THE HEART OF THE HOUSE

Inspired by our food-themed issue, we explore one of the most popular spaces in a home: the kitchen! Check out Marilia La Marca’s findings about this space and tips.

Human beings have been socialising around the fire since caveman times. Nowadays, the fire pit can be seen as our modern kitchen, and the get-together aspect remains intact. This space has had a big transformation in the past century. They are no longer a room exclusively for women to cook for their husbands and children but a space to be shared with family and friends. People want this area to be cosy and spacious as cooking has become a form of entertainment. That can be clearly noticed in the number of TV series dedicated to it. Everyone in the family can become a chef. Many friends’ get-togethers are also centred on cooking and showing off new recipes and ingredients to loved ones.

From a small, almost private, separate box, the kitchen is now a larger living space to cook, work, study and entertain your guests. Most are not even separated anymore from the living room. They have become more of an extension of the dining and living area. The role of this space has changed quite a lot and the furniture is evolving accordingly.

THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

Kitchens are aesthetically improving year after year. However, never forget the main role of being a functional space. Understand your kitchen layout and prioritise what is essential for you. Kitchen layout comes in many different orientations, single-walled, U-shaped, galley and more. Whichever type of kitchen layout you have, the flow is crucially important.

Have you ever heard about the triangle rule? If you draw a line to connect the fridge with the sink and the stove, you should obtain a triangle. We put in a lot of effort while cooking, which can be tiring, so the triangle rule helps ease the workflow and reduce the amount of walking while cooking. Within this hypothetical triangle, you achieve a better flow. We should always consider case by case if this rule has to be taken into consideration or if we can make some exceptions. But, generally speaking, we shouldn’t have these three elements too far away from each other.

HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT

Appliances should be integrated into the design as much as possible. The Eurocucine that happened at Salone del Mobile.Milano last year brought many innovations exhibiting this concept.

There is a solid trend towards minimising the look and sounds of the appliances, with several companies introducing systems that blend them into the cabinetry. Thanks to double-depth counters, they disappear behind sliding panels, so we don’t see them when not in use. Not only are the appliances visually integrated into the design, but new tech is also being introduced to minimise noise. This next-level integration is great for open-concept spaces where the kitchen connects directly to the living and dining rooms, making it more pleasant aesthetically and sound-wise.

A protagonist of the kitchen, besides the worshipped kitchen island, is the vent hood. The latest trends see new rounded cylindrical hoods. It is always best to follow the recommended distance height between the hood and the cooktop to ensure the best suction capacity, but don’t forget to customise the measurement according to the heights of the users. If the house owner is extremely tall or particularly small, measurements need to be double-checked to ensure extra comfort.

The cupboards should be within easy access at eye level. However, for heavyweight pots, pans and trays, drawers are preferable. Integrated sockets for smartphones and devices are a must in a modern kitchen. The trendy pop-up socket is a fancy option to consider. Lighting design is also crucial; it should combine ambient, task and accent light. If you perform various chores on your island, make sure you have recessed lighting layered. In addition, you can add a strip of LED light to accentuate certain architectural features or to bring in a bit of extra warmth. Summarising, lighting design requires three illumination levels: a well-lit worktop, a nice statement pendant in the eating area and diffused lighting overall.

LATEST 2023 TRENDS

  • Statement islands. Big and bold, made with interesting textures and lots of curves. In high-end designs, they come with a solid marble slab backsplash, matching the counters. – Islands connected to the counters or dining tables.
  • Induction cooktops. They heat the pan through a magnetic field, and even when the water is boiling in a pot, if you touch the burner, it is usually not hot.
  • Cabinets up to the ceiling. The standard gap above the storage units is outdated and not visually pleasing. It is also a big surface to just store dust!
  • Eco-friendly systems delivering filtered, chilled and carbonated water direct from your kitchen faucet. The perfect solution to eliminate plastic bottles and cans.
  • Biophilic design. The trend of introducing natural elements indoors. Celebrate nature with pieces in terracotta, crude clay, cords, glazed tiles, handcrafted décor and natural textures. Invest in indoor greenery and embrace white, beige and calming earthy tones.
  • It’s the age of self-expression! Make the most of it with unique styles.

For more homes inspiration, connect with @marilia.lamarca,
@ernestomeda and @vzug

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