Create a Family Room/Kitchen Combo
Gone are the days when kitchens were situated far away from the living area, and formal living rooms are becoming a thing of the past. A more relaxed style suited to family life and entertaining has become popular, with the hub of activity centered on the kitchen and family room. This is reflected in the rising popularity of open plan kitchen design, which has seen many homeowners knocking down walls to create a free-flowing kitchen/dining/family room, or perhaps incorporating aspects of a living space into their kitchen renovation.
The benefit of the open plan kitchen is that it meets multiple requirements for the entire family in a unified living area. It also makes entertaining more enjoyable as guests can now circulate through the kitchen and living space, or sit at the kitchen island and interact with you while you cook. The key to an effective kitchen design that incorporates the family room is to focus on a well-organized layout and a style that integrates into the rest of your home.
Everything But the Kitchen Sink?
When it comes to kitchen renovation, a lot of attention goes to kitchen cabinets, countertops and backsplashes. Appliances are also in the spotlight. But as a kitchen remodeling contractor, we think the sink is one of the most important choices you’ll make – because you’ll use it more frequently than any other part of your new kitchen.
Remodeling in the 1980s and 1990s often meant adding small, divided sinks in the kitchen. But if you do a lot of cooking, you’re going to have a hard time using a small sink to wash up large roasting pans and baking racks. And that’s the point – a custom kitchen remodel should be beautiful but it should also be a beautiful solution for how you cook and how you use your kitchen.
At home shows, kitchen remodeling contractors get to see all the coolest new products, including sinks. From what we’ve seen lately, here are a few ideas to consider:
- What shape works best? Kitchen renovation lets you think outside the box, literally. There are, for example, very large, very deep sinks vs. shallower, trough-like sinks. One homeowner chose a huge, keyhole-shaped sink that she said was the perfect shape for bathing a baby, washing a small dog and cleaning up her large serving platters.
- How tough does it need to be? If you’re not worried about juice stains, nicks and scratches, a porcelain sink might be perfect for your kitchen remodel. If, however, you want to be able to toss racks and pots into your sink and drain tomato sauce without doing instant sink scrubbing, a stainless steel sink might better fit your priorities. Kohler even makes stainless steel sinks that come with accessories like cutting boards and prep bowls.
- Is one sink enough? With a custom kitchen remodel, you can design in a main sink plus one or even two auxiliary sinks – perhaps one in a kitchen island to help with entertaining and one set off in a drink-bar area of the new kitchen. Contractors can work with you to use these extra sinks not just functionally, but as design elements. For example, a breakfast bar might be the perfect place to use a beautifully painted sink to add some “wow” without making the counters or backsplash look too busy.