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Modern Kitchens
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

The kitchen is no longer a room simply designated for preparing food and eating, but rather a commonly occupied room used for gathering, dinning, office work, and much more. Is your kitchen designed to accommodate to all of the daily traffic it receives? Updating your kitchen could be the greatest thing in the world if you consider just how much time is spent in it. You may not need a complete remodel, but maybe just a few changes here and there. In addition, if you decide to remodel, you will most likely get most of your money back when you decide to re-sell.

The first step to creating the modern kitchen is to take some time out to gather your ideas. It often helps to sort through magazines, neighbor's homes, show rooms and stores. Try to think of every reason your kitchen is currently being used for. Once you have a good list of uses, think of ways in which to enhance your living experience. Below is a list of kitchen design ideas to accommodate to the family.

• Mini-office
• Recycling bins
• Media center
• Fine silver display case
• Extra shelving
• Mudroom
• Houseplants
• Additional appliances
• Fire extinguisher
• Counter Surface and Landing Space

Once you have gathered your ideas on ways to enhance your kitchen design, you must then begin to consider your current kitchen layout. Within every kitchen layout resides the work triangle. The three legs of the triangle connect the refrigerator, sink, and cook top. An efficient work triangle reduces the steps a homeowner must take during meal preparation. Today, the reign of the work triangle is being challenged by two-cook layouts which include the elaborate island and peninsula work centers. This also includes specialized appliances such as modular cook tops, built-in grills, and microwave and convection ovens. Nevertheless, the triangle is still a helpful starting point for planning kitchen efficiency. It may be useful to sketch in multiple triangles to cover different requirements.

Aside from the kitchen layout, design and aesthetics are also extremely important when remodeling your kitchen. This is the step where you decide what colors, finishes and textures will be enhancing your kitchen. It is always a good idea to think in the future when selecting unique aesthetics because you don't want your new design to negatively affect you when its time to sell the house.

Other kitchen remodeling considerations include kitchen size, cabinets and storage, appliance placement and use, equipment controls, budget, and current trends. Expect your entire project to cost at least a several thousand dollars. However, it is typical for a homeowner to spend much more then that.

For help with your design and layout, there are several different places and services to try out. Many homeowners enjoy putting the plan together themselves. Wonderful software is available to help you create a layout and design suitable for your needs. Also, there are free design services at most home centers. However, because these services are free of charge, you will most likely not get the best advice on your project. For the best results it is recommended that you consult and architect or professional kitchen designer. In addition, reviewing plans with an electrician and plumber will also contribute to a safer and more advanced outcome.

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