Did you know that a kitchen remodel can help lead to a healthier life? According to a study by Houzz of homeowners that took the remodeling plunge in 2016, 33% of families are reporting that they are eating healthier since their new kitchen was installed.
Well, setting yourself up for a healthier lifestyle takes a multifaceted approach, and one of the main areas on the road to whole health is being mindful of what you eat.
An interesting study by researchers affiliated with UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) brings a parallel observation to the Houzz report as 32 middle class, dual-income families in Los Angeles were observed for a period of time. CELF assigned a team of professional archaeologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists to conduct a systematic study of “life at home.”
A part of the study focused on food consumption and of the 32 groups observed, most “relied on convenience foods to function, which in the long run only saved 10 – 12 minutes per meal.”
This brings us to the importance of smart kitchen design tailored to the specific needs of your family. Cluttered areas and a lack of useable kitchen space leads to mindless food preparation and on-the-go eating. a.k.a., ordering frequent take out.
Let’s examine three ways that you can get your kitchen to be the healthy hub of the house, not only in terms of nutrition, but from an overall social standpoint.
When everything is in its place, it’s easier to stay focused on the task at hand. A cluttered pantry leads to wandering eyes and snacking. Not to mention clutter contributes greatly to duplicate or forgotten purchases. You were certain you had balsamic vinegar, only to find multiple bottles of olive oil on hand. A missing key ingredient will easily derail your plan for a home cooked meal.
Smart storage is also key. If you require a kosher kitchen, purposeful storage separating elements to meet the needs of total isolation of meat and dairy, for example, is going to make your life a whole lot easier. Think efficiency.
The top organizational features added to the kitchen according to the 2017 Houzz Trend Report are: pull out waste and recycling cabinets, cookie sheet organizers, revolving corner trays (lazy Susan), pull out shelves for the pantry, and deep drawer organizers. Incorporating these features will optimize storage and maximize your use of space.
The first place most kids stop after school is the kitchen for a snack. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Snacking on unhealthy foods is a major factor contributing to the increase of child obesity, but can parents satisfy their child’s cravings with healthier snacks? Yes, according to a new study, “Association of Nutrient-Dense Snack Combinations With Calories and Vegetable Intake.”
When planning a remodel, consider “kids only” pantry shelf full of healthy foods (“yes” foods) and a “self-serve” snack drawer in the refrigerator. Let them know they can have whatever they want and give them a variety of options, or you can let them help you prep snacks for the week over the weekend. Kids can become even more involved in helping at the grocery store – looking at food labels, and learning to try new things. They will be excited to eat the snacks they chose.
Under the counter fridges work well for exclusive spaces and Sub-Zero and Wolf likes to think beyond the kitchen when accommodating family and guests. Keeping fresh fruits and vegetables on hand is easy in their Undercounter All Refrigerator which is designed to be fitted with custom cabinetry panels to mirror your chosen layout – whether in the kitchen or in a busy family/rec room.
If you build it, they will come.
An inviting space means more time spent together, which turns into a desire to prepare more home cooked meals, and even more entertaining. And as kitchens get larger to accommodate user experience, Houzz also reports that the “open concept” relationship between the kitchen and living area continues to be a favorite with homeowners.
“Great rooms continue to be popular, with over half of kitchens more open to nearby rooms following renovations. Meanwhile, over a third of renovating homeowners are increasing their kitchen size.” – Houzz Kitchen Study 2017
Multiple prep areas to involve more than one person into the creation of meals also draws family members and friends to linger in the kitchen, lend a helping hand and share meaningful conversation. As the hub of the home, the kitchen not only provides nourishment and everyday opportunities for get-togethers, but a large enough space for hosting holidays and special events.
Whether you’re a family of two or 22, a kitchen remodel should be carefully considered to make the most of your investment. One of our St. Charles clients said it best, appreciating her space after the activity had died down:
“When I’m not busy preparing meals, sometimes I just sit at our island and look around and smile. Thank you, Past Basket, for transforming how we live in our house!” – P.G., St. Charles, IL
For more information on our design process or other any questions, please reach out to our Design Team.