What’s the heart of any home? The kitchen.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that a kitchen is the most obvious place to breathe life into any house. If the kitchen is neglected and dated, you can feel it. If space looks like it just came out of the 1970s, you might be inspired to jump in and take the design to a new level.
Recently, I talked with my Aunt Sally. She is renovating a place that has one of these 70s kitchens. Her approach to creating a modern look was inspired by cooking. Here’s her story.
When you’re looking at a kitchen, several things run through your mind. It helps if you’re thinking like a chef or a person who loves to cook. Whether you imagine this or have an Aunt Sally on hand, this is how you can get a lay of the land.
- Everything In its Place
The French term for this is ‘mise-en-place.’ Simply, it refers to a vital concept for cooking and organizing. It means that everything is in its place.
Cooks like to have an easy flow for finding, chopping, cooking, and cleaning. That’s why professional kitchens are a lot like surgical units. Everything is in the right place. You don’t have to search and sweat to find knives, spoons, or forks.
With everything in its place, it’s easier for a chef to create magic.
- Oven Is Central
Naturally, ovens are essential for a chef. This is why the oven will usually have a central position in the kitchen.
Take a look at what’s around the oven. Is there a heat-resistant counter for hot items? Is there a handy surface for cutting, prepping, and storing? Is there easy access to the refrigerator, microwave, pantry, or appliances?
When the oven is in the best spot, everything else in a kitchen flows easily.
- Easy Access Pans
When you’re working with hot food, you need the right pans. Many chefs like to have overhead racks to hold the pans they need: a frying pan, a saucepan, a crepe pan, and a pasta pot are all part of the must-have pans in a chef’s kitchen.
Speaking of pans, this is where you’ll gain insight into what chefs are looking for. Once they start in on pans, start taking notes. They have a lot to say about what makes a great pan.
Stainless steel is ideal, as it can withstand oven temperatures up to 800F. A stainless pan retains the heat, heats evenly, and can move equally between the top of the oven and in the oven. The length of the handle is also critical, as it makes for comfortable cooking and safer usage.
- Working Surfaces
In kitchens, working surfaces are what you’ll see first. This is why different materials such as marble or Vettrazzo are so popular. These materials offer a unique and artistic flair to any kitchen.
From the chef’s point of view, countertop materials need to stand up to daily use. They have to be sturdy, resilient, and easy to clean. Best bet? Plan for ease and functionality.
- A Place For Rituals
For bakers, cooks, and home-chefs, a kitchen is a place for creating comfort and ease. For many people, cooking and baking have become a ritual for finding serenity. It’s not just about the food, flow, and function.
A kitchen is the heart of a home because it is the central place for rituals. It’s a place where we can create, experiment, and innovate. It’s the zone where people gather together and forget the cares of the world. It’s the sacred place where nothing else matters.
As we’ve all come to realize, not everything is dictated by external conditions. The kitchen is where we put our hands into the dough, invent new dishes, and share our love with family and friends.
If you’re creating a new kitchen or designing a fresh look for your home, ask the people who will be using the space. If they are a baker, cook, or creative chef, they will help you create a place for rituals.
Who knows, you just may get a personal invitation to partake in the delights.