Sunday, September 25, 2022

When deciding where to spend your money for updating your home, any realtor will advise you that the kitchen is an important place to begin. Giving this space an update will give you more enjoyment and function out of the room and definitely give you the most return on your investment when it is time to sell. So where to begin?

While the kitchen was once relegated to the back of the house and not given much thought beyond its cooking functionality today it has become the center or hub for many of us! We want our kitchens to be large enough to comfortably seat our family for dinner and inviting enough that kids and guests will want to be in there both to cook and keep the cook company.

Functionally speaking a kitchen should have the three main centers or appliances set up in a triangle. This includes the sink, oven and refrigerator. By default the dishwasher will be placed next to the sink because of the water line. In many of today’s kosher kitchens there may be two sink or two ovens. In this case if you have one that you consider the main one that should be set up in the triangle and then work the additional items as best into the equation as possible. Keep in mind the goal of the set up is to make shifting between these three areas when preparing food as quick, neat and easy as possible.

Beyond functionality, today’s kitchens serve as places for families to do homework, hang out or even watch TV! Depending on the size of your kitchen and of your family try and squeeze in an eating area. If space allows this should be a table and chairs or banquette where the family can come together to share a meal and connect. If space does not allow you a full sized seating area then add in some counter height seating which will make it easier to serve kids breakfast or a snack in the kitchen even though it may be necessary to eat in the dining room for a full family meal. For those of you lucky enough to have ample space, both a table and counter seating is ideal for feeding your family and will afford you the opportunity to add several decorative elements into your kitchen in finishes, and textures of these furnishings.

Having a kitchen that is open to a family room is a great way to connect the space to the rest of the house. This again allows family and friends to keep the cook company while giving others the space for activities such as playing with toys for young children and games and TV for older children and adults. A study or homework area can be included in either the kitchen or family room which will keep kids connected to parents for when they need help with school work and allow parents to keep an eye on kids when they are doing homework or on the computer.

If your kitchen and family room are open to one another keep in mind finishes, color and texture to help the spaces flow naturally. Take a color from the family room that is used in a fabric or painting and bring it in to an accessory on the kitchen counter. Upholster the kitchen counter stools in a wipeable vinyl the same color as an accent in your pillows! Make sure the window treatments coordinate or relate to one another. While it is ok to change it up somewhat keep in mind that the spaces are connected so they should be similar in one or more elements such as style, color or texture.

I remember when I was first house hunting my husband was puzzled by the abbreviation MEIK (modern eat in kitchen). Once he figured it out he quickly came to understand its importance as the kitchen is no longer just where you make your sandwich, it is where you make many of your family memories.

By Shoshana Halpert

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