For most of us, we are living with a kitchen that came with the house. After all it is already there, we can cook and store food and now with a new stainless steel refrigerator it looks much better. If we bought the house new, then at least we could pick the color of the cabinets, type and color of countertop and maybe even add an appliance, or at least upgrade them all to stainless steel.
That was easy. But if we want to renovate the kitchen, now we get a little nervous. ( Shown here is the ‘before’ picture of a kitchen prior to its renovation) There are so many different choices. I once read that there are 50,000 decisions to make when designing a home from scratch. I am convinced that a kitchen remodel accounts for a full 20,000! After all, there is a lot to planning for the power, plumbing, lighting, flooring, back splashes, countertops as well as special place to put your keys! Will it have an L or U shaped plan or will it have a Galley or Pullman layout (wait, aren’t they the same?). How big will the island be? It’s got to be bigger than Joanie’s, and she can seat all of her relatives around hers!
And once you’ve figured out all the details, either by yourself or with the help of a professional, the real fun starts. I’m serious; the fun of ripping apart your home can’t be missed. Turn off the water and power and start whacking away. It’s the putting back part that is tedious. Delays, missed details, uneven floors, all kinds of things that are hard to imagine in the planning stage.
Finally, after a month (minimum) of eating out and cleaning up the dirt, things start to take shape. You’ve now got a space for everything, and you can go out and buy more stuff to fill those upper cabinets that you can’t reach. You know, that big turkey roaster that you use once every two years; get it up there out of the way. You thoughtfully installed a library ladder and track system that rolls along the floor to access those high cabinets. Add that ladder looks so cool!
I’m sorry, I got carried away.
But there is another kitchen design alternative for remodeling as well as new construction. And that is this; Create a room, then Furnish it! Create a beautiful room, with full height windows, great proportions, nice materials, then furnish it in the SAME way that you furnish a bedroom or living room.
That is the premise of Kitchen Workstation Furniture. Well designed workstations that can handle the tough kitchen tasks can literally be placed in almost any room to create a beautiful, functional kitchen. Here, note the three simple workstations in the same, but renovated room that was shown in the ‘before’ image above.
My company started making these workstations back in 1996. By now, I had hoped that the concept would be so widespread that you could walk into a furniture store, like Ethan Allan, Raymour and Flanigan, or Macy’s and pick out a few workstations and have them installed shortly after. Moving? Take them to your next home. Your next home is a boat? So leave them and the next owners could swap one or two of them for new ones if they wanted something a little different; just like what you do when you trade your car in for a new one.
But all this hasn’t happened, and even though I am working every day to make this happen some day, I have to admit that the concept of furnished kitchens is still in its infancy. Still, it is not rocket science. Designing with workstations is still much simpler than using built-in cabinetry. Our clients style each piece they want from pre-designed selections in our catalog and we handle all the details. Then finished pieces of furniture arrive at their door.
Remember, create a beautiful room, then furnish it.
Of course, typically, it is not quite that simple. After all, it took a lot of searching for our clients to find us in the first place. They were looking for something different because they had a special look in mind that cabinets could not fulfill. We never need to convince people to buy our furniture; they already know that we are designing what they want. So it does take a dedicated client some effort to understand some of the differences between cabinetry and furniture. Its easy and fun to do, but still there is some effort!
From my experience, the most successful designs are the simpler ones. People who need all the latest gadgets and a dedicated space for everything should stick with cabinets that go nine feet high. Okay, so our economy is based on consumerism, and we have grown up in a time that allows us to accumulate the latest and greatest of anything found throughout the world! But do we really need to have that electric slicing device that might save us 2 seconds (factoring in clean-up time) as compared to using a good knife and cutting board? In our house, my family is well aware of my favorite saying; “Can you live without it?” and that applies especially to kitchen purchases!
But people who care about creating a beautiful room for living and cooking in as a primary goal find that efficient workstations can handle 99% of any cooking, storage or cleanup task that they are asked to do. The fewer, the better. And with the aid of a working pantry (an example is shown above, learn more about these great all purpose pantries at this link on our website) medium sized kitchens can be reduced to 3 to 4 pieces of furniture to take the place of all the built-ins.
Create a beautiful room, then furnish it. Keep it Simple.
Please go to this link on our website if you want to know more about this exciting concept. Otherwise, this article is going to go on way too long!