Here’s a kitchen design question: What do you do in the kitchen? Do you eat in the same room you prepare the food? Do you regularly cook large multi-course meals for your huge family? Or are you more about foraging a quick snack from whatever you’ve got in the fridge? Maybe you do a bit of each. Now, what do you dislike about your kitchen? Do you have a drawer that you never use? Do your countertops seem buried under implements and gadgets? Are you constantly bumping your leg or head-butting a dangling saucepan every time you pirouette between the steaming hob and the fridge?
Just like a great meal, there are many ingredients that go into perfect kitchen design. Before construction begins, you need to think long and hard about what you want from your new kitchen design, and what you want to change from your current setup. So here are our ten vital tips to help you create your dream kitchen. And when you’ve whetted your appetite for a new place to really whet your appetite, come and speak to one of our design experts, and we’ll make your dream kitchen a reality.
No matter what space you have available for your kitchen, or the layout you want, be it galley, U or L-shaped, there’s one shape that’s very important – the kitchen triangle. Whatever shape your kitchen is, think about the way the sink, fridge and cooker top form a triangle. Keep them no more than six feet apart, and make a clear path between them. And then plan everything else in your kitchen around that triangle.
Now is the perfect time to figure out your storage needs. If you’ve got limited space, consider a separate utility space if possible where you can store all your large pans and rarely used appliances.
And remember, you can be smart with space. You could place knives on a magnetic strip, for example. And have you ever climbed onto your countertop to clean the dust and grime from the top of your cupboards? You may want to design your kitchen cupboards so they reach right up to the ceiling. Less cleaning, more space.
Also, consider aesthetics by mixing it up a little. Thin wine storage units and glass display shelving help break up large blocks of drawers and cupboards.
Even if you’re planning on a traditional farmhouse style kitchen, you can still throw in all those high-tech gadgets and make it work. A quality oven, sleek microwave, and stylish hob are both practical and essential.
So be sure to plan enough power sources, especially if you’re going to be changing things around in your current kitchen. Otherwise you’ll wind up with extension leads causing a trip hazard.
And don’t forget to factor attachments into your measurements. A dishwasher needs space at the back, for example, to connect a hose. Working these things out at the design stage will solve a lot of problems down the line.
Part of the pleasure of preparing food is the big reveal when you present your culinary creations to your salivating guests.
So if you’re looking to create a kitchen that’s all about your dinner parties and family occasions, it’s worth considering making a separate kitchen and dining room using a sliding door or screen. Not only do you have that element of surprise and intrigue, you can also collect the messy plates afterwards and make them vanish, never to be seen again by guests. If you install a sliding door, it’s easy to integrate the rooms again when enjoying more relaxed family dinners.
The Danish consider the kitchen the hub of the house. A place for relaxing, socialising and spending time with loved ones – not just eating. Something that’s becoming more popular in this country, too. Consider how your kitchen will factor into your house. Do you want stools and a breakfast bar, to make it a place where you can laugh and chat over tea and coffee? Somewhere you’ll help your kids do their homework away from distractions such as the TV in the sitting room?
Or maybe your dream kitchen design is the opposite, your bastion away from the distractions of the rest of the house. Either way, it’s vital to know how much of a social area you want your kitchen to be at the design stage.
A large table can be a marvellous centrepiece for a kitchen, but if it’s too large for the space you have, it can also be a magnet for bruised shins. So think about your spacing needs before you set your heart on a table. Try and give yourself 3ft of space between the sides of the table and the wall.
If space is at a premium, consider an extender to keep things small for regular family meals, with the ability to go large when required.
If you’ve got a smaller kitchen space, keep it light. Keep the colour scheme light, as darker schemes can make things seem smaller and less inviting. Try to get as much natural light in your kitchen design as you can, it’ll make the whole room seem more expansive.
Of course, once the sun goes down, you need good lighting to get the most from your kitchen design. As well as overhead lighting, consider under-cabinet lights. They illuminate countertops without casting shadows over you. And think about dimmer switches to add a bit of drama. You can go full light for food prep, to low light for more intimate meals and special occasions, such as bringing out the birthday cake.
Kitchen hoods are a must for clearing the air of grease, steam and smoke. They all make a certain amount of noise of course, but they do a vital job in keeping your kitchen fresh, whilst allowing the more pleasant aroma of your lovingly prepared ingredients to tantalise the nostrils of dinner guests.
Extractors take the kitchen air and replace it with fresh air from outside. Recirculators clean the air in the kitchen and recycle it. And no matter what style of kitchen you want, there’s an extractor that fits the bill, from a discreet pendant to a large, imposing chrome model. Cooker hoods are a must for any kitchen.
Nothing finds its way onto a sharp corner more effectively than a child’s elbow or knee. And nothing is more likely to fall down on a tile floor than a child in slippers carrying a glass of milk and plate of biscuits. So, if you have children, you may want a kitchen design that minimises these risks. Corners can be rounded off and a more slip resistant flooring can be installed.
Burns are always a big concern, of course. Keep ovens at adult height, to avoid accidental burns. Microwaves should be placed high up and knives kept out of reach.
And think about windows. Consider how easily you can keep your eye on the kids when they’re out there playing in the garden.
If the time has come to take your ideas out of the theoretical stage and make things happen, then come and visit our showroom. Anglia Factors have a team of experts who can help craft your ideas, and dreams, into the kitchen that you’ve always wanted. We can turn your thought and ideas into a solid plan, and then create it for you.