Monday, 16 June 2008

Great Idea - Kitchen Great Room!

For those who are getting spring fever and want to do something to 'change the look' of the home, how about knocking down a few walls - carefully, that is! The latest idea of great rooms is really catching on and if a home is going to keep up with the latest and newest on the market - its living room is extinct!

We have seen it coming if we have watched the signs, first of all the kitchen got bigger, then it had two working stations, then the computer moved in there - just for ease of recipe reading and remote control of the house. Obviously everyone loves the atmosphere in the kitchen, so it had to be opened up to the whole house, voila: le great room.

There is an alternative to the great room; it is the 'kitchen great room'. Ever since Electrolux published their study which showed that a typical family spends 175 hours per month in the kitchen, but only 31 hours per month in the living room, architects and builders have been adjusting designs accordingly.

Coupled with this Electrolux survey is the fact that entertaining has become more of a casual affair in the 21st Century. Gone are the days when the hostess hid herself away in the kitchen and suddenly walked out carrying a steaming five course meal!

Nowadays guests wander into the kitchen to chat or help or make adjustments to a dish that they have brought, the kitchen is no longer 'mum's' territory. With acceptance of this idea, comes the realization that the kitchen could be made cozier, more serviceable for all the family and will therefore need to become bigger.

This could mean that a TV will be in the kitchen, alongside a fireplace and a desk area wired for Internet as well as the family's online calendar. Many people take the obvious route and eliminate the formal dining room altogether by knocking down the wall between the two rooms.

The functions that a kitchen great room must serve can be divided into groups. Obviously cooking and food preparation is at the top of the list, quickly followed by cupboard space, dining area, a dish washing space - these are the normal kitchen requirements.

In the kitchen great room you will also find areas for studying, media access, relaxing and even crafts or family time activities. One way that most of us get ideas is to flip though magazines and watch Internet videos. When you see something you like in a room, keep a reference note of it, or if it is in a magazine, cut it out and circle the part that you like.

Also buy some squared graph paper and plan out the new design before you even think about touching anything. You may find that you will change your mind several times. Once the layout is planned, it is an easy and pleasurable chore to choose the new flooring, cabinets, sinks, appliances, counter tops and lighting. Of course, not all of this needs to be changed, sinks can remain and cabinets can acquire new doors to match any brand new units that you need.

However, one of the big differences in your your new room will be that you will need to use different types of lighting. Normally in a kitchen the lighting always needs to be bright, and some areas of the new room will still need this. To invoke the new atmosphere of the kitchen great room you will also need to have subdued lighting for your comfort zone as well as spot lighting for your computer areas.

Lighting (and plumbing) are usually put in first and this is another reason why it is imperative to know that you have finalized your design before you start to knock down the old kitchen!

Louise Scoggins and her Atlanta Georgia Real Estate website, Visit them for information about Atlanta homes for sale, and a complete list of Canton Georgia Real Estate listings.

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