Kitchen Remodeling: Thanks for the Memories Oct 1st, 2010 The kitchen is really the social gathering place of the whole house, especially for homeowners who like casual entertaining. When you survey your home sweet home are you faced with a house filled with history and character that is hiding beneath shag carpet or pink and green kitchen decor? Everyone enjoys the warmth of a generations-old farmhouse kitchen but the challenge is how to bring it into the 21st century. This can be tricky. After all, we’re looking at a room that functions best when it is filled with gleaming appliances and modern conveniences. * Think quality materials. Use real wood rather than MDF (medium density fiberboard) which is the kitchen industry’s current material of choice for painted cabinets. This will provide grain and brush strokes. * Face the upper cabinets in old-fashioned mottled glass all the better to display vintage china and glassware. The look is more toward a furniture look. * Research period hardware and seek out real or reproductions * As you peel back the layers of time, you may discover stone walls, covered up chimneys or boarded over windows. You can’t beat authenticity when you’re seeking out a rustic style kitchen. Don’t fight with the architecture. Enhance it. Any of the above ideas, could involve months of painstaking work. Seek out the experts on this one. Carpenters, stonemasons, and woodworkers may be the best investment you could make in the long term. REMEMBER WHO IS GOING TO USE THE SPACE With children and dogs, it takes planning to achieve style and elegance that is also practical. Select durable, washable surfaces. Don’t be afraid of doing something stylish because you have children. * Consider a banquette for snacks and reading with plenty of room for playmates. * Think multi use. A center island where kids can eat breakfast or do homework is a must-have for many families. Downsizing couples also love the versatility that islands bring to their busy lifestyles. A place to work on projects or to have a heart-to-heart chat or indulge in culinary adventures makes this a good lifestyle investment at any age. * You might look for a farmhouse sink. This brings back nostalgic memories. If you want to customize this idea, you might take the traditional design of a farmhouse sink and update it in stainless steel. For many households, the kitchen is command central. Don’t lose this focus when you are deciding where to put windows. For urban kitchens a view of the street may be important. Young families may want a window that overlooks children’s play areas. REMEMBER WHERE YOU ARE So often when building a kitchen, homeowners limit themselves to stock plans that may have been developed for a totally different site. If your home has a particularly unusual or scenic location, make sure to take advantage of it in this most used room of the home. How special it is to be able to see the seaside, or rolling hills or majestic mountains while cooking or, even better, while dining. Take the extra effort to gain the most view, without losing storage and preparation areas. If you’re committed to your home and the budget permits, seek expert advice, use quality materials and carefully consider how the remodel can enhance your day to day living. You will lay the foundation for a good return on your investment while providing yourself with years of enjoyment.