By Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D.
First the British were coming. Then the Russians were coming. Nevertheless, without fail, every year, the holidays are coming again. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and New Years. All occurring during a five week period. Year after year after year. There’s shopping, family, traveling, gifts, preparations and eating. And, oh, all the eating. We are living the dream here!
Now all that food, which we will consume with abandon, does not grow on trees. Well, perhaps some of it does, but all of it needs some attention before it miraculously appears on your plate in an edible fashion. And where does this attention occur? You guessed it, your kitchen! (Unless you’re frying a turkey in the backyard like I am this year in my new Costco 20lb turkey fryer).
Now more than ever, it behooves us to take the time out of our busy schedules to enjoy the holiday season. We spend more time in our kitchens than any other room in our homes, and this is especially true this time of year, when the kitchen becomes even more of the focal point of your home.
Throughout these many weeks, kitchens are not only filled with the immediate family (including Alexa or Siri), they’re also cluttered with welcome (and unwelcome) guests as well; helping, visiting, kibitzing, snooping, etc. With all the time spent in this oasis in the middle of your home, and all the people milling around, folks have a tendency to notice what doesn’t work well, in terms of design and function, so it’s no wonder that more people start to think about remodeling during the holidays than any other time of the year.
Unless you’re very fortunate, no one is going to buy you a new kitchen for Christmas or Hanukkah. It’s just not considered a romantic, holiday type gift, but maybe we should reconsider. What could say “I love you” more than a gorgeous new room to prepare meals for the family? Okay, maybe the “preparing meals” takes some of the romance out of it, but work with me on this.
Wouldn’t it be great to have enough room to prepare next year’s holiday delicacies without bumping into everyone else? And enough storage space for all your spices, as well as places to put away all the dishes, glasses and silverware after the shiny, new dishwasher has made them spotless.
If the festivities draw you to the conclusion that a new kitchen should definitely be a priority for the new year, you can get the process started by creating a “wish list” for this room to soon be. It should include everything that you would like in your new dream kitchen. Then make another list of what you really must have in case you need to trim things, if budget or space don’t allow everything from the first list.
Next step: go online to www. Houzz.com or www.pinterest.com or similar sites and view what other people are doing. When you see something that interests you, save it to a file or print it out and stick it on your fridge, so that you can show it to your kitchen designer. It’s easier and safer to show someone a specific concept rather than trying to explain it, leaving less chance for misinterpretation of what you had in mind. This will ensure that your dream kitchen ends up looking like your dream kitchen and not your designers.
When the holiday season is over, if someone loved you enough to promise you a new kitchen, or you decided to give one to yourself, you’re now ready to begin the actual project. Gather up your lists, your pictures, your i-Pad, and find a creative designer who understands you and will be able to combine all your ideas into a stunning, functional and affordable new kitchen just for you.
Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R., is president of DreamWork Kitchens, Inc. located in Mamaroneck, New York. A Master of Design (Pratt Institute), and E.P.A. Certified Remodeler, he serves on the Advisory Panel of Remodeling Magazine. A member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc., he is also a contributor to eZine and Do It Yourself magazine. He can be reached for questions at 914-777-0437 or www.dreamworkkitchens.com.