10 Top Tips for Kitchen Design
When redesigning a kitchen, put function first, there’s no ideal kitchen shape. Whether it’s a galley, U- or L-shaped, plan for the sink, fridge and oven/hob to form a triangle, with no more than 6 feet between each for ease of movement.
One of the biggest mistakes people make at the planning stage is not allowing for enough storage. Use every nook and cranny. Put overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a gap on top that collects dust. Consider deep drawers for easier access to pots and pans, and include enough storage for appliances that otherwise would clutter up countertops.
Lighting is one of the most undervalued design features of a kitchen. Unlike in other rooms of the house, overhead lighting is insufficient in kitchens. In the kitchen, you don’t want the light behind you, casting a shadow on the workspace. You need it positioned to fall in front of you. There are so many differing lighting options it is important to consider what is available to you. Ceiling lights, pendant lights, under-cabinet lighting, plinth lights and many more.
Be sure there are sufficient power sources for relocated or new appliances. Many people realise too late that they don’t have the right gas or electric lines. It is also key to measure appliances to ensure that they fit comfortably into allocated spaces. If a dishwasher is crammed in, it could push up against the hose and won’t drain properly.
Make your kitchen as safe and family-friendly as possible by planning for good visibility to your garden and indoor play areas from the cooking area. Also, consider such safety-conscious elements as rounded countertops, slip-resistant flooring. Install an induction hob and locate ovens at adult heights to minimize the chances of accidental burns.
Don’t forget to plan for rubbish and recycling bins. Do you want built-in bins cleverly disguised behind a cabinet door, or a sleek, stainless-steel bin that’s positioned out of the way?
When it comes to flooring, consider slip-resistance, ease of maintenance and porosity. Stone floors, which are somewhat porous, for instance, may need periodic resealing. If so, ask how often, and think about whether you want to deal with that process. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but be aware that over time will show wear by the fridge, stove and sink. Hard, natural stone works wonderfully, and the earthy look and feel of it is very popular. Rubber and vinyl floors are making a comeback and are a warmer option.