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Design & Planning Kitchen

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July, 2009

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

Wide Open Spaces

Wide Open Spaces

Several decades ago, just about every home stuck with the status quo when it came to the floor plan: spaces were separated and singular in purpose. The kitchen was for food preparation and casual dining, the dining room was for formal dining and the living room was a cloistered space that was kept pristine and untouched, in case special guests should drop by.

Today's home has morphed to include more expansive multi-purpose zones that utilize every square inch of space. New homes are built with the food/prep, dining, relaxing and entertaining areas folded into one voluminous great room. In older homes, walls are coming down to make way for more modern, open-plan living as well.

Whether your home is new or old, if you're looking to create your magnificent open floor plan, here are a few tips to help you get started:

Look at your Lifestyle

When designing your ultimate living space, think of how you'll get the most use out of it.

    * Love to host dinner parties? Try an expanded dining area flowing in from the kitchen, with a wet bar and seating area to draw guests in for an after-dinner entertaining space.

    * Do friends drop by your place to watch the big game? Consider making a large flat-panel television or a television projection screen the epicenter of the room, with a small bar and conversation area nearby.

    * Is your house a hangout for the 12 and under crowd? Fill the room with nooks where children and adults can play separately, but are still in plain sight of one another.

    * Prefer quiet nights alone at home? Center furniture on a decorative focal point, such as a fireplace or large painting and build in quiet, cozy spaces around the room.

Mix-and-Match

Be sure to pull some stylistic and unique elements throughout the room without being overly coordinated. Start with a sleek, modern kitchen faucet with style and utility, such as the new Level™ single-handle pullout kitchen faucet from Moen. Continue the contemporary look with other unique elements – chrome cookware and a great eclectic centerpiece, like Z Gallerie's Erto Chandelier, to tie the old and the new together.

The modern look can easily spill over into your seating area with chairs that are both chic and comfortable, like the Choko Modern Armchair by Spacify. Consider minimalist shelving units as a stylish way to hold everything from cherished memories to children's toys. The Hipster Storage Set from Inmod provides you with flexible storage options in three units that can be used together or solo.

Keep it Versatile

Your open floor plan is meant to be many versatile entertainment spaces, incorporating the function of several rooms into one. When planning your space, think of it as several distinct areas, and draft a plan to accommodate these zones.

Regardless of how you envision your open living space, remember not to think of it as a fixed plan, but rather design spaces that can morph your sense of style as your personal tastes and needs change.

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