The Kitchen - Part 1- The design
In this series of posts, we will discuss the most important area of your home, the kitchen,
Life revolves around the kitchen, it’s no longer the place that is only for meal preparation and cleaning up.
It’s where the kids do their homework, a great place to sit and have a coffee, have a casual celebration, late-night talks, and of course preparation of meals.
For all these reasons and more, it’s important that your new kitchen is efficient, comfortable and the place you want to spend a lot of time.
No idea where to start?
Hopefully the ideas and suggestions in this series of posts will help you with designing and fitting out your dream kitchen.
When thinking about the design of your home, you need to consider the overall impression of your kitchen:
Do you want your kitchen to be the main hub of your home?
Is it going to be more for meal preparation and clean up only?
What is the atmosphere you want to create?
Forever home, rental or Spec home
When designing your new home, you should take into consideration whether it will be your forever home, a potential rental, unit developments, or a spec home.
Something to think about, if this is not going to be your forever home, is that colours and finishes you select should be as neutral as possible. Neutral colours and tones will appeal to a broader range of potential home buyers.
A practical layout
An efficient kitchen layout is generally based on three main elements: storage, preparation and cooking.
To have an efficient working kitchen, everything should be within comfortable distance of each other, and still allow enough space to work comfortably.
If they are too close to each other, you will be struggling for a comfortable work space. If they're too far apart, you'll find yourself walking around the kitchen far too much.
Storage – Space, space and more space
Storage is critical in every size kitchen. These days, people have so many appliances. Rice cookers, bread makers, steamers, blenders, juicers, multi-cookers and lots more, it’s great to have somewhere to store them easily, without having them sit on the bench.
The current trend is for kitchens to have a scullery – pot drawers, bin recesses and microwave recesses and also provide practical spaces for storage which are well worth considering.
Benchtops are an integral part of the kitchen. As well as being the first prominent feature when looking at the kitchen, colour and profile are extremely important.
If you need more bench space, with stone (engineered or natural) it's possible to have an extended overhang to the benchtop or island bench. It's ideal if you need a generous breakfast bar. Engineered stone benchtops are very popular at the moment, are extremely versatile and offer a classic, but modern look.
Add a splash of colour
When deciding on the colour scheme for your kitchen, consider the rest of the home, your furniture, new or old, and see where you can add a splash of colour without compromising the overall effect of the kitchen. Consider the colour of your fridge, appliances and dishwasher, as these items will not be the same colour or texture as the cabinets or benchtops.
You can add a splash of colour by adding feature tiles or coloured splashback.
An E-zone is an area set aside for electronic devises, sometimes it can just be a benchtop, with no cupboard underneath.
When designing your E-Zone, you should consider whether it will be a place to sit and work on a tablet or computer, or just a spot to charge your electronic devices.
Splash backs can be made from ceramic tiles, engineered stone, stainless steel and glass. The trend over the last few years has moved away from ceramic tiles to the clean lines of engineered stone and glass splash backs.
Each product has it’s own pro’s and con’s and is purely up to the individual design.
However, one thing to note, is that you can’t put engineered stone behind the hotplate as it will not stand up to the heat.
A lot of new home designs now are including a scullery or butlers’ pantry off the kitchen. Some clients are including the laundry as part of the scullery.
There is nothing more annoying than moving into a new home and not having enough electrical points or the lighting is not good enough in your kitchen. You should think of all the appliances that you have and where you are likely to use them. Then make sure you have enough power points to cover all the appliances and placed exactly where you need them, including the correct height.
Think about whether you are going to have shadows from the placement of your lights when standing at your work surfaces. In a double storey home, if you have a concrete slab, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to change the position of the lighting.
When it comes to designing your home, it’s important that your home designer understands the requirements and that it suits your needs, including religious beliefs.
Earlier last year one of our clients asked us to incorporate a Kosher Kitchen, 2 kitchens adjacent to one another , 1 for meat and one for dairy, into their new home to suit their dietary needs as part of their cultural beliefs.
Photo Courtesy, The Kitchen Design Centre & Pinterest
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