The Kitchen has to be one of my absolute favourite rooms in the house… Now you may be wondering why, especially as I’m not the best cook in the world!! But it’s where, no matter who’s house you visit of a weekend or evening, everyone congregates.
Not only for entertaining reasons, I love the kitchen because it’s where many of the home activities take place. Cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, socialising – these are only a few of the happenings that go on in the kitchen!
Take a look at my previous post on how a stylish kitchen can enhance your healthy lifestyle!
It is for these very reasons that the kitchen needs to be both a practical and aesthetically pleasing space to be in. The organisation and layout of the room is essential to its success of all the activities that happen here.
This week, I have focused on the Kitchen in particular and rounded up the four key principles of creating the perfect kitchen at home.
Are you ready?
The Kitchen Triangle
Many designers follow the “Kitchen Triangle” principle when designing or improving a kitchen. For those that may not be aware of what this is exactly, this is when the sink, oven or hob and refrigerator are all positioned at three points of a triangle.
The reason why many specialists do this is to ensure that when you’re using the space for cooking, the main three areas are closely positioned to each other.
Typically, the sink will see the most action, but it is important to ensure that this triangle principle is adopted where possible.
Regardless of size or arrangement of your kitchen, the legs of the triangle should be no smaller than 3 metres or larger than 7.5 metres. If it’s too small, people will be working on top of each other and similarly if it is too large then preparing food is likely to be a tiring task.
Never ignore the power of a good Kitchen triangle! The perfect kitchen design has the triangle well executed.
Adequate Storage Space
Following on from the Kitchen Triangle, it is just as important to ensure that there is enough storage and food preparation areas.
Generally speaking, we have a lot of “gadgets” these days, and the Kitchen comes with just as many… Items such as handheld blenders, food processors etc… The list goes on! But these all need somewhere to “live” in the kitchen, and without adequate storage these would add clutter to our worktops.
Make sure you allow for enough storage cupboards and drawers in your kitchen so everything can have a “home”.
One mistake I see time and time again with new kitchens is not having enough storage space. Think about the items you have – and that includes everything that may be lingering at the back of your cupboards! It’s good to make a list of all these kitchen items you have, so you can plan new storage space accordingly.
The great thing about modern kitchens is that there are a lot of variety in storage units and cupboards that you can choose from. Large, deep drawers for example are actually extremely useful for storing pots and pans.
Consider incorporating a “larder” cupboard in your kitchen where all the dried and canned food can be stored. If you’re lucky to have space available, even having a worktop surface within this cupboard could then house the kettle / toaster / coffee machine so all of these items are neatly stored away and out of sight. This then takes the pressure off other cupboard space.
Another area for storage that is really helpful is upper cabinets. If you have a particularly tall kitchen, make sure you try to use all the available height here so you can add more storage above appliances. Keep a number of higher cupboards for those kitchen items and small appliances that you perhaps use infrequently. It might go without saying but keep all your regularly used utensils etc in the lower cupboards and drawers.
Another aspect of the Kitchen which is extremely important is the countertops / work surfaces.
Not only is it about having enough working areas for food preparation, it’s also important to ensure that the material you choose is practical for the space.
Nowadays many people are keen to have an island incorporated into the design of their new kitchen. Or even a breakfast bar.
If you have the space to do so, without overcrowding the space then I would urge to you add one if you can. I believe these are really important for the social side of the kitchen, as well as the obvious added worktop space.
They add another area of the room which can be used for conversation when entertaining, whilst also providing more working space for food preparation.
For the material of the countertop / worktops, it is important to consider the best material for its use and trying to look at it from a practical point of view before thinking about its aesthetic qualities. It is worth taking the time getting this material right.
Granite worktops are one of the most popular worktop materials, and it’s no surprising given its hard-wearing qualities but it can be very expensive.
Marble is another modern option which looks luxurious and can be cost effective (depending on the type you choose). It can however, stain easily because it’s a porous material and can scratch.
Contrary to this, hard wood worktops are cheaper than many stone options and can look great with age. However they can scratch and stain easily.
Laminate kitchen worktops are becoming more popular as they can be a very cost effective and versatile solution. They can be made to look like more expensive materials whilst being relatively cheap, easy to clean and maintain and are very hard-wearing. The flip-side to this though is that they can chip and peel.
If you’re considering a laminate worktop, it is worth thinking about Corian as an option as they can be extremely practical surfaces. You will need a specialist to install these though.
It is really important that when you’re deciding on which worktop material to use that you explore all the options available. Speak to professionals if you’re considering stone worktops to fully understand the maintenance that can be required.
Complimentary Finishes and Style
As with any room in the house, the finishes to the Kitchen need to be well considered.
It is important to think about what material and finish you’ll be using on the horizontal planes of the room, such as the flooring and worktops. Make sure these work well together as they can be seen closely together. Even though one surface is higher than the other, the horizontal planes of the room are the most visually dominant.
As with any Interior Design, consistency is key with the materials / finishes and overall style that is chosen for the Kitchen.
Are you creating a contemporary and modern look kitchen? Or perhaps it takes design cues from Farmhouses so it’s more of a classic approach?
Whatever the style you’re working towards achieving, make sure it is consistent and complimentary to any room that may be within close proximity. For example, your kitchen may be attached to your Dining Room that has a certain style. In this case you would need to consider the kitchen finishes in-line with your existing Dining Room.
I really hope you have found these four principles for creating the perfect kitchen helpful! They are areas of kitchen design that shouldn’t be ignored, and should be well thought through before embarking on the improvements.
What do you consider to be the most important things when designing a kitchen? Have you recently re-designed your kitchen? Share your thoughts below in the comments! I’d love to hear how you’ve got on.
Featured Image, Patricia Gray Interiors – http://www.patriciagrayinc.com/index.php