There are many different styles of kitchen design which may not have crossed your mind. When remodeling your kitchen, knowing what style you prefer is the first step too. Discussing it with your professional contractor is the next one. Below are some different kitchen styles and the pros and cons of each:
- The U-shaped kitchen: This is a very versatile design for a kitchen which is large or small. It uses three walls, so the work stations are spaced for convenience. It has a lot of storage space on the countertops, and it’s great for people who cook frequently. However, it can look cluttered if you don’t store your utensils so you should consider installing a Lazy Susan and hiding the microwave in a wall cabinet.
- L-shaped kitchen: This look is created by having work space and counter space on two adjacent walls. The design is flexible because appliances can be placed in several locations. Space can open into a nearby room or a table also, so the person cooking will be able to interact with individuals in another room. This layout is not a good choice for a small space.
- Galley kitchen: This layout is only big enough for one cook. The work stations are on parallel walls which keeps the appliances close to each other. You need at least 4 feet of space between the cabinets so the drawers can be opened at the same time if needed. For more storage, stack storage options to keep clutter down.
- Single wall kitchen: This layout has the appliances and the cabinets lining one wall. The sink is usually in the middle; the refrigerator and stove are on either side of the sink. The cook will have to walk from one end to the other, but it does save space.
- G shaped kitchen: This is very much like the U shape because it uses three walls of the kitchen too. But, there’s an added partial fourth wall. This wall has countertops and cabinets in it. This partial wall can have a counter for a breakfast bar.
Before remodeling your kitchen, decide which style will work in your space.
You’ve been trying to work from home ever since the office is letting you telecommute. But, having to work on the kitchen table amidst all the noise and bustle of family life is getting to be a challenge. So, what about converting the guest room into a home office?
A home office
Turning a guest room into a functioning home office isn’t difficult. Planning is an important part before you start though because you have figure out exactly how the room will be used. Will it only be your office? Can you have it all to yourself or will it be used as a guest room too? How much space are you working with for the office and whatever else is in the plan?
So to start with, look at the room as if it is was empty with what can be moved then moved out. Make a rough design of where you want to place your desk, filing cabinets, storage cabinets, and anything else you think you’ll need. In your plan, note where the electrical outlets are, which way the door swings, where the closet is if there is one and where the furnace vents are. Plus, if you’re planning on using the guest room remember that they are often smaller than they look, so you want to use your space effectively. So rough plan first to see if it’s feasible, then take accurate measurements if it is so, then buy what will fit.
Also, if you do have a closet in the room, you can install wire shelving to hold office supplies. Install wall shelving though for extra storage space and equipment which is lightweight. Another thing to consider is purchasing a corner desk unit even if you have a desk. Since a corner is often underutilized, it could be the perfect idea. Plus, it can be used as a second workspace if you have another person is using the room.
You will need a comfortable office chair to support your neck and back. It should be adjustable and have lumbar support. Don’t even think about using a kitchen chair for your desk because you’ll regret it after a long day.
If you do need to use the room as an occasional guest room, you can install a Murphy bed or use a futon. A futon will give you extra seating in your office if you want to take a break.
Having your office in your home has many benefits.
When you have your senior in-laws move in with you, the idea of trying to create their private area can be challenging. It may be done by combining two rooms on the first floor such as an unused bedroom and dining room. Or it could be done by converting a bedroom and enclosing a back porch. Go over your plans though with a reputable contractor helps. But whatever combination you come up with, be sure to include a kitchen of some kind.
What kind of kitchen?
If you have limited space, you don’t have to put in a full-fledged kitchen. You can have a small apartment sized refrigerator, a sink, counter space, a pantry for canned goods and a microwave here. It can be an essential kitchen area without needing much space. A small table with folding sections can be used, or comfortable stools for a counter for eating instead of a larger dining room set too.
Another option is going with a larger kitchen area. Your in-laws may be healthy now, but what happens when they get older; they may need to be in wheelchairs? You need to be sure that the openings to the kitchen have at least 32 inches of space then which is open for a wheelchair to pass through the doors with open wheelchair channels to move to areas. Additionally, in the kitchen area, there needs to be space of at least 60 inches around the appliances so that a wheelchair can be turned around for access.
Also, reachable counters is something to think about too. For a person who is standing, a counter is about 36 inches high, but if the individual is in a wheel chair, then it should be 28-32 inches high. You can put the countertops in now if your in-laws are mobile at 36 inches and then plan on having them lowered if necessary though. If you tell your professional contractor your concerns, he can make allowances for having to adjust them in the future.
Another idea would be to install non-slip flooring. This way your in-laws won’t slip and fall when walking, using a walker, or if they’re in a wheelchair. Also, placing cabinets a little lower as well as a Lazy Susan on the shelves will make it easier for reaching things.
If you have your in-laws move in, an area that they can all their own will make it easier on everyone.