Kitchen Design 101
There is no doubt that the kitchen is the most hardworking area of your home. You spend a few hours here every day putting together the family’s meals. And in case you’re entertaining, the kitchen becomes the centre of all the buzz, banter and deliciousness! Today, a well-designed kitchen isn’t simply a place to cook anymore; it has metamorphosed to assume the character of a space that is great to unwind in, celebrate in, and even have amazing conversations in. So when you’re thinking of renovating, re-designing or making small tweaks to this space, factor in efficiency, functionality, and go big on aesthetics to make the most of your time in this beautiful space.
I’ve put together a few quick design tips and ideas that will go a long way in helping your kitchens shine!
- When planning your kitchen layout, always remember the rule of the golden triangle. In the golden triangle, the kitchen sink, cooktop and fridge are positioned to represent the vertices of a triangle. This increases efficiency and helps you function better.
- Lighting contributes enormously to your kitchen’s ergonomics. Task lighting is ideal for your bench top, cook tops and other work surfaces, while general ambient lighting is great to illuminate the overall area. To add some decorative value, you could even consider pendant lighting and wall-mounted lamps.
- If you’re keen on a kitchen island, always remember that form follows function. In case you want to cook and eat on the island, ensure you plan enough space for both activities.
- Optimise your time in the kitchen by planning how and where you use your kitchen items. For instance: Stow all your breakfast items near the breakfast bar. All your plastic containers can be stored closer to the work surface. Similarly dishes and everyday crockery can be stored closer to the dishwasher, so unloading is easier and hassle free.
- Think stylish back-splash tiles to give your work area an instant face-lift and also protect your walls from food splashes. Glass tiles in a graphic mosaic pattern are all the rage these days!
- If you have a small kitchen, minimise the use of boxy blocks of doors and drawers, by opting for open shelving and glass door cabinets. What this does is increases the illusion of space and lends breathing room to your kitchen.
- Another design hack to make small kitchens appear larger is by opting for a lighter colour scheme in your choice of work surfaces and cabinetry. Natural lighting will also help visually expand the room, so windows are a big plus in your kitchen!
- Opt for lighter flooring tiles when you build or renovate your kitchen space as this is an evergreen style that never goes out of trend. What’s more, they make your kitchen area appear lighter and you won’t miss any splashes or stains, making the choice hazard-free as well. Also, when you select flooring, go with slip-resistant and high traffic endurance tiles that will ensure safety and also stand the test of time.
- Create as much storage area as possible. This will declutter your kitchen and also help you focus on the jobs at hand. Overhead cabinets that go all the way to the roof are a great idea for maximising storage in your kitchen. Opt for deeper drawers for your cooking pots and pans. Keep all access easy, and you’ll be amazed how functionally-sound your kitchen feels.
Kitchen Layout planning basics
The secret sauce to any successful kitchen layout is identifying and creating the 3 important zones; Prep, Cook & Clean.
- Prep: The prep zone is where you do all your preparation before cooking. This is where you’ll be chopping, washing and mixing. The ideal place for this zone is next to the sink, with enough counter space on both sides. To ensure easy access to chopping boards, knives and bowls, keep them within arm’s reach in this zone. If you need more prep space, an island may be the right way forward for you.
- Cook: The cook zone is where you’ll be cooking. To ensure your efforts are optimised, place the cooktop, oven and microwave in one location. For higher levels of efficiency, you can make arrangements to ensure your pots, pans, spatulas, spoons and spices are within easy access.
- Clean: The clean zone is made up of your kitchen sink and the dishwasher. Keep these together, so post cooking clean-up is quick and hassle-free.
Trends for 2017
With planning out of the way, here’s a quick look at the trends that will rule kitchens in 2017. For the same, I spoke to the senior designers at Hacker Kitchens Middle East to give you, my readers a quick low-down.
- Kitchens without handles: “2017 will see a lot of sleek, self-opening appliances,” says David McCreath, Senior Design Hacker kitchens.
- Texture: Texture, David points out will play a key role in design this year. He says, “It’s not only a beautiful visual experience, it also allows you to feel a difference in the materials as you work.” The key as he points out to making texture work for your kitchen is to integrate it practically by choosing materials that will sustain in the face of daily wear and tear.
- Strong colours: In terms of colour, Leigh-Ann Steele, another senior designer at Hacker Kitchens shares that, “Strong new colours such as dark velvet blue, titanium and metallic tones like gold and bronze are going to be in. This is a very rich and dark colour palette compared to the lighter trends of the past few years and is very exciting.”
- Technology: “Technology has taken over the kitchen with back-lit drawers and climbers that open at the touch of a button.We even have extractors that adapt to the height of each kitchen user,” says Leigh-Ann. Indeed technology has changed the way we interact with the kitchen. She makes an interesting point though, “Technology can enrich a kitchen, but it also has to also be functional.”
I hope you enjoyed our Kitchen 101 guide. If you have any questions about doing up your kitchen or renovating it, write to me and I’ll get our design experts to help you out with valuable tips and advice.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you pronto!
Feature photograph: Velvet Blue by Hacker Kitchens