European Kitchen Designs For The Modern Home
European kitchen designs are taking the world by storm. After invading Europe, they’ve now found their way inside homes in US and Canada and even in Asia. So what makes these designs so popular?
Generally speaking, Europeans love to cook. Their day-to-day cooking experiences enable them to master kitchen mechanics. That is why European kitchen design is characterized by its functionality. Their kitchens are ergonomically-designed for people on the go. Since lives are now fast-paced, it is important that lesser time is spent for food preparation and cleaning. With this kitchen design, utensils are within reach, island counters and sinks are bigger, and floors are easy to clean.
This focus on functionality results in a clear, streamlined design. Amazingly, the aesthetic aspect of design is not taken for granted. Kitchens are therefore stunning as they are efficient.
To achieve that sleek linear design, stainless steel is the most common material that can be found in the kitchen. Since most modern appliances are made of stainless steel, matching them with the existing fixtures would not be difficult. That is why we see stainless steel table tops, cabinets and sink. Some even use stainless steel tiles for the floor.
To match the metallic fixtures, light-colored and natural-looking wood is also used. Long wooden cabinets that are mounted on the wall are present in nearly all European kitchens. But through the years, the use of wood has become lesser. Most cabinet doors are now replaced with sliding frosted glass or metal to make it look clean and modern. There is also a decline in the use of hinged doors. So instead of cabinets, we now see large drawers with metallic pulls, for easier access to utensils.
Floors and island counters may also be made of wood. The center island counter is now oversized and multi-functional. So now you can do all the cooking, eating and cleaning up in one place. And because the island counter is big, one can prepare dinner in one end while the other family members are gathered on the other. One important thing though: use the same kind of wood for the entire kitchen.
This is not to say that this design does not allow the use of color. You can splash in some color through colored chairs. Or you can paint the walls with a rich, deep color, such as red or orange. Lastly, add soft lights to complete the look.
House designs are powerful symbols that you can use to create a statement to the world on who you are. Buildings have a long lifespan and will continue communicating your statement to the world long after your departure. House designs are also a mark of self-actualization.
The initial step to realize your dream house plan is to contact an Architect. Explain to your architect how you want your house to look. You can search on the internet for similar house images and floor plans. This will inspire you to be able o explain to your architect exactly how you want to design your house.
You can also explain to your architect on what statement or symbol you may wish your house to communicate through design. At this stage, your budget will be important in that it will dictate the size of the house you will have. Mortgage finance is available from Housing Finance, KCB Savings and Loan, Barclays, Equity Bank, Standard Chartered, Stanbic or any other financial institution in Kenya.
The architect will incorporate the design and symbols into a form and will work out functionality from here. Functionality involves how spaces relate to each other e.g. the kitchen should be near the dining room, the bedrooms should be located privately away from the living room, the construction of the structure should be structurally sound and in conformity to the Building Code and all laws governing construction of houses.
Through use of 3 dimensional graphic design software such as ArchiCAD, your architect should be able to present to you the house in 3 D graphic view for you to make your recommendations and changes. This process will continue till you are satisfied with the house design.
Your architect will print the house plan in A1 size format and make 4 copies of blueprint. He will submit the drawings to the relevant local Authority in Kenya, in Nairobi, the City Council.
The Council will go through the drawings to confirm if it conforms to the Kenya Building Code and thus habitable.
Once approvals are granted, usually after a few weeks, you can now move on to the next stage: Construction.
In this stage, you can have your Quantity Surveyor come up with Bills of Quantities, i.e. a breakdown of all the materials and quantities to be used in the house and an estimated cost of construction per item. With this blank document[without the price component], you can invite several building contractors to quote for the construction of the house.with the help of your architect and quantity surveyor, you can select the best in terms of past experience on similar construction and pricing.
After the selection, you then get into contract with the contractor and your architect supervises the contractors work to ensure that he conforms to the design and the agreed quality and workmanship.
Construction contracts in Kenya are available at the Architectural Association Of Kenya offices, Professional center, Nairobi, Kenya.
Once the contractor is through with construction as per the drawings, you can then move in to your dream house and live comfortably ever after.
Frank Gichuhi Is A World Reknown Architect Who Specialises In Design Of Unique Buildings And Researches On Current Trends In Construction And Real Estate REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONSYou Can Also Add Your Views About Architectural Design, Construction And Real Estate On His Blog Here REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS
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