A kitchen is the heart of a home. A woman spends a considerable part of her day in the kitchen, preparing meals for her family. The styling of kitchens has changed dramatically over the years. From being a dark and dingy place, a kitchen has morphed into a cheerful place where the decor is well planned.
Types of kitchens
Today kitchens come in various shapes and sizes. You can have a long kitchen, a square kitchen, a kitchen with an island work station or a large kitchen with a built in dining area. Even the accessories and kitchen furniture is available in many styles and colors, making choosing the colour and theme quite difficult.
Typically a longish kitchen could have a parallel counter style. A square-ish kitchen could have a U shaped design or a L shaped counter. A larger kitchen could go with an island in the centre which may double as a work station or even a breakfast nook.
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Many kitchens are built as open kitchens where the wall separating the cooking area is eliminated and the kitchen opens directly into the hall or dining space. This allows the homemaker to be included in all family activity even as she prepares the meals.
The 3 Principles of kitchen styling
There are three things which are essential in the basic kitchen styling experience. The kitchen should be functional. Functionality should be enhanced by a theme or mood which is the backbone of the style adopted in the kitchen. Personality is the third principle. The kitchen should have a unique appeal.
There should be adequate light in the kitchen. Lighting should be adequate and well placed so that it is not a gloomy area, but cheerful and bright. There should also be provision for ventilation through windows or vents.
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A kitchen has essentially three focal points which are typically placed in a triangle. The stove, the sink and the work station are placed loosely in an open triangle to facilitate working in the kitchen. The stove has now been replaced with designer hobs which add grace and beauty to the counter top.
The work station should be clutter free for freedom of movement. Adequate space should be available to allow prepping of food. This area should have only the appliances which are used frequently. The other not so frequently used appliances can be stored in cupboards to give a clutter free look.
The modern day sink doubles not only as a dish washing area but also is an extension of the work station, stainless steel is the material of choice the area bellow the sink often doubles up as a waste disposal unit.
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A stylish chimney not only creates a style statement but also goes a long way to keep the kitchen soot and grease free. The cupboards can be built along the chimney to utilize vertical space.
The kitchen should have a distinct theme and mood. The color scheme and counter tops should be in harmony. This creates a mood or feeling in the decor which seeps through the decor of the home.
A focal point should be created to catch the eye. A varied height display with a backsplash can be the eye catcher for your kitchen, drawing your eye immediately to it. Not only it is pretty it can also be a facade to hide clutter or splashes.
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Modern times have seen a rise in the building of modular kitchens. A modular kitchen is made of of a number of modules. These modules comprise of cabinets, storage units, drawers, and other space utilizing pieces of furniture that have multi purpose functions. They even have provision to hold appliances.
Modular kitchens can be built with a variety of materials like wood, steel, board etc. These are often veneered with attractive laminates which are fire proof. There is a huge variety from which you can choose. They can be factory made or custom built. The modular kitchen has opened up a world of ideas and can help in making even the smallest corner an utilizable space.
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Style statements can be achieved in very small budgets. Minor changes like a new colour scheme can make a huge difference, new laminates and counter tops can change the entire look and feel of a kitchen. Interesting art work or stylish accessories can also alter the monotony of a kitchen.
Remodeling a kitchen completely can be a tedious but a highly satisfying job, a well styled kitchen with plenty of light and air keeps the cook (you and me) happy. It also, alleviates boredom that can creep in over time. From spending a few thousand rupees to splurging a few bucks can get you a makeover towards a more efficient kitchen.
The more cutting edge your appliances and furniture the more costs go up, small touches create cheaper alternatives to remodeling an entire kitchen.
Once the basic kitchen is built using both efficiency and pleasing looks in mind, it is easy to change the superficial look of the kitchen without altering its basic design. So go ahead, change a few things, splash a little color on and let the creative cooking juices flow, do remember a happy cook, cooks happy meals and happy meals make happy families.