A kitchen renovation is one of the most common project requests that we get. Even though it’s a very common request, at the start of every project we follow the same process. Information gathering. We need to find out the goals of the project, which are often related to the program, functionality, site constraints, and financial requirements. These are the real-world metrics that are going to influence the design
After gathering the information we start our design process. Ever since architecture school, we found Japanese and Scandinavian design appealing. Through a kitchen renovation, we can illustrate how the tents of “Japandi” design are so classic and timeless. And why so many of their tenets are part of our core principles of design.
Japanese & Scandinavian design priorities
- Integration with nature is supreme on the list of requirements. The connection to nature is important to create a human-centered design. Even with spaces that are indoors, the views of the outside landscape drive the orientation of the layout. This is why we enlarged the window in the kitchen and placed the sink with that view. We also created an operable pane in the window to accentuate that connection to nature.
- Natural materials go along with the last point. The best way to integrate with nature is to use natural materials that are reminiscent of being out in nature. Wood is the most versatile natural material. And can be the most sustainable material when used properly. By creating a curved wood kitchen island we are able to incorporate another feature – creative use of natural materials.
- Simplicity in design is another consistent theme in both Japanese and Scandinavian architecture. By organizing the back wall of the kitchen to be floor to ceiling storage we are maximizing the counter space. This allows us to eliminate upper cabinets. Those make the space feel dark and interrupts that connection to nature. This touches on another feature of Japandi design, functionality, and comfort.
Sustainability as a Core Tenet
Finally, one of our core values as a firm is to incorporate sustainable materials. When designing a project you’ll research lots of materials. And the options are limitless. So why not incorporate a layer of sustainability into the designs. Of course, the reason we are committed to sustainability is for the health of our environment. It’s also very important to consider the health of the occupants of the homes. This is why we rely on organizations like Cradle2Cradle. And also the Forest Stewardship Council, and the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers associations’ Environmental Stewardship Program for certifications.