Today’s Kitchen Has Been Transformed – Demonstrating How Form & Function Beautifully Accommodate Each Other

Posted on | July 11, 2017 | No Comments

The American kitchen has undergone a dramatic transformation, from a single-function space to a busy hub and a treasured gathering spot. A change in function has called for a change in design. Now, more than ever, balancing form and function has become essential. Caren Bistany, owner of Bistany Design, has been creating luxurious, tasteful, and inviting kitchens for over 25 years. She has seen the kitchen evolve first hand, and today she shares with North Carolina Design her thoughts on how function and form meet in today’s kitchens.

Images Courtesy of Bistany Design ©

“From our point of view, the kitchen has always been more than just a functional space – it was, and is, a space that you live in. That said, a few decades ago, kitchens started to transform from separate, isolated rooms to a huge part of the home. They became open to the surrounding spaces, so you really had to marry form with function in order for it to be a showplace.”

Caren notes that the functional and aesthetic evolution of the kitchen has made it an increasingly important space to homeowners, and to the home itself. “It is now an integrated architectural element of the home,” she observes. “It’s also less utilitarian, and more of a space you want to live in, stay in, and entertain in. The industry has taken note, and is creating products that don’t compromise form for function.”

“As kitchens have progressed and transformed, appliances have stepped up. They have become more refined and more elegant, and they make more of an architectural statement. They have caught up with the clean lines and seamless look today’s homeowners prefer. In the past, a bulky, unattractive appliance could ruin the look of a kitchen. Today, you can truly hide an appliance, to the point where you can’t even tell that it’s an appliance.”

“It isn’t just major appliances that have stepped up. “Product design on everything from cookware, to utensils, to plumbing fixtures, to small appliances, has caught up with needs and wishes of clients. Everything is sleeker and more stylish. And there’s so much variety – homeowners have so many choices in terms of style. They can really use these smaller, more functional items to add beauty to the space.”

Caren tells us that creating a successful design for today’s kitchen is far more complex than simply balancing beauty and function. “There are so many pieces to the puzzle,” she says. “You have to balance all of the different materials, all of the finishes, all of the decorative fixtures, and all of the decorative details.”

“Then there’s the task of adding personality and artistry to the space. “Even if the functional items in kitchens are more beautiful and well designed now, you still don’t want a kitchen filled with only functional items. There needs to be a sense of artistry . As you’re designing, you have to think about how to incorporate art objects, like sculptures, or paintings, or sconces. You need to create an art layout.”

The design layout is also essential. “The kitchen is the heart of the home, and one of the most important rooms in the house – it’s used for entertaining, socializing and preparing meals,” Caren offers. “So it’s not all about appliances, materials and accessories. You have to ensure that the kitchen is designed and laid out to meet the homeowner’s needs. There’s really so much to this unique space. There are so many details to consider, and there are so many options. But done right, in the hands of a professional, it’s warm. It’s beautiful. It’s functional. And it’s seamless.”

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