How often do you hear the saying, the kitchen is the heart of the home?
Whether you are a master chef or not, the majority of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Today’s kitchen is often where we gather as a family to start the day, to connect, prepare meals and plan family activities. And at the end of the day its where we gather again to reconnect, unwind, and refuel our bodies with good food and good times.
The once smaller utilitarian room that was separated from the rest of the living areas, dedicated to just cooking, is now the hub of the house where we not only cook our meals, but we entertain guests, study, work, get creative and spend time with family and friends.
How often do you find when you entertain guests that they all end up in the kitchen? It’s like a magnet. Its where the action is happening so people are naturally drawn to it.
That is why we now pay so much attention to designing great kitchens. Not only to function well as a cooking space, but also to look fabulous and inspire great interior design and lifestyle that connects with the rest of the home.
In this blog, I will share some of my tips to think about when designing your next kitchen hub. It is after all, the most important room of the house!
- What do you want to include in your new kitchen?
- How big is your family?
- Does everyone like to cook or cook together in your home?
- How much storage do you need?
- Do you need a lot of fridge space or more freezer space?
- What type of appliances do you use? Do you need additional appliances?
- Think about what you like and dislike in style, colour and architecture. Letting your architect or designer know what you dislike can be just as important.
Similar to laundries and bathrooms, space planning the layout early is crucial before the slab is poured and the plumbing and electrical points are set in concrete. Think about where the kitchen sink will be or if you will need power or plumbing up from the floor for an island bench.
What is missing or not working in your current kitchen? Is it a lack of storage? Lack of benches and workspace? A lack of light? Do you need more cooking capacity and more variety of cooking functions in your appliances? For example, would a steam oven function open up a whole new way of cooking for you? Ask yourself, would you use these functions? Would it make things quicker and easier? Could it potentially make your cooking healthier?
Think about your budget early and how much you can afford to spend. What are your project parameters? If you are renovating, clarify what areas are included and what areas are not.
Visit showrooms that regularly hold product demonstrations, particularly with cooking appliances, as technology is forever changing and improving the way we live. This will help you understand the new technology and help you decide what works for you. This can also help you identify what’s more important and how much you can allow for appliances within your budget.
The Working Triangle. What does it mean? The idea of the triangle in kitchen planning was to create efficiency and practicality by having the cooktop and oven in close proximity to the fridge and sink so you are not taking too many steps between each function and it was also important to avoid other household traffic flow through the kitchen during meal preparation. This design principle can still be applied to kitchens, but I feel it is a little out dated since it first started around the 1940’s. I believe it is not as relevant in today’s modern architecture as the kitchen is no longer a separate room to the rest of the house.
I feel the modern kitchen today is now designed around work zones that are integrated into the interior living spaces. Often including dining spaces, wine bars, meal tables and study nooks detailed as a feature in the new kitchen interior. More people are looking for open plan designs to stay connected with family while dining and entertaining guests. Also parents can watch over children while preparing food or clearing away items after meals.
Good design does not need to be complicated. Just use a little common sense, be practical and spend money on things that will last. Be careful of design fads. Look at classic colour palettes that give you opportunity to add trends within your décor, art and accessories that can easily be changed up as you tire of them and want a fresh look.