Kitchen Design at the Click of a Button
Need to know
- Be guided by designer’s experience
- Remember the magic triangle
- Keep decoration kitchen-proof – and simple
Kitchen designs are now available at the click of a button, thanks to computer-generated mock-ups. Just give the potential supplier your kitchen measurements and explain what you would like.
The information they will need to know includes what equipment you want in the kitchen, the type of units, the flooring, lighting, storage … the list goes on. The designer will know the right questions to ask and will make suggestions based on his or her experience of what works best.
The size and shape of your kitchen will, to some extent, dictate the equipment you have and where you put it. Beware of overfilling small kitchens unless you want permanent claustrophobia.
First decide where to site your sink, drainer and dishwasher. Try to retain the position of existing service points if possible, since re-wiring and re-plumbing can make a big hole in your budget. Alterations to existing wiring to incorporate track lighting above the work surfaces are well worthwhile, though.
Remember, too, the ‘magic triangle’ of sink, cooker and fridge. These three pieces of equipment should always be kept close together for maximum efficiency, with a food preparation area nearby.
If your kitchen is large enough to dine in, work out where to put the table or breakfast bar and stools/chairs.
Then decide what other equipment you want and how much space you will need for it. Remember that labour-saving items like food mixers and juicers need to be permanently at the ready. Similarly, plan how much storage space you will need for food, cutlery and crockery, cooking utensils, cleaning equipment, etc.
Your choice of units depends on personal taste, budget and lifestyle. Hard-wearing, easy-clean surfaces like wood, veneers or laminates are a boon for busy people and families with young children. Higher-maintenance glass and stainless steel are for those with time to care for them – or a cleaner!
When it comes to decoration, remember to use – or specify, if someone else is doing the work for you – grout that is resistant to heat, dirt and water. Similarly, choose special ‘kitchen and bathroom’ paint and wallpaper. Remember, when choosing tiles and paint, that a kitchen is a very ‘busy’ place so it makes sense to keep the walls fairly neutral to avoid visual overload.
When your kitchen is installed, think logically about where to put everything. Keep items you use regularly in the most accessible cupboards. Those you use infrequently can go in higher cupboards while heavier items should be stored in cupboards underneath the worktops.
Fitting a new kitchen involves a fair bit of upheaval and expense so it’s important to get it right. Your personal preferences, combined with your supplier’s expert guidance, should result in a room that meets all your needs for a kitchen that is efficient, aesthetically pleasing and a delight to use.
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