TMS Architects is pleased to introduce a new guest blogger – Mari Woods of MariWoods Kitchen, Bath & Home. We are delighted to have her join the conversation. The following are her comments on designing kitchens for today’s homes.
The modern world is filled with over-stimulation – from pagers to Blackberries and cell phones to smart phones, it seems the simple pleasure of quiet solitude is difficult to savor. In our homes, the kitchen has become the living room and the living room an extension of the kitchen . Often the spaces are integrated and one in the same. So just as we can’t escape our cellular connection to the outside world, we can’t escape the scent of the burnt toast following a busy morning breakfast, or the mess of dirty dishes in the sink when we finally sit down to watch the news at night. There is an ever growing need for kitchen designers to recognize the concerns inspired by an open concept, and to overcome them before they can contribute to daily over-stimulation.
To this end, cabinetry designers have gotten creative with their designs, fashioning kitchen spaces more reminiscent of furniture than cupboards and creating spaces that are visually appealing when seen from all other areas of the home.
Transitional designs featuring clean lines and less visual clutter have predominated the industry. And yet, the functionality of the kitchen remains of the utmost importance and can never be overlooked despite the demand for aesthetic simplification.
Similarly, the appliance industry has been challenged to meet the ever growing desire to beautify while not only preserving function, but improving it. Both refrigerators and dishwashers are capable of integrating fully into the cabinetry and are hidden behind wooden panels.
Even the handles and knobs used to open these appliances match those on the rest of the kitchen cabinetry making it impossible to tell the difference between the door of the refrigerator and the door on a piece of furniture.
At long last, even the ventilation industry is recognizing the trend and rising to the occasion with the introduction of hoods that do more than simply extract air. Rather, they are works of art around which entire kitchen designs can be inspired.
Is it sculpture, a modern chandelier, or a means of getting the once delicious scent of sizzling bacon wrapped scallops out of the house before desert and coffee are served? Happily, it is all three! The new hoods that are part of the Sorpresa collection by Italian manufacturer Best serve to meet the functional needs of air extraction while simultaneously providing intriguingly beautiful centerpieces that will mesmerize and entertain viewers.
If we dare to turn off our ringers, ignore the all too familiar chime of a new e-mail in our inbox, and keep the lids of our laptops closed, we may just find that the environment in which we live and the spaces that surround us can not only serve our needs, but can actually be inspirational!