, and we are excited to continue to be able to assist our residential clients in making their home a more comfortable space to be in.