By ggfp. Kitchen. At Sunday, March 04th 2018, 05:49:24 AM.
When designing with furniture, spaces must be created between each piece that allow the 3-D character (3-D in that furniture is made with at least 3 finished sides) of each piece to be appreciated. These spaces are most important as they allow the design theme of the adjacent room to continue uninterrupted into the kitchen. The spaces allow the wall, ceiling and floor coverings (the architectural finishes) to instantly meld the kitchen and family room into one homogeneous space in a way that is impossible to do with horizontally designed cabinetry. The spaces define the room's personality and allow the furniture to become more eclectic as well, emulating the same design techniques used in the design of the family room. No longer must the kitchen have just one color of wood, or one door style or one countertop material. The spaces allow all of these elements to change more readily. For a clear example, think of an open-plan log home where all the interior walls are exposed logs. A furnished kitchen allows the logs to be seen between each piece, which helps to unify the open-plan room whereas a horizontally designed cabinetry filled kitchen covers up all the logs. In an open-plan loft design where the kitchen is always seen, a furnished kitchen can blend seamlessly into the other casual seating groupings by allowing all the architectural finishes to meander between all the pieces and hold everything together.
Kitchen lighting fixtures nowadays often include spectacular above cupboard lighting with some great options to choose from. For our kitchen, long arm halogen lights spaced at regular intervals, were perfect, and have proved to be an essential addition, particularly when removing items towards the back of the cupboards! Under the cupboards, above each of the work spaces, we chose a number of evenly spaced halogen lights with triangle-shaped glass covers that perfectly fan out the light across the counter top area.
On the other hand, the family room, or the social area of the great room is designed in a completely different way. Typically, a beautiful empty room is created and then it is furnished. Instead of lining all the walls with horizontal bands of built-ins (and there are exceptions to this i.e. Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie homes) the wall spaces are interrupted with vertical elements like windows and doors or focal points such as a fireplaces. The walls of the room are separated into vertical segments instead of continuous horizontal bands. At blank wall areas and in the middle of the room, eclectic pieces of furniture create seating arrangements, while the wall-hung artwork and sculptural collectibles on display determine the room's personality. But the wall, floor and ceiling colors and textures permeate between all of these vertical elements acting as the 'glue' that holds the whole design theme together.