Kitchens are the most hard-working room in the home. In the modern household it is so much more than a place to cook and clean, it is the hub of the house, where people come together to eat, relax and socialise.
With all these different jobs to perform, getting the right custom designed kitchen is essential. Kitchens must, of course, be practical, but with an ever-increasing range of kitchen cabinets, kitchen appliances, kitchen worktops and kitchen accessories to choose from, the possibility also exists to create a stylish space that reflects your personality.
People use their kitchen in different ways depending on the amount of space they have to play with and their individual lifestyle, and there are a few basic guidelines that apply to any kitchen design and will provide the groundwork for designing your perfect kitchen.
Begin by separating your kitchen into different zones for cooking and work (food prep and washing). Your cooking zone includes your oven, hob or cooker, an extractor fan and a microwave if you have one.
Make sure this area is not in the pathway to a door or blocking the main thoroughfare through the room, as handling hot cookware while people are trying to walk past you is a recipe for disaster.
Other things to consider include leaving enough space next to the hob for setting down pans, allocating an area for serving up dishes, and making sure there is enough space in front of the oven for the door to open unhindered – a minimum of half a metre is a must.
The work zone is where you will have your fridge freezer as well as your kitchen sink, dishwasher and kitchen waste bin. These should all be as close together as possible so you can tip leftover food into the bin, rinse the plates then stack them in the dishwasher with minimum effort. You might want to position your kitchen cabinets and drawers for storing crockery and cutlery close by as well, for ease of putting away.
If you don’t have a separate utility room, you may also need to factor in a washing zone for your washing machine and tumble dryer. A combined washer-dryer will save space and can be tucked away behind kitchen unit doors when not in use.
In an open-plan kitchen, you will also need a separate dining and/or living area, placed as far away from the work zone as possible so as not to disturb anyone eating or relaxing in those areas. A breakfast bar is a smart way to squeeze in informal seating in a small kitchen.
Next week we will round this off by adding more detail by talking about layout and your kitchen style
Have a great weekend.
Clinton and Fiona