the kitchen as a source of happiness or frustration / by Annabelle Guldner

Like in most families the kitchen has become the hub of the house - it's where everyone ends up. Consequently the design of the kitchen is crucial in its capacity to accomodate a certain number of people, function efficiently, incorporate features that allow for easy access and maintenance and offer multiple work surfaces for seamless and enjoyable culinary experiences. Oh, and let's not forget aesthetics! 

Before we moved to Colorado, we had renovated and lived in a house in Savannah, GA and turned it into a beautiful sanctuary that was meant for resale but still featured all the knick knacks that are useful in a kitchen. The fact that this home was well designed couldn't be argued. Tim and I love to cook and most of our free time is spent in the kitchen where we entertain, eat, and experiment. 

The space we created provided the ideal cooking experience. Large full extension drawers, for pots, pans and plates, 36" wide top drawers where all utensils have their space and you can see it all at once and a large double bowl stainless steel apron sink that allowed two functions at once: drying and washing. The two-drawer dishwasher allowed us to run small loads, so that we didn't have to wait for clean utensils until a full sized dishwasher is at capacity to be run. The microwave was incorporated into a cabinet at a perfect height for use. We were able to have four people work in this kitchen at one time without being in each other's way while more people could be hanging out at the dropped counter behind the island and be part of the fun! This kitchen contributed to our way of living and we were happy spending time in it. The design was thought through and focused on accessibility, easy maintenance, durability, function and aesthetics. 

A week ago we moved into a rental property in Colorado Springs until we find a lot that we can build our house/workshop. The house is less than ideal for what we want it to be but you have to work with what you got! However, as much as our previous kitchen was a source of happiness and well-being, this kitchen is quite the opposite! The cabinets are to narrow, and there are no drawers on the bottom at all. The doors and shelves inside make accessibility a pain and the size doesn't allow for much storage. I basically have to get on my knees to pull out, no not something I only need once or twice a year, but a pot that is being used regulary! The top drawers are so narrow that I needed to use three drawers for just my utensils. So instead of opening one large drawer, I'm opening three every time I need something. And let's not forget the fact that the drawers only open halfway, so I dig my hand towards the back of the drawer to guess what else might be back there... and is it what I need? And we are back to a regular dishwasher - so as I need my regular utensils for cooking basically every day (because I prefer not to own three of the same kind of everything) I remember that they are still hanging out in the dishwasher, dirty, drying up and waiting to be washed. Well, I'll just take those out and wash them by hand - again! As I'm cram myself into the corner to cut my veggies so Tim can use the cooktop at the same time, I find myself wondering if there was ever a time this kitchen would have been considered functional. No way! And this is not down to the size of the space, it's the design! The visual connection from the kitchen to the living room allows me to see a glimpse of the TV and is merely a hole in the wall. I could go on and on about the inefficiency of the space but I think I made my point. I understand this was done at some point in time but it also shows how important it is to update, for the sake of harmony! As you can imagine I can't wait for our new abode that treats the kitchen as it should be regarded - the heart of the home.