The current mantra in designing homes is “tear down those walls!” Open floorplans are must-haves because they accentuate the casual living environment that consumers crave.
The Kitchen Command Center
Dual offices may not be feasible, but a kitchen command center is.
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There has never been much agreement on the following: does design innovation trickle down or bubble up? I'll let you answer that question for yourself, but when the same trend -- the kitchen command center -- surfaces in both the luxury and value-priced new homes, just where it started isn't relevant. What is important is that today's new home buyer is seeking that second space to manage the growing complexity of everyday life.
In luxury homes, the kitchen planning desk is being transformed into an entire workspace. Typically located just off the kitchen, this satellite office serves as the nerve center of the home, says Charles Page, an architect and builder in the Chicago suburbs.
"Laundry rooms have moved upstairs and the household nerve center has taken over that space," explains Page. "Many buyers who have used a kitchen planning desk as a base from which to manage their households are finding ever increasing uses for this convenient area. They need expanding workspace in a separate room where the resulting clutter is hidden from the kitchen itself."
|Page typically includes plenty of built-in cabinets for paperwork, photo albums and other important household items and records.
All of the homes that Page Builders is presently designing and building have a nerve center, and the trend is toward more elaborate and creative uses of this space. Typically Page includes plenty of built-in cabinets for paperwork, photo albums and other important household items and records.
In a recently built home in Glenview, Ill., the nerve center "has almost as much cabinet and storage space as does the kitchen," says Page. These areas also usually have two computer station/desk areas and abundant window space to provide a comfortable, pleasant atmosphere. The nerve center is also usually the study area of choice in homes where the family has school-age children.
Equipping the nerve center with the conveniences of modern technology, including integrated wiring, is important. "This household nerve center will be a necessity in the homes of the future," says Page.
In value-priced homes the kitchen command center is typically part of the kitchen space. A desk tucked into an alcove offers buyers the same benefits of the larger nerve center:
"More and more new home buyers are looking for this feature," says designer Larry Garnett. "As modern life gets busier it's important that builders offer buyers the spaces that will make it easier and less time consuming to organize their home."
Heather McCune is the Editor-in-Chief for Professional Builder and Luxury Home Builder. Please email her with any comments or questions regarding her column.