Kitchen Design Enhances The Home
When in friends' homes, there is one room where most if not all the entertaining takes place. Whether you are having a party, BBQ or just popping over to friends for a coffee, this room is where most of the interaction takes place and where most people congregate.
That place is the kitchen, and it is an area of the house that gets used so often there is more often than not a TV to watch in the kitchen, or at least one can be viewed from the kitchen.
It is said by those in the property business that kitchens and bathrooms make a sale.
So, if the kitchen in a house has some design problems, selling the house could be challenging.
There are a few common kitchen problems people have, some of which can be addressed quickly and others would require a kitchen redesign.
Common Kitchen Design Problems
Here are some fairly standard kitchen problems people seem to have.
To prevent having kitchen design problems, one thing to do as you walk around a kitchen is to look for the location of items used most often and assess if their location makes the kitchen practical to use. As a kitchen that looks sleek and modern may not necessarily function properly.
The location of the sink, refrigerator and the stove is known as the traditional working triangle.
Even though the traditional working triangle is still in use today, the items that form the triangle may differ slightly.
For instance, microwaves are used as much, if not more than a stove; we also see more cooktops and ovens located in different parts of the kitchen; this, therefore, needs to be factored in when designing a kitchen.
There are more appliances in kitchens today, leading to the working triangle evolving into having kitchen work zones, where each zone focuses on a particular device or task.
Having a well thought out work zone that includes all the appliances used most often, will make the drabbest looking kitchen functional and a comfortable place to prepare meals.
Just remember the kitchen work zone needs to be clear of any obstruction and have enough space, so people do not trip over each other.
Not having enough space in the kitchen can be frustrating and can make preparing meals even more laborious than it usually is. As it is the use of space, that determines if a kitchen is going to be functional.
Planning adequate counter space is one way to reduce the need to redesign your kitchen in the future, as not having enough is an issue that comes up time and time again when people discuss what they would change about their kitchen design.
Always bear in mind counter space is not only used for cooking, it is also used for storing appliances that are in constant use or are too large to store anywhere else.
In other words, the counter space may have been enough when the kitchen was first designed, as time passes and with the purchase of more gadgets needing storage, the countertop becomes additional storage space meaning; there is less space left on the counter to use for cooking preparation.
With all the gadgets used in the kitchen along with the accessories that go with them, having adequate storage is needed in the kitchen.
When looking at storage in kitchen designs, always factor in your future storage need. Ask yourself if it can accommodate the size of all your current appliances, crockery, utensils, pots and pans with space left over for any new kitchen items?
More lighting is better than less in any kitchen design
Never overlook lighting when designing a kitchen. It is best to have too much lighting rather than not enough.
Other than needing to see when cooking to ensuring meals look appealing before serving, we need good lighting in kitchens to read recipes, the back of packets, cooking instructions and food labels.
Good lighting is also required when handling gadgets used in making meals. Using a sharp knife when there is poor lighting is not recommended.
Not getting these areas right can lead to years of frustration in the kitchen and ultimately another reason to redesign your kitchen sooner than you would like.
Kitchen Design Options
If a room is plumbed in, it can become a kitchen!
Centuries ago, there were no separate kitchens, and meals were prepared in the same place people lived in, bathed, slept, cooked and ate.
The same space was used for multiple things.
As time went on chimneys started being built into homes, which in effect gave the kitchen its space.
Fast forward a few more centuries and kitchens began to have a dedicated space in homes, usually a dedicated room, which also had a sink in it.
It was not till the early to mid 20th century when kitchens, as we know them today, came into being.
These were known as fitted kitchens where appliances had the ability to be integrated (fitted) into cabinetry or at the very least; there was space left for appliances to fit effortlessly into any kitchen design.
The fitted kitchen evolved during the late 20th century into the designer kitchens we now see. Along with this, appliances also evolved with people not only wanting function, but there was also an appetite for appliances to look like art pieces that can be proudly displayed in open plan kitchens.
Kitchen Design Layout
When designing a kitchen, there are many factors to take into consideration like the type of kitchen style you want - classic, traditional, modern, what appliances you have and would want in your new kitchen, what the latest trends are and the materials you want to use.
Questions like the ones below would also need to be answered:
- Do you want all appliances on display or stored in cupboards?
- How often would you cook in the kitchen vs. order takeaways?
- Do you want to eat all meals in the kitchen or just some meals?
- Where is the kitchen located in your home?
- How much space is available to be used as a kitchen?
These questions need to be answered so the best kitchen layout can be created for the space available.
Types Of Kitchen Design Layout
As there are only six kitchen design layouts used in any kitchen design, there is always a high expectation that the final kitchen design would be visually appealing and functional, which can be achieved by organising your kitchen into zones rather than into just the traditional work triangle. Therefore, choosing the right one from the outset is essential.
Remember the amount of space available for the kitchen is a major factor when deciding on a layout.
This type of kitchen is best when space is limited and is ideal when only one person would be cooking in it at a time.
It consists of cabinets and countertops fitted to two walls that face each other.
There is a walkway between the walls, which usually measures about a metre.
So space is used efficiently, the upper part of the wall has cupboards on both sides. The cooktop and sink often face each other, and the rest of the surfaces on the lower walls are countertops and more cupboards.
This type of kitchen will be ideal if your kitchen has to be in a hallway.
Single Wall - ‘I-Shaped Kitchen.'
Usually found in small apartments and studios.
Cupboards, cooktop, refrigerator, oven, sink, microwave and all other appliances are on one wall.
This type of kitchen will be ideal if the kitchen and living room has to share the same limited space.
Unlike the galley kitchen, the L-shaped kitchen has no walkway between walls.
It does, however, have a corner section, which involves more thought being put into the design to prevent the corner space from being wasted space.
The shape of this type of kitchen suits having a little table for eating meals or working in the kitchen.
Like the galley kitchen and single wall kitchen, it is also best suited for one person cooking.
U-shaped kitchens have three walls of cabinets and appliances.
Unlike the other types that use either one or two walls.
This kind of kitchen also lends itself to more than one person being able to cook in it at the same time, as there is enough space within the U shape for people to move around.
There is much versatility that comes with an island kitchen.
Having an island kitchen adds additional counter and storage space to a kitchen, which is always needed.
Adding seats to an island turns it into an informal place to eat meals, a place to work, a place to prep or cook food if the cooktop is located on the island
Its versatility is one of the main reasons people like islands. It also acts as a divider to separate the kitchen area from other parts of the house.
If space permits, adding an island can turn an L-shaped kitchen into a U-shaped kitchen and a one wall kitchen into a galley kitchen.
This type of layout adds to either an L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen. It turns an L-shaped kitchen into a U-shaped one.
The ability to change the layout is handy when there isn't enough space to have three full walls with cabinets due to space constraints.
It also turns a U-shaped kitchen into a G-shaped kitchen. This is like giving the kitchen its own room in the house.
Unlike islands that require a lot of clearance space around it, the peninsula kitchen uses less space. The extra bench top can also be used to eat meals, do work and prep meals.
Two people can use this type of kitchen at the same time.
Whatever type of design you base your kitchen on, utilise all corner spaces; have a junk drawer; a place for kitchen linen and a place to hang your glamorous aprons.
Also, do not forget to have a place for all bins factored into the kitchen design.
Kitchens have evolved over time. Starting with it being a place that didn't have a dedicated space to now having pride of place in homes.
Before deciding on the best kitchen design for you, list out everything that needs to fit into your new kitchen. Also factor in any additional items you may acquire for the kitchen at a later date.
Minimise wasted space; work with a kitchen designer to get the kitchen design you want. Remember to choose cupboards and drawers that work well within it.
Have adequate lighting, power outlets and plenty of countertop space for working and storing appliances.
By properly planning your kitchen, you are guaranteed to enjoy preparing meals and entertaining people in it.