When clients ask me to redesign their kitchen, they often show me magazine pages to give me an idea of the style they want. But there are some basic questions everyone needs to address before thinking about wall mosaics, the colour of cabinet doors or the shape of handles. It’s a bit like making a cake: you have to make sure the batter is consistent, that it’s evenly baked and tastes good before you dress it up with icing and candles. So before you update your kitchen, you need to think about how the space will be used. As the design adage goes: form follows function.
One thing is constant in our lives: things are constantly changing. Children grow up and leave home, our tastes change and, eventually, the kitchen is no longer suited to our daily lives. Interior designers will draft a kitchen according to the way you use it. For instance, they’ll consider whether you cook alone, entertain friends regularly, or check your e-mail while eating breakfast. They’ll also consider such questions as: do you need space for the kids to do their homework while you prepare dinner? Do you have dishes for special occasions? Do you cook a lot of desserts?
You’ll need to ask yourself these key questions to adapt the kitchen space to your life. Keep in mind that it’s also important to track your habits and target your priorities.
After this step, the designer can plan the space and create a kitchen that’s functional and that fits your needs. Often, the kitchen will need to be divided into separate areas, for example: storage, preparation and cooking. Planning a functional kitchen is the key to creating a great place to get cooking!
Now that the kitchen has been thought out and planned for functionality, it’s time to think about aesthetics. Beyond style, there’s a trend toward big counters, conversation area seating, adjustable lighting, such as pendant or recessed, plus functional concealed storage, such as sliding panty baskets, garbage cans and recycling and composting bins.
When all is said and done, it’s important to detail your lifestyle habits so the designer can plan a functional environment that both meets your needs and expresses your style. Here are some examples of kitchen styles that will stay current for years to come.
The timeless classic kitchen
- Clean, natural and luxurious materials
- Painted wooden doors with mouldings
- Juxtaposition of glass doors, wooden doors and open cabinets
- Contrasting neutral colours
The modern bohemian kitchen
- Accentuate the space, instead of filling it with cabinets
- Understated materials
- No clutter
- Raw materials
- Artwork or travel souvenirs
The minimalist kitchen
- Function and details first
- Extended horizontal lines
- Clean, contrasting materials
- Functional hidden storage
- Understated handles
Interior Designer and college professor David de Montigny views his work first and foremost as an opportunity to help people. Whether a project is residential or commercial, his ultimate goal is to facilitate better living and improve the spaces we inhabit. He’s been putting this approach into practice with his clients in Québec and Ontario for over ten years, and passing it on to the next generation of interior designers at Cégep de l’Outaouais for the past five years.
Keenly attuned to art, technology and the environment, David has a particular penchant for environmentally responsible choices and for products made by local artisans. He draws his inspiration from his travels and from his explorations of other cultures and different ways of living.