Kitchen Message Areas
It used to be common to find a “catch-all” location in the kitchen where business cards, children’s art, errand lists doctor appointments, birthday and event calendars and emergency numbers were all thumbtacked and listed. It was the go-to cork, marker or fabric wrapped board hung on the side of the refrigerator or by a built-in desk area where bills were paid and phone books and one of the house phones were stored. Enter the Kitchen message area…
They were never fancy nor incorporated in to the overall design but no one really cared. They were just that common, always present in each home, offering a glimpse in to the woman’s organizational mind.
We have designed many kitchens for many clients with many different lifestyles and design styles. Each have unique tastes, unique households and unique ways of managing their homes and family lives. Some have mentioned their dependencies on a communication hub while others are more focused on adding elements that are more host/menu announcement specific.
If you research message board ideas on the internet, you will find everything from the crafts oriented ideas to the more integrated kitchen design concepts. They can be added in later or planned as part of overall design. It really depends on your usage, your preferences for visibility and your style.
If you prefer something out in the open, for family and company to see, consider putting it in a desk nook, on clear or tinted glass that offers easy write-on and wipe-off cleaning, hanging a large spool of paper that harkens back to old English scribes or within a shadow box that blends well with any art or casement design in your cabinetry. Chalkboard paint also works well for this, especially if you do not want the paper clutter. You can also identify which smaller walls are in the path of your family members but not front and center for guests to see.
This is the private and public planning consideration. It is not hidden but it is excluded from the overall design you most want to present to guests, and your own eyes.
Several years ago we began seeing A LOT of chalkboard paint incorporated in to kitchens. One wall is usually dedicated for creative pursuits, menus, family slogans and inter-family communication. More recently we are seeing it transferred to cabinets and doors. We do love the chalkboard facing on sliding barn doors to pantries and their smaller cabinetry versions, especially if the kitchens are more shabby chic or farmhouse in style. The personal touch blends well with the overall casual yet organized within a framed, contained area.
Backsplashes, framed glass or frameless glass you hang can be readily written on and later wiped away without a trace. Put colored paper, a more washed out artist print or fabric behind the glass to better incorporate in to your overall kitchen design. Make your own Mark Rothko background in a beautiful frame. Or, any other art that will not fight the overlay writing you most need to stand out.
Add wallpaper, decorative paper found at retail locations like Paper Source or fabric if raw or stained cork is not your preferred visual. If you are a scrapbooker you already know of the different materials, ornamental tacks and accessories you can add to create your own work of art. The size depends on your usage and the space allocated.
For hidden yet accessible message boards, seek out the interior cabinet door or a slide-out, extension board built-in to your cabinetry. You can also add a cabinet door to the side of your cabinetry that adds additional architectural detail when closed. Add a thin cork sheet, marker board paint or chalkboard paint on the two facing surfaces that only family members can see.
Interior Cabinet and Pantry Doors
No explanation needed. Hide everything away from view but make it your designated communication hub for all in household. Add a slim sheet of cork or marker or chalkboard paint to write down lists, appointments and emergency numbers.
An extra cabinet door added to the side of your upper cabinets can add architectural detail when closed and all of your family’s schedules when flipped open. Add hinges but handles are probably not necessary.
There are so many directions you can go in. Find your inspiration photos first and think about how your household is run.
Some may need a drill sergeant kitchen message area version while others are just seeking to create a menu board.
Have fun with it!