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> Basics & Designs
|Most people spend 5 to 10 hours per week in the kitchen, which averages to about an hour a day, or an entire 24-hour day every month. That is a significant proportion of one's free time. Those who enjoy cooking and those who maintain cooking responsibilities for a large household spend double or triple that amount of time in the kitchen. In addition, the appliance and furniture needs of the kitchen are far greater than any other room of the typical home.|
room may house a television or a computer, some furnishings, and a few
cabinets. By contrast, a kitchen will have multiple major and minor
appliances, a dozen or more cabinets, several worktops and
countertops, cookware, dishware, and one or more sinks and
faucets. Unquestionably, the kitchen is
a unique room within the home and, as
such, it deserves special attention. The kitchen has a direct impact on
the quality of life of those household residents who use it and an
indirect impact on all those who spend any time eating at home.
Today, the kitchen continues to evolve and its importance continues to grow. It is no longer the domicile of the housewife. With gender roles changing and stereotypes disappearing, men are beginning to spend as much time in the kitchen as women. Children are beginning to show interest in cooking from an early age. Books, television, and online media have made it possible for information from master chefs in every type of cuisine to be piped directly into households. Consequently, the needs and preferences for the modern home kitchen are greater than they have been at any other point in human history.
However, the one downside of the kitchen explosion has been the glut of sub-par products and inaccurate information. We have put in a great deal of effort to wade through all of the possibilities out there and distill the key facts regarding options, layouts, designs, brands, features, and materials. We then summarized these key facts in an easy-to-follow, well-written form.
This portion of the site deals with kitchen basics and designs. This topic, in turn, is subdivided into several categories, each of which is accessible from the navigation menu at the top left of this screen. Each category is self-contained and deals with an important set of issues associated with the modern kitchen.
The "Types" section describes the different design and layout types that have become common for kitchens. Virtually every modern kitchen is built around one of these overarching types. Consumers may not always have control over the type of design utilized for the kitchen in their homes. Moreover, changing the layout can be one of the most expensive remodeling projects within the home as it requires completely rearranging and often replacing all of the cabinets, countertops, appliances, and floors. However, given the importance of the kitchen, when consumers have a clearly articulated set of needs or preferences which is not being met by the existing design, such a rearrangement may be well worth it in the long run. Alternatively, when consumers are putting up a new construction for their next home there is an opportunity to select a kitchen layout and design from scratch. Knowing all of the different types that are available can enable consumers in that scenario to make the optimal choice from the very beginning.
The "Layouts" section goes into more detail with respect to different layouts of cabinets, countertops and appliances, considering the benefits and drawbacks of each layout. While some layouts may look aesthetically pleasing, they may not be very functional or very practical. By the same token, some layouts may make it easy to cook, but look like an eyesore to residents and guests alike. In addition, the topic of layouts brings up other important issues. For example, consideration has to be given to the placement and availability of electrical outlets and water lines.
The "Elements" section delves into the question of which elements a kitchen should possess in order to support the broadest range of cooking and related activities. Generally, almost everyone knows that every kitchen needs to have a floor; every kitchen needs to have storage space; every kitchen needs to have flat surfaces; every kitchen needs to have a water source; every kitchen needs to have heating and cooling appliances. However, what are the critical considerations with respect to each of these basic components? In addition, what are the "extra" elements which may be worth acquiring? This section answers these important questions.
The "Considerations" section explores all of the various issues which play into the design of a new kitchen or the redesign of an existing kitchen. Different households have very different needs and expectations when it comes to the kitchen. Some individuals prefer to eat out, get take-out, or order in, and are only looking for basic functionality in the kitchen. Others are enthusiastic cooks who prepare a wide variety of dishes and require a convenient layout coupled with a broad range of appliances. Still others run entire home-cooking businesses out of their kitchens. Correspondingly, this section helps to pair possibilities with requirements.
The "Services" section comprises information regarding professional services that are likely to be necessary in the process of kitchen remodeling. Importantly, the section addresses the question of how to go about selecting quality contractors and ensuring the lowest possible price on all work performed. In addition, specific resources are provided which will help you to go about the process of finding local service providers, securing accurate price quotes, and performing a basic level of due diligence. Finally, we provide a general sense for which types of work may be a better fit for a do-it-yourself approach and which types of work may be better suited to professional handling.
The "Costs" section provides a rundown of the typical expense bands associated with different kinds of products and services related to kitchen construction and remodeling. Although specific prices will vary by region, by service provider, by component, and by brand, they will still generally fall within a certain range. Having an idea of this range can help to plan ahead, to determine whether the feature is worth the cost, and to identify price estimates or quotes that are questionable.