The kitchen is the social hub of your home. So a light, well-designed kitchen not only adds to the enjoyment from your home, but also boosts it's resale value! With open-plan living being on everyones wish list, the kitchen needs to make a strong, cohesive design statement, not just be practical.
A light, bright kitchen is something most people crave, as is ample bench space and a breakfast bar for casual meals. Ideally you need at least two different bench spaces, one for preparation and another for serving food.
While you need space for things such as storage and work surfaces, you definitely want to be able to move around without bumping into cabinets but keep in mind that a very large kitchen is not always the best. Traffic movement is a vital consideration in a good kitchen design, think about the way doors open and how many there are and don't forget to leave wall space for tall storage.
A rule of thumb is to step out three big steps in each direction. This allows space to bench and reach for cupboards doors to open. Try to incorporate the triangle from fridge to stove to sink for it's practical value. This generally functions well and keeps walking to a minimum. A central island bench is a useful addition, add power points and you have an easily reached appliance centre.
Place the oven in the safest position and plan for bench space on both sides, if possible, so you have somewhere close by to put hot food.
Ample storage will always be essential. Storage is another sometimes overlooked necessity in a kitchen, especially 'dry' storage space. Try to include a walk in pantry or if space is tight, consult a company like Hafele that specialises in clever storage solutions. You might be surprised what you can do with an awkward corner cupboard, with under-shelf and pull-out storage.. But make it a priority to keep the pantry storage close to the preparation area.
Plan to have plenty of handy drawers, shallow as well as deep, are one of the best ways to store everything from pots and pans to china. Pull them out and you can see at a glance what you've got. Include a drawer just for the pot lids and eliminate all the time and frustration of hunting down a saucepan or casserole lid that has slipped deep into the pot drawer. Have a drawer constructed with special compartments so the lid stand vertically and are easily reached.
A cupboard for small appliances is a must. Build a wide and deep cupboard which will take the toaster, blender, juicer and coffee machine. Equip it with power points, a light and space for a chopping board, install easy out of the way doors or rollers and the mess of prep can be hidden away in seconds.
When you're planning your new kitchen, pay special attention to lighting work surfaces and serving areas. There's nothing worse than working in your own shadow.
Choose your materials wise for your kitchen. Benchtops made from solid materials such as natural (marble/granite) or engineered stone (Caesarstone) are very easy to clean compare to timber. Just make sure that whatever you choose it's the best quality you can afford, that it's water- and stain-resistant and easy to maintain.
To finish off the look add some colour with accessories. There are so many fun and bright tea towels available, bold coloured pots and pans, carry through with serving dishes. Don't forget fruit and vegetables are always good for a pop of colour, a glass bowl with green apples or fresh lemons are the perfect kitchen bench colour pop.
Consult an expert and save money! An Interior Designer can help you save time and money by ensuring the layout is the best it can possibly be and by suggesting things you may never thought of. But to get the best out of your design consultant, you need to do your homework first.
Now look at all the glamour shots in designer magazines, make your ultimate wish list, keep your favourite 5 looks to show and last but not least look into your budget and set goals.
What are you cooking for dinner tonight?
*All kitchen cabinetry, design and material specs are specified, sourced and supplied by Ruth at Kaamer Design* Please don't hesitate to contact Ruth if you need design advice.