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Design & Planning Kitchen

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From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.

Design for Your Lifestyle

Design for Your Lifestyle

While you may fantasize over beautiful rooms seen in home magazines, you must always envision that room with you or your family living in the space. Additionally, the stage of life that you are in, or who it is that you live with, will greatly influence the way that your room needs to function. For example, younger homeowners, DINKS (dual income no kids) or Gen Xers are much less restricted in their design choices than families with children or pets, or mature adults that may have special needs.

Here are a few design elements to consider when designing for your lifestyle:

Families with Children

Kitchens and bathrooms are very important spaces to consider for families.

For parents, the bathroom may be the only place in the home to escape and enjoy a few peaceful moments alone. For that reason parents may add products such as massaging showerheads or rain showerheads to add a more relaxing, serene environment.

If the bathroom is being shared by the whole family, or by several children, counter space is a must. Consider a vanity with cabinet storage instead of a pedestal sink. From small children and their bath toys to teenagers with their "products," the extra storage space is a necessity.

In the kitchen, undermount sinks are a great option to help keep surfaces clean and sanitary for kids. Cleaning undermount sinks is easier as well, since there are no edges to trap dirt and germs.

Additionally, in the kitchen, be aware of the surfaces that you choose. While stainless steel appliances are very design friendly, they also show fingerprints much more than other surfaces. Faucets are also available in matte chrome or other finishes that minimize fingerprints and make cleaning the kitchen easier.

Homes without Children

With only you, and possibly a spouse in mind, your choices in design are limitless. For example, lighter colors that are not at all practical for homes with children are now open territory. Let your creative juices flow and choose some of those beautiful designs that are only practical for your lifestyle.

In the bath, perhaps a vessel sink with a unique high arc faucet is the style that you love to complete your bathroom spa or powder room. Or maybe a sunken tub with a Roman tub faucet is the spa-like retreat that you'd like to come home to.

In the kitchen, think about how you would love to utilize your space. Do you entertain? Do you enjoy cooking? Perhaps adding a wetbar or a prep sink to the kitchen is the answer.

At this stage in your life, your design choices are limitless, so take the opportunity to make your space your sanctuary to enjoy yourself.

Mature Adults

There are many design aspects that mature adults must consider to make their homes more functional and make their lives easier, especially in the bathroom.

Curbless showers are becoming more popular, not only because they are wheelchair accessible, but also because they offer less risk of tripping. Showers offering hand-held showerheads and massagers are also popular to allow homeowners to sit on a shower seat or in a wheelchair and enjoy their shower.

When considering faucets, lever handles tend to be easier than cross handles for older, arthritic hands. Additionally, single handle faucets make it easier to judge the temperature of the water and prevent burns.

With slippage as a major concern, grab bars may be necessary to help get in and out of the bathtub or to hold onto in the shower. These options do not have to detract from the design of the room. Be sure to coordinate the finish of these grab bars with the rest of the accessories in the bathroom, such as the towel bars and faucets. If done correctly, these grab bars will meld into the rest of the theme of the room.

Did you know that by age 60, the average person requires up to 15 times more light to see than they did when they were 10 years old? With that in mind, lighting needs to be a major design decision for mature adults. No longer will the overhead lamps be sufficient for everyday activities. Mature homeowners need to look at alternative lighting sources, such as halogen, metal halide or compact fluorescent lamps that give off brighter, whiter light. Plus, these lighting sources offer more aesthetic fixture options than the ugly fluorescent tubes overhead!

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