Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Kitchen as place and design process is as complex as any other part of our life. I know things should be kept simple, but in order to do that, we first have to unfold the complexity of the situation, draw the essential idea, and apply it further creatively.
The thing that fascinates me the most is to see clients wanting their new kitchen to fit not only family needs and lifestyle but account for friends’ and relatives’ gatherings for celebrations: ‘So here is where we put the platters, the drinks are there, and the children can have a snack in here! And we need the kitchen by August for our daughter’s sixteenth birthday!’
Each partner sees the kitchen from different perspective, and sometimes there is a bit of controversy between partners. You can then see how strong the relationship is or how good the communication is between them. One would say, ‘I want an island and also to keep this chopping block in the same position as in the old kitchen.’
The partner would say, ‘Why do you want that old chopping block in a new kitchen? I want a beer fridge instead.’
The answer is ‘It is my kitchen. I cook every day, and I thought of this for so long.’ In the second meeting with these clients, the island is kept, the chopping block is replaced with a wine fridge, and everybody is pleased.

Renovation of the kitchen is an occasion for reinforcing one’s happiness. A lovely couple in their sixties asked to completely change their old kitchen into a contemporary style: gloss flat door, Caesar stone, long handles, symmetry, light under cabinets, pull-outs, and under-mounted sink. All the latest gadgets! They said, ‘We have this kitchen since we build the house twenty-five years ago. We couldn’t renovate it sooner as we had to upbring our children and support them throughout schools. Now they are grown-ups with their own families and homes, so it is time for us for a change.’ The thing that impressed me the most with this couple is that they wanted to change everything in the room apart from a table attached to the kitchen bench. They wanted a new one but in the same size as the old one. They said, ‘We both sit here every morning and read our newspapers and chat and laugh. In the evening, we sit here for a tea and watch TV. We do this for the last fifteen years, and we want to keep doing it.’

Kitchen can sometimes be the flagship of a change long time awaited for. Another lovely elderly couple living in a castle-like mansion wanted to completely modernize the ground floor including the kitchen. Instead of dark timbers, earthy tiles, and Spanish whites like the colour scheme of the house the lady wanted a white gloss kitchen, light tiles, and red glass splashback! She said, ‘I am sick and tired of these dark tones. I lived with them for twenty years. Time for a change!’ The ground floor became light, optimistic, uplifting as oppose to the rest of the house still heavy, and dark. The owners needed a spark of excitement in their life!

I can see kitchen as an overlapping of diagrams generated by different activities and persons. Just by imagining everybody’s foot steps, you can draw some amazing maps of kitchen use. The mom will spend most of the time between sink, cooktop, pantry, and fridge. The boy will wander between fridge, microwave, and breakfast bar. Dad will swing between coffee machine, fridge, and corner of the peninsula, by the phone. The dog will follow anyone and any smell of food, and the cat, well the cat, has no walking pattern!"

Fragment from the book: "Kitchen Designer-Your Dream Job!" by Valentin Tinc

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