Kitchen Design Considerations:
Designing or remodelling a kitchen can be a daunting task. Whether you’re starting from scratch, completely refurbishing or making a few minor renovations, some basic know-how and handy tips will help make your kitchen design project a success.
- Stay focused on your needs and lifestyle
- Choose complimentary cabinets, counters, appliances, furniture and lighting
- Choose design elements for comfort and design
- Aim for a combination of function and style
Today's kitchen remains the heart of the home, the social hub where family and friends gather to
eat, meet, relax and celebrate.
A traditional kitchen kithcen layout should have three basic work centres or "stations":
- Food preparation area
- Cooking area
- Clean-up area
- When planning kitchen layout it is important to observe the natural "flow" in the kitchen.
- In what order are tasks done?
- How many people cook or prepare food at the same time?
- When you come home from shopping, you put the food away in the fridge and the pantry.
- Later, you take it out to rinse it, chop it and prepare it, then you cook it on the stovetop or in the oven.
- Finally, you serve it at the table.
- If the work stations are arranged to follow this order, your kitchen tasks are made easier.
- If more than one person is cooking or preparing food at the same time, a double sink will prove very useful.
The triangle and other functional shapes
- For many years, kitchen designers used the triangle principle as the ideal layout.
- Three most important elements in a kitchen – the refrigerator, cooktop and sink
- Thess elements should be laid out so that each represents one of the points of a triangle.
- Ideally the total perimeter of the triangle, should be between 15 and 26 feet.
- No distance should be longer than 9 feet
- The shortest distance between the sink and the cooktop – should be between 4 and 6 feet.
- Traffic flow through the kitchen should not pass through the work-triangle area.
Open Plan Kitchens
- Popularity of open-plan kitchens has led designers to rethink the idea.
- Current trend is to merge the kitchen with the adjoining dining room
- Many new homes are built on this model
- Traffic flows more freely
- Easier to manage tasks
- Open space lets in plenty of natural light.
- People can circulate freely and are not confined by four walls.
- Open-plan kitchens are often laid out in an "L" or "C" shape, occasionally an "F" shape.
Choosing the right appliances
- Choose carefully to meet your family's varied real needs.
- Kitchen appliances should be arranged in a logical layout
- The oven should ideally be near the pots and pans,
- The refrigerator close to the pantry
- Space permitting, a popular choice is to have a separate cooktop and a wall oven
- Choice of range hood must be suitable for the type of cooking, whether electric, gas or induction.
- The location of your hood will depend on whether or not it is vented to the outside.
- The style of hood has an impact on the overall look of the kitchen
- Consider microwave placement depending on frequency of use, cooking style and physical attributes
- Dishwashers raised by about a foot for easier access.
- Wine fridges are another lifestyle trend that is strongly influencing kitchen design
- Pot lights are popular because they are always in style and can be dimmed to change the mood.
- They are perfect for the ceiling and above the sink, as well as under cabinets.
- Dimmable pendant lamps are a good idea over an island or peninsula
- Above the table, a striking chandelier will add 'wow' factor and echo the style of the dining room.
Finishing touches: designers’ trade secrets
- An efficient kitchen is a well-organized kitchen.
- Pull-out spice racks
- Wall-mount utensil racks
- Slide-out shelves for pots and pans drawers
- Soft-close dampers for cabinet doors
- Be mindful of the move toward universal design
- Kitchen designers are increasingly incorporating a walk-in pantry.
- A small countertop may be included to keep the coffee machine and toaster out of sight.
Materials and colour
- Have fun choosing your decor style.
- Large floor tiles lend a contemporary feel
- Mouldings around the ceiling create a more classic look
- Pale colours will make the room appear larger.
- Durable, noble materials like wood and natural stone make sensational countertops.
- Renovating the kitchen is an investment.
- A well-designed kitchen that is both chic and functional will increase your home's resale value.
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