Types of Kitchens


The days when kitchens were dreary work places where the women of the house slogged long hours to put meals on the table are long gone. Thankfully enough, the kitchens of this era are more central to daily living and serve double-duty as family rooms, informal dining area and sometimes even as an extension of the entertainment area.

The kitchen now is not only a multi-purpose room, but also a multiple-cook room where more than one member of the family cooks. With the changing status of the kitchen into a socializing area means that we need to make kitchens look classier and more elegant with some sitting spaces too as per its uses. Hence the layout of the kitchen becomes important as it is a representation of how you cook and socialize there. There are different types of layouts to the kitchen, some of which are mentioned below:

One-wall kitchens – This layout is the ultimate space-saver kitchen which is ideal for smaller studio apartments. The single wall consists of the entire set-up including the cooking area, sink as well as fridge and storage area. Some kitchens might include an island too in an attempt to divide the cooking area. Being open, it’s easy to be part of the home while cooking.

Galley kitchens – These are ideal as one-cook kitchens and consist of utilities arranged along two walls with a walkway in-between. One side usually houses the cooking area while the other has the washing and storage area. There isn’t much space here for people to hangout in.

L-shaped kitchens – These allow for maximal space usage for small and medium-sized homes and could even include a small island in-between the two ‘legs’. It’s easy to add multiple work zones in this place along with a dining area.

Horseshoe kitchens – This kind of layout is basically a ‘U’ shape with three walls for placing appliances and cabinets. This is a multi-cook kitchen with enough space for traffic flow.

Kitchens with islands – An island can include appliances and be used for storage too; it can also be used as an extension of the work area or as a place to dine, with stools for seating. Islands are versatile as an L-shaped kitchen can be made into a U-shaped kitchen with an island.

Peninsula kitchens – Peninsulas work as connected islands; they can convert an L-shape into a U-shape, or a U-shape into a G-shape layout. Such kitchens have more clearance and space.

Aside from the layout, we have the different kinds of set-ups including the contemporary kitchens, the farmhouse kitchens as well as the cottage-styled kitchens. They all have to do with the type of material used for countertops, the style of cabinetry, patterns, colors and materials. To get the vintage appeal, use earthen shades and for contemporary styles, brushed steel or bronze finishing’s make your kitchen super-stylish.


Organizing Ideas for the Kitchen


Let’s face it, an unorganized kitchen looks cluttered and gives the outsider’s jitters about possible hygiene conditions. And with kitchen designs becoming more open and integrated with the socializing areas of the home – especially in smaller apartments, you need to be more careful about how your kitchen appears.

It is the most hard-working part of a home and deserves due respect. After all, you wouldn’t want to be caught looking tawdry when there is a visitor, and neither should your kitchen! Keeping modern kitchens tidy and neat isn’t such a tough job; all it needs is creating proper storage areas. You first need to divide your kitchen into the three important areas – the prep area, the cooking area and the washing area. Once that is done, it’s easier to know where to stow and store the matching types of articles. This way, the efficiency of your kitchen improves, while having all the necessary tools within easy reach. Such smart kitchens make cooking and cleaning-up fun and less of a chore.

Here are some simple and easy steps to de-clutter the kitchen and make cooking meals easier:

  • Empty out all your cabinets and have a look-see at all the stuff you’ve been hoarding time to throw out some of the unnecessary stuff!
  • Make piles of all the items on your kitchen floor; cooking items in one corner, plastic containers in another, glassware separate, rarely-used serving pieces separate, etc.
  • Now comes the hard part – putting them back in! Cooking pots and pans should be close to your cooking area, a spice drawer under your cooking range, utensils near your prep area as well as the essential potatoes/onions/garlic baskets – opt to store these in a stylish standing basket for more space. Glassware and daily-use dishes should be in racks next to the washing area. Create a coffee/tea station with all essentials including mugs, coffee-maker and water filter kept together. This saves a lot of unnecessary walking.
  • Use clear plastic containers to store the smaller items like packs of snacks, condiments or ready-to-use gravy mixes. Labeling the containers is a great idea.
  • Store all containers with their lids together so you don’t spend unnecessary time rummaging around.
  • Use Lazy Susans whenever possible to stack different categories of edibles together; this way there is less chance of something expired sitting in your kitchen.

Your personal work-style will determine how and where you store your stuff; the goal should be to make cooking work smoothly and efficiently – without creating clutter!


Kitchens or a Pollution Hazard?


There are many who believe that pollution only exists outdoors. But numerous researches have proved that a lot of pollution exists indoors too, especially in the kitchen. Some form of air pollutions in the kitchen like burnt toast can easily be seen and smelt, and we know how to deal with them consciously by activating the chimneys or exhaust fans or opening kitchen windows to let out the smoke.

But then there are these other forms of pollutions that can’t really be discerned by smell or by sight and these are the dangerous one. Researchers in the UK have found that those who use gas cookers have higher levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in their kitchens which can sometimes be three times more than what is found outdoors and along busy roads. For those of you who are not in the know, nitrogen dioxide is a poisonous gas that contributes to the brown haze hanging over many cities. This should get you thinking about the importance of proper ventilation in your kitchen, especially while cooking!

Additionally, it was also found that kitchens have higher concentration of particles that are 2.5 microns or less in size and small enough to penetrate the lungs. That’s worrisome news indeed. Aside from these pollutants, there could be formaldehyde gassing from furniture and kitchen cabinets or benzene emissions from wall paints and plastics. Placing pots directly off from the fire and onto granite surfaces can result in release of radon gases in some cases too. This goes to show that there is no dearth of pollutants in your kitchen and stresses the need for proper evacuation of these gases from your enclosed environment.

Air fresheners and strong cleaning agents also leave their share of noxious fumes in energy-efficient homes which are usually kept tightly shut to reduce heating or cooling bills. Since we spend 90% of our time indoors and try to keep our homes air-conditioned and free of flying insects by keeping all doors and windows tightly shut, we are only breathing in more pollution than we ordinarily should if we were outdoors. To put it simplistically, the process of cooking is a form of controlled combustion of fats, oils and carbohydrates; when you grill, fry or toast food with electrical or gas appliances, you are releasing carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter aside from other volatile organic compounds into the air around you.
And if there is no vent available for it to get outside, you and your family will end up breathing in toxic substances, including acrolein, released from burning fats and oils – and earlier used in grenades in World War I for the irritation it induces in the eyes and lungs!

This information should teach you the importance of pollution hazards in your kitchen and the importance of proper ventilation.


Creating Space for your Pets at Home


Your pets are more than just animals to you; they are your friends, buddies, your silent companions. They can come furry, feathered or finned, but they all require your time and attention. They depend on you for their well-being and it falls on you to provide them with a safe and comfortable home, without much inconvenience to yourself. When buying homes, most people don’t think about pets, they are usually an afterthought to be added after purchasing the home.

These pets maybe man’s best friend, but they aren’t always easy to live with. Constantly tripping over your pet’s water dishes or dealing with the animal fur or the stench from the litter box, do have their downsides. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Here are some tips on peacefully co-habiting with your pet at home:

  • Give them their own personal space to hang out in, a place that’s a little secluded and lined with comfy washable cushions.
  • Find strategic areas to keep your pet’s food and water bowls – so you don’t keep tripping over them. Under the kitchen island, the laundry room or under the staircase are some ideal locations.
  • If you can’t avoid using carpets, then opt for short-piled carpets which are easier to vacuum and get rid of animal dander. Or go a step further and use rugs made of natural fibers like jute or sisal that make getting rid of fur more easy.
  • Paw prints or scratches aren’t exactly very appealing, especially on your expensive rugs or pale colored couch. To keep the peace at home, clip their nails regularly and go for synthetic materials which are stain, smell and germ-resistant. Or if you want it classy, go for durable leather which is easier to maintain.
  • Keep your pet safe from cleaning chemicals, choking hazards, electrical points and even the waste-bin.
  • Store pet food neatly in dry containers so they don’t spoil or get infested with insects or rodents, after all, you don’t want them getting sick.
  • Your pet’s litter box doesn’t have to be an eyesore either. There are numerous trendy upscale designs available that can make litter boxes into a statement style.
  • Regularly grooming pets is essential to controlling fur issues and preventing allergies. Groom them just before bathing and after bathing to prevent blocking of drains and spreading fur all over the house.

All this helps in living harmoniously with your pet….