Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen Remodeling: Rethinking Hearth and Home
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In most homes the kitchen is the heart of the home, serving not only as the gathering point for meal preparation and consumption, but also servicing a myriad of needs having little or nothing to do with the preparation and consumptions of meals. The kitchen is a comfortable place in most homes, serving the family as a whole, a social hub, an informal eating place to be sure but a meeting place for families and friends as well.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the kitchen table is the heart of the kitchen. Immediate family may use the kitchen table for casual meal consumption, as an informal office and/or homework station, a gather point to socialize, or simply as a stopping off point as family and friends travel through the house, coming and going, either to other rooms in the house or out into the world. Ultimately, the kitchen is a final staging ground before heading out to face the outside world.
Hearth and Home
For millenia the kitchen has represented hearth and home, warmth and safety. Even before the Romans, noted below, the Greeks also recognized the sanctity of “hearth and home,” attributing its importance to the Greek Goddess Hestia.
“In common historic and modern usage, a hearth (pronounced /ˈhɑrθ/) is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven often used for cooking and/or heating. For many years, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature. This concept has been generalized to refer to a homeplace or household, as in the terms ‘hearth and home’ and ‘keep the home fires burning.’ In fireplace design, the hearth is often considered the visible elements of the fireplace, with emphasis upon the floor level extension of masonry associated with the fireplace mantel.” Wikipedia
In Roman times, “Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman religion. Vesta’s presence was symbolized by the sacred fire that burned at her hearth and temples.” Put another way, “Vesta was the goddess of the hearth at the centre [sic] of atrium, ‘the centrepiece of the house the atrium was the most lavishly furnished room,’ (Wikipedia) and home. It was in the house and home that Vesta was most important because she was the goddess of the hearth and of fire. Vesta was particularly important to women of the household as the hearth was the place where food was prepared and next to it the meal was eaten with offerings being thrown into the fire to seek the future from the way it burned.” Wikipedia
Kitchen Remodeling and Going Back to School
I recently read an interesting piece in which the author compared the ordeal of her son selecting and going off to college to the challenges she experienced remodeling her kitchen. The author stated that there is all the research (i.e., reading, visiting, gathering opinions, etc.), then there is the winnowing down, the decision-making, and the waiting; and, it all takes place while in the back of your mind there is one overarching thought, one thing that must be considered in order to ensure the job gets done…the budget! All New Kitchen Idea Book (Taunton Home Idea Books)
Interestingly, the budget is not so much about restrictions and doing without as it is simply making sure you have done your research, you have consulted with an expert or experts you trust and feel you can work with, and that you have allotted enough money to make sure the job gets done, properly and to specifications, given the little surprises that can and often do occur whenever your take on a major undertaking like a kitchen remodeling. That being said, the gap between anticipated investment and the actual amount can be closed considerably by doing your research and by consulting the right custom kitchen design and remodleing firm.
In the upcoming series on kitchens we will discuss a number of different aspects of kitchen remodeling, to include:
- Style and Layout (overview and styles, style and lifestyle considerations, etc.)
- The Various Parts of the Kitchen (components suitable for your overall design)
- When to Consult an Expert and What Questions to Ask (when is it time to start drawing your layout and design considerations)
- Kitchen Integration (how is the kitchen going to fit into the home’s overall floor plan and how will it function, overarching concerns and considerations)
- The Size, Look, and Feel (design considerations meet overall size and budget constraints)
- Look to the Island!
- A Working Kitchen – Meal Preparation
- The Dining Space
- Storage (open shelves, pantries, closed selves, lazy Susans, etc.)
- A Working Kitchen – Office Space
- Kitchen Cabinets: Stock Cabinets, Semicustom Cabinets, Custom Cabinets and Other Options (doors, drawers, slides, cabinet options, etc.)
- Hardware (knobs, pulls, hinges, etc.)
- Materials and Finishes (choices and investment considerations)
- Countertops, Backsplashes, and Sinks (countertop materials from tile to stone, marble to slate, etc.)
- Faucets and Sprayers
- Floors, Walls, and Ceilings
- Lighting, Windows, and Skylights (artificial, natural, above and below)
As noted above, there are a myriad of considerations and, unless you have a great deal of time, money, and expertise, it might be wise to at the very least consult with an expert. You will probably be surprised but when you consider the time and effort to do it yourself, coupled with the possibility that Murphy’s Law can and often will rear its head, the end cost may be less to have a qualified custom kitchen expert do the job for you.
From conception through to clean up, the Chmura Custom Woodworks team will walk you through the entire process, assuring your complete satisfaction and a custom kitchen that will be a focal point in your home, a gathering place you will be proud of, and an asset that will return dividends not only in terms of usage but in dollar value to the home and, ultimately, to you and your family.
A custom kitchen designed and constructed by Chmura Custom Woodworks isn’t just a great kitchen, it will be your hearth and home for many years to come.
Contact Rick and Bryan Chmura today for a no-cost, in-home consultation.
Chmura Custom Woodworks
PS, Or simply click the link here and fill out the inquiry information form for a custom kitchen remodeling consultation and we’ll get back to you right away!