Charlotte Home Designer sees Kitchens as the new Living Room in Remodeling
Charlotte home designer Bob Porter remembers when kitchens were isolated spaces, segregated from the rest of the house. Now kitchens are a focal point – much more than a place to cook and eat.
“It’s gone beyond just a breakfast nook,” says Porter, owner of the highly rated Design Plus 3, “but literally sitting and ‘living’ in the kitchen.”
That shift has never been more pronounced than now. A 2014 National Kitchen and Bath Association Designs Trends survey found that 56 percent of remodeling professionals expect to include furniture-type pieces in their kitchen projects, and 56 percent also expect to install flat-screen TVs.
The survey mirrors what Porter has seen in Charlotte, where he’s worked the past nine of his 42 years as a designer and contractor.
“The way people live in kitchens now has changed a lot about how it’s designed, or in many cases, redesigned,” he says.
That begins with surface space. Customers want more of it now, with islands, bars and peninsulas – plus stools and benches around them to encourage more people to stay awhile. Those people also need space, Porter says, so kitchen islands now have more room around them, with a wider walking area to handle the traffic.
Kitchens also are becoming the place where work gets done, which means accommodating technology with more charging and docking stations for laptops, smartphones and music players, Porter says. He’s also seeing what the design survey revealed: People don’t want the only flat-screen to be in the family room.
Some customers, he says, are getting creative about their kitchen TV setup.
“People will make TV’s drop down from cabinets,” he says. “Other times you’ll have people using a cut-out area originally designed for a microwave.”