What makes a great kitchen? As someone who’s looking to install a new one, I’m learning that it really depends who you ask. My elderly aunt, for example, values ease of access – no hard-to-reach cupboards or finicky arrangements of appliances. My brother-in-law is all about natural light and open workspaces, while my colleague Gary is a stickler for scratch-resistant finishes (guess who has four kids).
It puts a few more options on the table than I can actually process, but at least it’s broadening my view of what a kitchen be. Like, it can be a meeting point for a busy family, a place to impress guests, a health and wellbeing system, a place to prepare the occasional piece of toast, or any number of other things. It can be elaborate, minimalist, full of character or a mere afterthought to the home as a whole. Basically, kitchen design ideas are a dime a dozen, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
So, what do I do with this insight? What is my ideal kitchen all about? I’ve never thought about my enjoyment of cooking as anything out of the ordinary, or even classified it as a special interest of mine – I just thought it was what people did. But having these discussions has made me realise that I do get a particular kind of joy from it that many people don’t, and I qualify as someone who’s justified in having a gourmet-friendly kitchen.
What does that mean for me, though? I guess, for starters, it means a really awesome cooktop and oven. That’s a priority. I’ve always wanted gas burners, so I suppose the kitchen needs to be suitably hooked up for that. The lighting needs to be well-designed, but not harsh. Storage is another thing that’s really important to me – I need lots of it, and it all needs to be accessible (I’m with you on that, Aunt Helen).
In short, it seems that what makes a great kitchen is how it caters to the needs of its users.