Have you noticed how popular cooking shows have become? We’ve come a long way from the days of The French Chef and the Galloping Gourmet. It seems every time you turn around there’s a new cook with his or her own show—and unique twist on how to be a great cook. Take your pick from: The Kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen, Chopped, Unwrapped, Iron Chef, Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and the irrepressible Emeril—just to mention a few.
It’s fun to watch these great chefs and cooks prepare their specialties. But what’s just as interesting and entertaining is to take a look at their kitchens. While having a great kitchen may not put you on the same level as Emeril, it sure can’t hurt! Here’s a look at some of the trends highlighted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
The NKBA suggests that more than 60 percent of current kitchen remodels are done with more than one cook in mind. Maybe you don’t do “tag-team” cooking in your home, but a cramped kitchen makes it hard to be creative. And since guests tend to congregate in the kitchen (whether or not you’re cooking), you want to have enough space for everyone to be comfortable (but especially the cook!).
Functional and Organized
While it’s true that the kitchen has become a showpiece for many homes, it still needs to be extremely functional—and a big part of that comes from having things well organized. The NKBA has seen an increase in features such as hidden pantries, slide out organizers, and tiered cabinets that provide plenty of space to store kitchen utensils, spices, and even cookbooks.
If you’ve ever watched Emeril, you know the man loves his kitchen gadgets and appliances. Apparently, he’s not alone. NKBA studies identify professional grade appliances as the number one thing on most homeowner wish lists for their kitchens. We’d offer a word of caution here. Some of these professional-grade appliances may be overkill for a residential kitchen (and can come with a price tag that may cause more heart attacks than too much butter). The key is to find appliances that match both your kitchen and your level of culinary expertise. Think “practical” first instead of “Wow!”
This may be one of the most overlooked aspects of kitchen remodeling. But because your kitchen is a multi-purpose room (food prep, eating, and entertaining), you need to consider different kinds of lighting: general, task lighting, and ambient lighting. The advances in LED lighting allow you to have more lighting options while actually using less electricity—and a lot of homeowners prefer the quality (tone) of LED lighting to the light that comes from CFLs.
You may not cook like the pros on television (and may not even aspire to that level of expertise), but you can still have a kitchen that makes you look like a star! Check out the kitchens in our photo gallery to gather some ideas and then talk to one of our designers to make those ideas uniquely yours!