Not only in Boston, but in dynamic, interesting cities throughout the nation, business professionals, active retirees, and hip young families are discovering the appeal of urban living. Urban core development is not a passing fancy, but a growing trend. Here in Boston, where downtown growth and development have reached epic proportions, the demand for new living space just keeps building. And, yes, the pun is very much intended!
A concurrent reevaluation of environmental needs and a trend toward smaller living units is “big news,” especially for downtown Boston, driven both by rising costs and diminishing available physical space. The new face of downtown will reflect some basic changes in residential design, with mixed use projects, historical redevelopment and creative new projects all contributing to the new vibe.
Nowhere is the new more obvious than in the kitchen. Urban kitchens can be many things. At their best, however, they make the most of space that is sometimes limited. They multi-task in every possible way, are shipshape and tidy, and look to the future with a combination of stylish and innovative materials, appliances, finishes, layout and technology.
This is an exciting time not only for consumers, but for architects, residential designers, builders, developers, city officials and for those of us in the business of supplying the raw materials, the labor and the expertise to make it all a reality.
Recipe for the Future?
An urban kitchen may continue to be “the heart of the home,” but it is more likely to remind you of a space adventure movie or a high-tech lab than to look like a recreation of Grandma’s kitchen. Or it might masquerade as comfortable living space.
Even if ample square footage exists for a large kitchen in a streamlined urban high-rise, the kitchen is apt to integrate food preparation, cooking, cleanup and serving requirements with adjacent living space. Achieving a look that blends seamlessly with adjacent rooms is a primary goal, whether the decor is historically accurate or decidedly contemporary.
When space is at a premium, that goal may require some sleight of hand. But tiny kitchens can be just as attractive and efficient as the keeping rooms of yesteryear.
How to Manage Space
While traditional kitchen layouts employed a step-saving triangle for efficiency, even the most compact kitchens today rely on zoning for function. Adaptability is the watchword. Work stations allow multiple cooks to share space and perform different functions at the same time. Today’s streamlined appliances often camouflage their working parts. Smooth surface cook tops almost disappear from view; ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, freezers and dishwasher drawers all hide below counter level or can be fully integrated with cabinet panels. Small appliances can be stowed in “garages” or hidden on pull-out and pop-up shelving. The kitchen no longer shouts “work zone — keep out,” and noise and odors are effectively controlled.
Whether you love traditional finishes or opt for sleek, Euro-tech design, you are sure to find a kitchen style to complement your decor. Energy-saving smart appliances, sustainable and recycled materials, and exciting new designs have altered the dynamic and the appearance of modern urban kitchens.
At NEBS in downtown Boston, we understand that the future is now. Our team will help you define your needs, coordinate your choices and make the selections to visually enlarge your physical space and enhance your urban lifestyle. Why not stop by our convenient location? Let’s see what we can cook up together for your future.