Kitchens: The Heart of our Homes

Maria Kozmor Coulters Living Kitchen Design

Kitchens – so much more than a hub where bills are paid, events of the day and major decisions, yet to be made and sure to impact the future of our families, get discussed: the kitchen is a place where meals are made and deals of all sorts get done. Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies of life. So, the most readily used room in any home – the kitchen is essentially our life source, providing nourishment and nurturing around a table and chairs. As such, it stands to reason that when buying a house – either a new build or pre-existing one about to change hands – the most important consideration is given to the kitchen: ‘will it serve all our functional needs?’

Maria Kozmor Coulters Living Kitchen Design

In more recent times, kitchen renovations have become the bane of a good many upgrades to this hallowed place in our homes, the decisions to either create or demolish a begin anew adding undue stress to our daily considerations. There is no getting around the fact: most any kitchen reno is not cheap. It usually involves changing tiles, backsplashes, cabinets, paint, lighting; perhaps replacing a gas stove with electric – or vice versa; maybe adding a double oven, pantry, island, dishwasher or oversized freezer unit to the room. Bottom line: it’s all about the details and the stuff – expensive stuff, at that! But it’s also about adding finesse, pizzazz and those homey touches – both fun and functional – to create yet another unique space that will dazzle, inspire and serve its purpose while holding up spectacularly well under daily wear and tear.

With so much to consider, it stands to reason a kitchen reno can also be a colossal headache if due diligence and careful planning is not applied. Herein, it behooves the home owner to consider hiring an expert in the field to ease the strain and push the project management on to its successful completion. A good designer can micromanage your woes and see that your timeline is adhered to without fail. But a great designer will bring a lot more to the proverbial ‘table’ – not only discussing these aforementioned key elements, but also introducing fresh ideas with invigorating samples to illustrate for the novice how great the final result can and will be.  Besides, it’s not all heartache. And style is never about how much money you have to spend, but rather how effectively you spend what you have.

Done right, a kitchen reno can prove exhilarating. We begin by coordinating the aesthetics of basic elemental design: color choices for walls, cabinets, counter tops, sinks and faucets, back splashes, etc. et al. Cabinet fixtures and faucets, backsplashes and countertops are the Tiffany setting of a prized kitchen. Even without replacing cabinets, flooring or major appliances, just these few simple tweaks can dramatically take us from tacky to terrific at a far more attractive price point. But the choices are practically endless. Choosing wisely will make all the difference in the world; transforming a dark and confined workspace into a room that is bright and breezy, dramatic and richly textured, or uber-contemporary and minimalistic. From ‘traditional’ to ‘country living’, and all points between, it really is the little accents that reveal so much about who we are and how we choose to live and thrive in this place we call home.

When plotting a kitchen makeover there are a few basic structural decisions to address. First, make sure the triangulation of your sink, fridge and stove are all in close proximity to one another, not only for efficiency, but equally for safety reasons. There should always be ample counter space between the fridge and the stove, on either side or, perhaps an island directly in front where raw food stuffs, in preparation for meal time, can be carefully laid out with plenty of elbow room. Also, if an island is an option, make sure to allot at least 3 ft. between it and the rest of the cabinets. Remember, the last thing any kitchen ought to be is cramped. Personally, I think islands are a great way to draw in our families and inspire healthy conversation. An island can do double duty too; a place where the kids do their homework or where we can talk to our spouses while preparing meals, or perhaps just simply settling in to have a drink before, during or after food preparation is underway. If an island is at all possible, I highly advise my clients to reconsider them.

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes. But just because you start off with one layout does not mean you have to finish with the same layout in the end. When I am invited by my clients to partake of a new kitchen reno, my first consideration is how best to maximize their existing space. Sometimes, it’s merely a matter of rearranging a few choice elements in the room; perhaps, repositioning the stove and fridge in closer proximity, or adding more cabinets to maximize storage. However, a lot of times my first bit of advice is to consider removing or opening up pre-existing/non-structural supporting walls. A kitchen ought to be a continuation of your living space. Tearing down a wall to reveal the room beyond it is just one way to beckon family and friends to move about freely.  Finally, investing in a kitchen makeover is one of the best ways to ensure you will fall in love all over again with this centerpiece of your home. With the right decisions made along the way, satisfaction and elegance can get rediscovered in this functionally perfect living space. Because when it comes to kitchen renovations it’s not the size of the room that matters; rather, how effectively the space has been maximized.

My years of experience with kitchen renovations can be put to work for you today; working within your plans and budget to achieve great things. Making certain your dreams come to pass on most any budget and timeline is where our journey begins together. I love kitchen makeovers. So should you. So, stress be gone and let us get started on creating something wonderful. I am ready and up to the challenge of making the most important room in every house the most beautiful retreat in yours. So, let’s begin this project together today.

by Maria Kozmor


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