Critical to any kitchen design is the attention given to storage. How much cupboard space is enough? And is enough ever enough?
The minimalist will design his or her kitchen considering only the intended function of a kitchen: to prepare and serve meals. Said kitchens are designed only to store the tools necessary to such function. The minimalist will rue the day he shelved consideration of extra storage space.
A kitchen is unlike any other room in the house. While other rooms change to reflect changes in lifestyle - new couch, new lamps, new curtains -- the kitchen grows with its owner, changes little, and brings a history with it. While I started out thirty years ago with a set of borrowed pots and pans and a mismatched set of yard sale cutlery, I have accumulated so much more, both voluntarily and by accident.
Fortunately, the initial owners of my home had the foresight to implement a kitchen design that accommodates these accidents of time. Ceiling high shelves, while rarely poked into, are the perfect spot for Christmas dishes, Grandmother's set of old china, the children's first dishes, my collection of college day beer steins, and some rather unique and unusual impulse purchases.
I mean, doesn't everyone own a set of salt and pepper shakers shaped like a pig's snout? Then there are the 'theme' dishes: apples, sunflowers, roosters. You name it, I've got it. Fortunately, I've also got a kitchen designed to take it.
Any kitchen design worth its snout in salt has to recognize that the kitchen is the main recipient of birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and Christmas. Fondue sets, martini sets, cheese sets, candy making kits, cake decorating kits, all of those "I knew you'd love it," end up in the kitchen.
Where do you put thirty years of recipe books? How many junk drawers can you fill in a lifetime? Then there are all those nifty little appliances: waffle makers, crock pots, sandwich makers, electric griddles, food processors, bread machines, and so on. And these are the things I don't use...
Go ahead dig the Internet and you're bound to find some fresh new designs for your kitchen that will fit your needs. It doesn't have to be frustrating experience it can also be a lot of fun if you do your homework.
But no matter what remember this... Kitchen design -- it has to begin with storage. Lots.