Whether you are moving into an existing kitchen, remodeling the one you have or building a new one, working with a kitchen designer could be well worth the investment. These professionals can bring your remodeling project expertise and ideas that can result in a more beautiful and functional kitchen, run more smoothly.
A kitchen renovation can seem daunting at the outset because there so many elements to get right. It’s not just about creating a stunning design, but about planning for its practicality as well. Don’t worry — these pointers can set you on your way that gets things right.
1. How you use or would like to use, your kitchen. and about your lifestyle, tastes and habits. You could get a head start by making a list of your kitchen likes and dislikes, frustrations and wishes, to help you avoid the issues outlined below.
For this to happen, lifestyle, habits and kitchen requirements, as well as how many people live in your house, who likes to cook and what your preferred cooking style is. All this information should be used in the planning of your layout.
2. Not enough storage. One of the most common kitchen design problems resulting from poor planning is insufficient storage. This can easily lead to clutter, mess and frustration.
The trick is to assess what you own and decide how you will store it for convenient access. Carefully consider this challenge because poorly organized spaces often become daily irritations, impeding the pleasure of being at home.
3. Insufficient counter space. A lack of countertop space, or counters not being positioned where you need them, for just about every activity you’ll carry out in your kitchen.
The countertop forms part of the kitchen workflow, so this will help to determine where and how much of it you need. A common mistake is not leaving sufficient space next to or opposite a fridge or an oven.
During planning, it’s important to think about all the ways in which you currently use, or intend to use, your countertops. For example, you may want space for more than one person to cook at once, or maybe an area where your partner can sit and chat to you while you cook, or it may be important to include somewhere for the kids to do their homework.
4. Traffic in your working area. As suggested, you may want enough countertop space for more than one person to operate in your kitchen at once. However, you need to consider how to achieve this so that users don’t get under one another’s feet while trying to reach the fridge, oven or sink, but they are preventable through careful planning.
Consider three primary activity areas for easier cooking and flow
The Refrigerator Center
The refrigerator center serves as a receiving and initial food-preparation point in the kitchen layout. It is best positioned near the entrance from the direction of grocery arrival. Even if this arrangement is not the case in your kitchen, considering this function can help you determine how to begin organizing your kitchen storage space.
The Sink Center
The sink center should be between the refrigerator and the range center, or cooking area, for maximum efficiency. Since sinks get the most use and traffic of any spot in the kitchen, centrally located sinks and dishwashers work best.
The Range Center
Two configurations, a range or a cooktop with wall ovens, comprise the range center, where cooking food and preparation for serving takes place. Anything that involves the cooking process needs to be within the range center.
Also, use this location to transfer cooked food to serving dishes. Plan to store platters, bowls and other equipment used to get food to the table around the range center.
Consider the three-center concept flexible, and use it as a starting point to design your kitchen depending on how you plan to use it. Badly planned layout and workflow. A poor kitchen layout will make you work much harder than necessary and ultimately stop you from enjoying it.
5. Badly spaced cabinets and appliances. It’s important that cabinets and appliances, while well-positioned for easy use, are also well-spaced. Similarly, they shouldn’t be too far apart: For the sake of a smooth workflow, you shouldn’t have to take more steps between appliances than is necessary.
6. Poor ventilation. Appropriate ventilation — such as with a range hood — allows the removal of grease, steam and cooking smells. These can otherwise linger on you, your clothes or any furniture, which is especially unpleasant in open-plan spaces.
This is particularly relevant if your kitchen is part of open-plan living space, or is big enough that everyone frequently gathers in it. They should comfortably be able to have a conversation or hear the TV while someone else is cooking.
7. Inadequate room for trash and recycling. Including sufficient trash space to suit a household’s needs is something that’s often overlooked.
Often a trash bin is present and fits neatly within a cabinet so that it maintains the kitchen’s clean aesthetic (and conceals smells). But the reality is that the container is too small and fills up too quickly, meaning constant emptying. Or another common problem is that there’s no provision for separating and storing recyclables.
8. Insufficient task lighting. This kind of lighting is important, as it focuses direct light onto specific sites. These are mainly areas where you’re preparing and cooking food, such as the countertop, stove and sink areas.
Counters used for food preparation are often positioned directly under upper cabinets, so without additional lighting here, these cabinets can easily cast shadows and darken the surface, making cutting, slicing and other food preparation more challenging than it should be, or even potentially dangerous.
We all use our kitchens differently, and your designer should take your needs into account when positioning these items. So don’t be afraid to convey your wishes.
Although everyone wants an impressive look, most people also want a kitchen that will stand the test of time. So look ahead and consider whether you’ll still be happy with your design five, 10 or 15 years from now.