The internet and home design magazines are flooded with picture of gorgeous kitchens that we all look at, fall in love with and dream of having. But let’s face it, most gen Xer’s (myself included) cannot afford such a kitchen. Designers are finding that most Generation X families value function over fashion. Also noted by Designers, easy to clean and maintain are top priorities.
Let’s talk first about non-kitchen design ideas for the kitchen. In the past this room was closed off from the rest of the home so that “the mess and work” could easily be hidden. This is not the case anymore. Lives are busy, and in order to keep up with family and life, it is important to multitask. This means: cooking dinner, helping with homework, chatting about the upcoming dance, and planning for the weekends schedule all at the same time, in the same room. This room would be the kitchen. Kitchens are not just about cooking anymore, they need to be very multi-functional. Here are some tips to promote this new facet of kitchen use while maintaining the kitchen’s true function.
1. Kitchens for Generation X must have a drop zone/organization center. This is an area that homework, mail, grocery lists, schedules can be tucked away in order to make room for cooking. Without this area, counters become cluttered with daily life. By designing an area to keep paperwork organized, you can save yourself time and stress. This area could be a desk, or some pockets on the wall, even the inside of the pantry door can be used to organize your life, as shown in the picture.
2. Another key design feature that shouldn’t be overlooked is a charging station! My children do not have phones yet, and I’m dreading the time when I will be fighting for outlet and counter space to charge my lifeline. A dedicated area to charge phones and other electronic devices that have become such a huge part of life helps reduce clutter and eliminates the stress of “Where’s my PHONE?!” Some charging stations also have an area to hang keys…
3. Many Gen Xer’s have included an office area into their kitchen design. Homework is often completed in the kitchen, and while most homes now have wireless networks, having laptops clutter counter space is not convenient. Having a space designed into the cabinet layout that matches the style of the kitchen is the perfect solution. If designed well, this office area can take care of the above two tips as well.
4. We have looked at how our children may use the kitchen, but there is another group of beings using the kitchen space… pets. Many times the kitchen is not only where we prepare food for our families, but it is where our dogs and cats are fed. Keeping this in mind, while you are designing your kitchen space will ensure that you are not tripping over Rover during his meal time.
In our next blog, we will discuss design tips for the kitchen (in it’s true function).