I don’t know about you but I feel that the heart of any home is the kitchen. This is a place where guests gravitate to during a party and where imagining, creating and tasting life’s simplest pleasures takes place. Me in a nutshell: I love to cook, eat and decorate so when the opportunity arrived that I could create my own dream kitchen from scratch… well I had to reach for the tissues I was so happy.
I’ve become an expert in relocating our family and have cooked in 6 kitchens since 2007. Toronto’s kitchen was my favourite, from our first home purchase. I learned a lot of valuable lessons – white tiled floors.. with two tiny children… such an amateur. The rest of my ventures were all rental homes so I could only “make it my own” with minor touches.
Now that my husband and I are proud home owners again he gave me full reins on which materials I wanted to use, location of appliances, colour palette and of course design. Set with a budget in my hand I immediately got to work.
What Europeans can do perfectly is work in small spaces. The cost of living in Vienna is pretty high. Depending on which district you choose to live you could be paying as high as €14,000 per square meter for an apartment.
Prices are higher closer to the city center, most evident in the high-end district of Innere Stradt (1st District). Apartments here can sell for 10,000 to 14,000 euros per square meter ($1,350 to $1,890 per square foot). In districts surrounding district 1, apartment prices are about 3,500 euro per square meter ($470/square foot).
So that being said living in a 45 square meter apartment could sound very small for the average North American. Not in Europe. Now, can you just imagine the size of that kitchen? Teeny tiny! Packing a life time of cook books, spatulas and dinner plates into a European kitchen might leave you thinking you can’t be organized. Thanks to super systems like these your kitchen will be neatly stocked and ready.
Let’s talk about appliances. First – Ventilation. I’m not a fan of those monster ventilation systems above the stove. Useful but an eyesore to look at. Since our stove top will be on the kitchen island I have found the perfect substitute to avoid the eye level distraction. A ventilation system that’s set up right on your stove top. No this isn’t the one that “raises” up at a push of a button. We knew that those systems are expensive, especially when you need to fix it. The photo below from Bora demonstrates it perfectly. My first thought upon looking at this system was “how long will it take before my son throws a piece of leggo in there?” They quickly assured me that it is easy to dismantle and can even be washed in the dishwasher (score!). Induction heat (= no burnt little hands) + easy to clean? “I’ll take it!”
You might recall that I have mentioned in an earlier blog that refrigerators here tend to be on the small side? At the moment I visit a grocery store as often as I visit the school to pick up my kids. So for our dream kitchen my husband and I have opted to buy a “full fridge” and a small freezer will be housed under the microwave/oven wall.
Speaking of ovens <squeal> we found the latest trend in cooking. I never knew this existed until I was presented with an oven that’s also a steamer! I bet you’re asking yourself “How does it work? ” <insert curious face> It uses a combination of steam (25%-100%) + hot air to give you a healthier & tastier dish. The steam enhances the flavours in your food by keeping moisture from being lost during the cooking process. No fat needed to keep things moist. One word. AWESOME! Chefs all across Austria swear by this.
Now that I have covered all the appliances lets talk about colour. I wanted something durable, easy to keep clean (NO white) and of course gorgeous looking.
Next125 “Quality, Function and Design” is the company that we chose to assemble our dream kitchen. It was a pleasure to work with the Design Consultants who created our kitchen to be functional, practical and of course beautiful! Since our kitchen is open to the main living area we chose neutral earthy tones. I fell in love with the Antique Brown Granite from the get go so our inspiration for this kitchen stemmed from this countertop.
The above are computer images to give us (my husband actually – he can’t visualize anything) an idea of what it will look like.
A lot covered but still I still have plenty of work to do. Flooring, faucets and more…. this project continues 🙂