If you aspire to living in a luxurious home, most everyone will need to either design the latest kitchen in their new construction home or undertake an ambitious kitchen remodeling job in their existing home. Either way, we think we have a book that will help you out as you try to balance luxe with practicality.
Many design books wow readers with inspirational projects, but Kitchen Design for the 21st Century is far more a practical advice guide for homeowners. The book is filled with "news you can use" by author John Driemen, former editor and publisher of Best Kitchens & Baths Magazine, and good kitchen photos by Nancy Elizabeth Hill.
This book deals head-on with kitchen design issues for today's busy, multi-tasking family. Too many kitchen books are far too luxe, and it was refreshing to see photos of kitchens with fixtures you can easily find at your local Lowes or Home Depot. While some of the photos are a bit dated, many will inspire families to create the kitchen of their dreams.
The book convincingly makes the case for going back to the original modern kitchen research done in 1947 at Cornell University. This groundbreaking study used test kitchens to find out how life could be made easier for the family, and the researchers (and this book) address three key questions you should ask yourself when you're planning your own new kitchen or kitchen remodeling project:
- How can you arrange your kitchen to make your work easier?
- What are the things your family wants to do most in the kitchen?
- Do you want your kitchen to be a living room, a room that is the shared activity center of the home?
Use Kitchen Design for the 21st Century to learn more about and plan for the various Work Center elements that make up today's contemporary kitchen:
- Food Storage Center
- Snack Center
- Casual Eating Area
- Cooking Center
- Baking Center
- Fresh Food Prep Center
- Clean-up Center
There is solid advice on all the practical and luxury angles surrounding kitchen design, including pantry planning and general kitchen storage tips, color color guidance, and surveys of new appliances (such as dual-fuel cooktops and all the appliances now available in drawers -- microwaves, refrigerators, freezers, warming drawers, and dishwashers).
Particularly interesting to us was the section on green kitchen design, with environmentally-friendly suggestions on installing the "right" wood products and efficient appliances, using eco-friendly adhesives, incorporating recycled materials, using linoleum and bamboo, and choosing alternative countertops. Don't expect to find floor plans or elevation drawings -- it's not that kind of book. The bulk of the book covers 20 homeowners' kitchen projects. You're sure to find a kitchen style and set of challenges that fit your own situation. In Kitchen Design for the 21st Century, you'll get enough inspiration, design history and theory, and practical advice to make your kitchen project a pleasure.