Elements of a Great Modern Kitchen
On a day-to-day basis, people in the kitchen want sightlines to children’s indoor play areas, televisions, activities, and to be part of conversations. The open concept accommodates this. Gone are the days of the hidden kitchen leading to a formal dining room. Now people are blowing out walls and, in some cases, forgoing the dining room altogether.
Kitchens are major equity renovations that should appeal to anyone entering the home, but they’re also personal and need to accommodate your lifestyle. Below are some considerations in creating a modern kitchen that is unique to you.
The Perfect Vancouver Kitchen Renovation
Walking from one block to the next, the cultural diversity of Vancouver can be smelled as it flows out of neighborhood private kitchens. A modern kitchen can (and should) reflect your cuisine, the gatherings you host, and the holidays you celebrate.
Whether you primarily use a wok or a woodfired oven for the authentic experience, kitchen renovations that lean into these specialized elements, rather than staying generic, can enhance your lifestyle and be a unique feature that differentiates your home from others on the market at the time of sale.
Perhaps the best advice is to stay true to the look and feel of the home as a whole. A modern minimalist kitchen in a Craftsman or Victorian home may disrupt the aesthetic flow. However, there is no need to compromise function. You can get the same functional elements with a craftsman look.
Ergonomic Design and The Golden Triangle
First off: do you cook? If the answer is “no” or “I reheat with some prep,” then the concept of ergonomic design may not be as important to you. However, upon the sale of your home, avid home chefs will feel the flow of the kitchen the moment they walked in.
This flow is known as “The Golden Triangle.” The concept involves three zones:
- Prep Zone – Refrigerator, cutting, rolling, plating, and decorating.
- Hot Zone – Oven, stove, microwave, etc.
- Wet Zone – Sink, rinse, and dishwasher.
The triangle concept can be adapted in a myriad of configurations for different spaces, but the idea is to blend working efficiency with great design. This makes prep, cooking, and cleanup easier.
Lighting and Cabinetry
Out of all the rooms in the home, the kitchen is the one that requires the best lighting for safety purposes. A sink with a view is great for lighting, ventilation, etc. but often, (as is the case with most condos), windows aren’t available. Thus, the “where, what, and why” of kitchen lighting should be a major consideration.
Islands often need beautiful light fixtures since they’re common prep areas, gathering spaces, and standout aesthetic features in the home. Our designers work closely with customers to pick out the perfect showcase lighting solutions for kitchen island that blend function and beauty.
Lighting beneath cabinets such as strip lighting or small recessed lighting adds a dramatic effect, as well as excellent function. Dimmable lighting throughout the kitchen helps brighten the kitchen during cooking, then dims to create an aesthetic while entertaining as people gather in the kitchen.
Custom cabinets are almost required for some older homes due to odd angles from settling and the need to match the look of the home. The benefit of this is the home gets long-lasting cabinetry that is perfectly measured, beautiful, and uniform across the entire kitchen.
In modern kitchen designs, some uniquely shaped high-end appliances, feature hoods, specialty additions (pizza ovens, extra-large refrigerators, etc.) or odd architectural angles may require custom cabinetry regardless of the age of the home.
Depending on your lifestyle and household size, you might need two fridges, two ovens, or a sizeable wine cooler. Choose your appliances wisely because the renovation needs to be designed around them. They are also limited by the amount of space you have.
The budgetary differences can be massive according to brand. High-end appliances (Miele, Bertazzoni, Viking, etc), carry a more distinct look and are very hard to mix and match with other brands. In contrast, common affordable brands (GE, Whirlpool, etc.) are almost aesthetically interchangeable.
Are appliances equity improvements? There’s some debate about that. Functionally, higher-end brands work and look better. We recommend higher quality appliances for kitchens with gas lines and people who cook a lot. Lower-end appliances will not last as long with heavy use.
Islands and Countertops
The first thing people seem to notice is countertops. Why? They take up most of the functional space. The first place where people gravitate toward is the island. Of course, it’s the most prevalent feature and the first thing they feel is the countertop. A lot of money can be spent on these two features, and they are the most expensive to change if you don’t like them.
As part of the Golden Triangle, the island is a functional necessity in many cases. The problem is, if the island isn’t a peninsula, it is “floating.” This means plumbing for a sink needs to travel under the floor or the duct for a range hood needs to stretch across the ceiling. Electrical and gas connections are included in this design decision as well. This should be a consideration when planning and budgeting, especially if you’re not replacing the floor. If you want to keep the floor or ceiling intact, an open island with no sink or stovetop is still a wonderful place to prep/display meals, dine and hang out, as well as provide ample storage below.
The popularity of eat-in kitchens and islands with table extensions is growing as the social dynamic of hosting changes. Some designs have completely blended the kitchen and dining room into a multifunctional eat-in/entertainment environment. This allows the hosts to constantly be part of the action and perhaps allows the guests to be part of the meal prep/creation experience.
The Kitchen You’ve Always Wanted
A kitchen design can truly reflect your personality by being a fun and functional part of the home. We blend great design with expert craftsmanship to bring you a space that enhances your life. Contact us and we’ll go over your unique needs.