'Lifestyle Design' in the Kitchen and Bath
Find out how homeowners use their space before designing it.
By: Linda Kast
The key to creating a kitchen or bath that wows clients and sells product is to design around the way people really use their space. "It's about how they live," says Sarah Fishburne, manager of innovation and design at The Home Depot.
Fishburne offers this list of suggestions and considerations for the aspiring "lifestyle designer":
In the Kitchen
- Bakers and gourmet chefs have differing needs. For one thing, they want different types of stoves. The baker doesn't care so much about the range but wants an upgraded oven. The baker also needs a pop-up mixing stand for the heavy-duty mixer. On the other hand, the chef wants a wok, a griddle or a slow-simmer burner for cooking specialty dishes.
- Choosing the right appliances gives the kitchen a custom look. As people move toward healthier lifestyles, steamers are becoming more popular. New ideas include convection ovens and induction cooktops, and they're coming down in price, which makes them accessible to a wider market.
- Refrigeration has gone vertical. Twenty-four-inch refrigerators and freezers allow much more design flexibility—they can be placed where they're needed. And they're moderate on energy use.
- If a homeowner entertains a lot and has multiple serving platters and dinner plates that are larger than the standard 12 inches, customize a space for them. Older cabinets just don't have the width to accommodate them.
- You can go light in terms of add-ons, or you can go to the extreme. Raising and lowering countertop heights can provide optimal access for kids and for adults who require different levels for maximum comfort.
- For those limited to small changes, keep the cabinets and change out the countertops. Use different finishes on the island and the perimeter. For a baker, try marble in one area and quartz surfacing everywhere else.
In the Bath
- At the extreme end of luxury, couples are carving out his-and-her bath suites that include dual vanities. His might be in a darker wood tone, while hers is lighter and more feminine.
- Many new and remodeled master baths include fully tiled walls and floors, often outfitted with in-floor radiant heat. This additional amenity can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times of the day, minimizing the amount of energy required.
- Some homeowners prefer showers, and the new power assemblies feature multiple showerheads. These can be grouped in a tower or arranged on the walls and ceiling. Some require upgraded plumbing.
- Soaking tubs, some with water-overflow features, create the ultimate indulgence. Today's soakers are better-designed and have more features, including air jets, aromatherapy and chromatherapy. And in most cases, people are really using them.
- Little changes can make a big difference. Use more ambient lighting, or add towel warmers. Both create a spa-like atmosphere and add a pampering touch.
Linda Kast is a freelance writer who specializes in home design and construction. She is the former editor-in-chief for Meredith Publishing's special-interest publications related to remodeling.
10 Trendy Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades
Check out these 10 kitchen and bath trends that are sure to get your creativity flowing.
The Basics of Kitchen Layout
In remodeling, first decide where to place the sink, range, dishwasher and refrigerator.
Finding Space for a Master Bath
An underused bedroom finds new life as an expanded master bathroom.
A Kitchen Designed for Company
The Collins family renovated their kitchen for frequent entertaining, with clever storage solutions and an open floor plan.
The Right Elements for Kitchen Design
Follow these 13 steps for a better kitchen remodel.
Pedestal Tub Designs
Pedestal tub designs are the modern offspring of the freestanding clawfoot tub, and you can find them in a variety of beautiful shapes, finishes and sizes.
Infinity Bathtub Design Ideas
Infinity bathtubs create the impression of an edgeless pool with a waterfall in your own home.
Cast Iron Bathtub Designs
The classic beauty of a cast iron bathtub will add an elegant touch to your bathroom and will last a lifetime.
Drop-In Bathtub Design Ideas
Drop-in bathtubs are the most common design choice for bathrooms today because of the myriad ways in which you can personalize them to your style and taste.
Top 6 Kitchen Layouts
Learn about different layouts, like L-shaped, one-wall and galley kitchens, and download templates for your renovation.
Behind the Design at HGTV Dream Home 2016
HGTV Dreams Happen: Sweepstakes Blog » HGTV Dream Home Oct 6, 2015 by Virginia Moon
Stylish + Efficient Appliances for Hard-Working Spaces
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 30, 2015 by Kayla Kitts
This or That: Pick Your Favorite Bathroom Wallpaper
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 17, 2015 by Farima Alavi
Fall Decorating Ideas From HGTV Magazine’s October Issue
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 8, 2015 by Alyssa Sparacino
Go Behind the Scenes of John Colaneri’s HGTV Magazine Shoot
I Heart HGTV Sep 3, 2015 by Alyssa Sparacino
Were You Correct? HGTV Magazine’s Latest High/Low Challenge
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Sep 2, 2015 by Alyssa Sparacino