4 Things to Consider Before Designing a Kitchen
Often used as a casual dining room, makeshift study and entertaining area, the kitchen is no longer just a space for cooking. One of the busiest zones of the home, the kitchen is tasked with all sorts of day-to-day family needs and requires a multi-functional design in order to keep up.
While a kitchen redesign gives you the opportunity to create a kitchen tailored to your specific needs, it also comes with a lot of decision-making. That’s why we’ve put together this kitchen-design checklist to help you remain calm and achieve the kitchen of your dreams.
Whether you’re renovating or starting from scratch the first step in kitchen design is to decide on your layout. Ask yourself what functions your kitchen needs to fulfil — this should help to create zones within the space. Ensure there is ample room for cleaning, food and equipment storage, food prep and cooking. If you are planning on entertaining or using the space as a multipurpose area, make sure you factor it into your layout. It’s all about creating a nice flow — you don’t want to be opening your dishwasher and closing off half the kitchen as you do so.
There are six common kitchen layout styles: Galley, wall, G-shape, U-shape, L-shape and island. Opting for a combination of styles can often lead to the most effective kitchen. Adding an island bench to a U-shape or wall kitchen instantly opens up the area, allowing for additional functions to be carried out; perhaps an informal dining area or mini office zone.
The working triangle — the distance between your cooktop, fridge and sink — is another helpful tool in the design layout. The most efficient spaces allow 1200mm between each station to ensure kitchen congestion is kept to a minimum.
Deciding on the style of your kitchen early on will help you throughout your entire design process. From cabinetry choices to decor, having a specific style will make the decision process much easier, and your overall aesthetic, more cohesive.
Search through Pinterest and interior magazines to research styles that you can see working for you and your family: It could be anything from industrial to minimalist and sleek or Hamptons beach style. Refrain from trend-focused styles that run the risk of becoming outdated, fast.
Splashbacks are a clever way to inject personality into a kitchen. With options like tiles, glass, stone and mirror to choose from, splashbacks allow you to indulge your creative side and immediately lifts a kitchen’s style quotient.
Splashback trends are always coming and going so unless you’re sure of the look you’re after, it’s best to choose a timeless style. If your kitchen has a nice view or backs onto the garden, a glass splashback works magic — the window will open up the kitchen and is a clever way to bring some outside life into the home.
While they may seem like just a small accessory in the wider scheme of your kitchen design, handles contribute to your kitchen’s overall feel. Handles work as small style statements, solidifying the theme of your kitchen. If you’re aiming for a modern kitchen, opt for silver, thin and reflective handles. Matte black or larger button-style handles can have an artful, more quirky impact.
Lighting plays a much larger part in your kitchen’s efficiency than most people realise. If your kitchen isn’t adequately lit, you won’t feel like spending time there. Some lighting options are impossible to install later (such as under-cabinet lighting), so if you’re wanting to be creative ensure you plan beforehand.
Start with your ambient lighting — your all-purpose lighting — first. Ensure there is an equal balance of light throughout the space. It’s important to nail your ambience lighting as it will help to establish your kitchen’s overall mood.
Next, consider your use of task lighting. Task lighting is all about targeting specific areas of your kitchen that may need an extra hit of light. Small nooks, preparation counters and work zones will be more user-friendly when adequately lit.
Finish your lighting design by choosing your pendant, decorative lighting. Always keep your kitchen’s size in mind when choosing your pendants — if your lighting is too large for the space, your kitchen can be left feeling cluttered and overbearing. Always refer back to your overall lighting plan and kitchen style, and ask your supplier for advice before purchasing.
4. Power and Appliances
Never underestimate the need for power. These days there is more need than ever for extra powerpoints, with smaller appliances such as mobile phones and tablets requiring constant charging. Coffee machines, rice cookers, coffee grinders — you name it! Be realistic with how many sockets your household will require and always consider the best location for each in relation to your layout.
When it comes to choosing your appliances, the options are endless, with design and functionality features designed to work for all types of households. Take some time to think about your family’s needs — and, of course, your ‘wants’. Do to have your cooktop and oven located together or separately? Does your kitchen require a fridge with single or French doors? Always make sure you plan out where all your appliances will be located before purchasing.