Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why such a big kitchen?

Niels and I have spent a lot of time lately talking about our new kitchen. As we've started to price out different things, I've mentioned how, other than foundational things that we can't change later (like the ICF structure), the kitchen is by far, the most important part of the house to me, and the one area where I don't mind going over budget--I don't want to go over budget, but will sacrifice in other areas to have the kitchen of my dreams.

Here are a few thoughts that drive our kitchen decisions:
  • I cook (almost) every day. Mostly from scratch. As a person living with a brain injury, I often struggle with feeling that I don't contribute to our family as much as a fully-able spouse/parent can. In fact, the measure of a "good day" for me is if I am able to provide a healthy, tasty home-cooked meal for my family (and occasionally, friends and/or family). I really, really want a kitchen that takes away any barrier to me have that good day.
  • This means lots of prep and storage space, efficient appliances, a workable layout and quiet, cork floors.
  • We strive to be generous with what we have. This means having friends and family over (sometimes for weeks at a time). Having a set up that allows for multiple cooks (thus, the new islands and large size) allows us to entertain comfortably, but still give me my "Jen zone" where I can concentrate on what I'm cooking.
  • Knowing that it's easier for me to control my own environment rather than adjust to others on a so-so day, we want to have the kind of kitchen (and home) where Daniel's friends (and their moms) will want to hang out here.
  • Our desire is to use as much universal design elements as possible on the first floor, so anyone, of any ability, will feel welcome in our home. This means drawers instead of cabinets, pulls instead of knobs, rockers instead of traditional switches, extra wide aisles and hallway, and a baking center than doubles as a lower-height bar.
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