Friday, April 07, 2006

Kitchen Living

The Kitchen Is The New Living Room: Tips for Making The Kitchen More Liveable

Today’s kitchen is far more than a place to cook. It’s a space where families and friends eat, converse, work, relax and entertain.

Mathieu Sabbagh, Director of Cooking for Siemens Home Appliances, sees the kitchen evolving into the focal point of the home, and as such, “it needs to be both functional and aesthetically appealing.”

Sabbagh, who is instrumental in the design of Siemens products, is himself a fan of the communal kitchen. His own home kitchen houses a 96” wooden table with benches on either side to accommodate as many friends as possible at the large casual dinner parties he loves to throw. Here, he shares a few tips for making the heart of the home a place you and yours can love:

No man is an island. But in the kitchen, everyone likes to gather around one. The ideal liveable kitchen has a center island of some sort, so that cooking and socializing converge. Pull up a few barstools or tall director’s chairs, and let the chopping…and the conversation begin. A large table is a good alternative, and it multi-tasks as a home or office work surface.

If they’re good, you look good. Choose appliances that have clean lines, are easy to use, and make you more successful (and relaxed) as a cook. Sabbagh is partial to the Tronictm convection range from Siemens, which “has all the great features anyone could ever need in a 30” range…and it’s very easy to clean.”

Seen and not heard. Look for appliances that are quiet. It’s hard to carry on a conversation or listen to music over the din of a loud dishwasher. The Siemens Definition Dishwasher has a soundCheck system for super-quiet performance.

Objects of your affection. Make your kitchen a personal space – Use color and accent the space with favorite objects. Display your collection of pitchers or vintage cocktail shakers or baskets. Don’t be afraid to mix sleek stainless appliances with a warmer palette of wood cabinetry and flooring, or with marble or granite countertops.

Well-connected. For a kitchen to be truly liveable, it needs connections -- computer with high-speed Internet access (a great way to access a recipe quickly) and a TV (so you can watch the news or cook along with Alton Brown). Even small spaces can accommodate a small wall-mounted television….although the pop-up flat screen ones are nice!

Let there be light. Make sure the workspaces in the kitchen are attractively and adequately lit. Experiment with area and “mood” lighting just as you would in a living room. Small table lamps, hanging lamps, torcheres, and sconces can all add a lot of character and make the space seem warm and inviting.

If music be the food of love…Bring your favorite music into the kitchen with a small CD player, or by wall-mounting stereo speakers, or even by playing iTunes on your computer. It makes cooking more festive, clean-up more fun, and draws your guests in.

Children’s corner. If you have the space, consider devoting a corner of your kitchen to child’s play. Have a small table and chairs and storage bins for toys, art supplies, etc.

Above all, says Sabbagh, create a kitchen that is functional for the cook(s), comfortable enough to hang out in, and a reflection of your personal style. For basic guidelines on planning your kitchen space, visit the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s web site at Siemens Home Appliances are available at Best Buy in the U.S. and Future Shop stores throughout Canada.


About Siemens Home Appliances

Since 1847, Siemens has been at the forefront of technological progress. Known for its culture of pushing the limits of technological advancement for greater personal relevance to the individual, today Siemens is a global leader in electronics and electrical engineering in a wide variety of high-tech business fields. With its appliance products, Siemens combines innovative thinking, precision engineering and pure style to create the world’s most advanced home appliances.

Siemens home appliances is part of BSH Home Appliances Corporation, headquartered in Huntington Beach, CA, and a wholly owned subsidiary of BSH GmbH (a joint venture between Robert Bosch GmbH und Siemens AG). Headquartered in Munich, Germany, BSH is the third largest appliances manufacturer in the world.

Photo: This spacious kitchen features the Highland doorstyle in maple with a Spice finish, accentuated with black chalking. The use of wicker baskets, copper inserts, and various countertop materials (glass, granite, & concrete) provide visual interest to this space. Courtesy of Merit Kitchens, Vancouver, BC.