Today’s kitchens will often be the heart of the home. Therefore, careful planning is necessary to assure a kitchen that’s both beautiful and seriously functional. This guest post from RW JOINERY, a local kitchen fitter in Northwich offers some great ideas on kitchen design.
- Reduce wasted steps. Before anything else consider where and how you use the products in your kitchen. Store breakfast ingredients and containers near the breakfast table. Keep wraps and plastic containers in a handy spot next to a work surface for wrapping leftovers. Locate dishware and flatware at the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.
- Design the kitchen with wider walkways. Paths throughout a kitchen should be around 36 inches wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas keeping that in mind.
- Think about foot traffic. For kid-friendly kitchen designs, cooktops are an especially dangerous aspect of the kitchen, give some thought to their placement, particularly if you have young children running around.
- Keep clear of corners. To make cabinet and appliance doors completely functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Appliances ought to be kept away from corners and do ensure doors don’t swing into each other when opened at the same time
- Find the correct height for the microwave. This will vary in line with the chef and the general kid character of the area. For adults, 15 inches over countertop level is a great microwave height. For youngsters, a below-countertop setup may be safer and more suitable.
- Consider the function of the Island. When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. With safety in the mind, if you plan to cook and eat on the island plan enough space between the cooktop and dining space.
- Arrange landing space. When designing your kitchen, allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is likewise important next to the microwave.
- Consider the countertops. A large work surface will be necessary for chefs who like to cook — if possible between your range and sink. Incorporating a system with 2 different countertop heights will help make baking easier when youngsters are involved in meal prep.
- Double up. A second microwave oven and a mini refrigerator or refrigerator drawer positioned at the edge of the kitchen work center will help keep snackers out of the cook’s way. You could consider adding a snack bar with seating as a spot for the kids after school.
- Arrange the range. Have a shelf fitted behind the range to keep your spices and cooking oils. Place S-hooks on the side of the range hood to hang regularly used pots and pans.
- Fill it up. Tired of lugging water-filled pots from the sink to the cooktop? A swing-out tap — also known as a pot-filler — installed next to the cooktop fills pots near where you heat them.
- Be sharp when storing knives. You can hang your knives on a magnetic strip on the backsplash. This will help keep them out of the reach of little ones whilst making them easy to spot and grab as required by the chef.
- Make recycling easy. Consider having a cabinet for recycling old newspapers, food waste, glass and plastics, keeping each container separate from the other makes for hassle-free recycling.
- Think short. Put kids’ favorite dishes and snack foods on shelving they can reach.
- Add a message center. Establish a message center close to the kitchen telephone. Place a bulletins board, chalkboard, or whiteboard on the wall, and store a calendar, notebook, and writing utensils in a close by cupboard.
- Plug it in. Power sockets can be installed along the backsplash and the kitchen island so you have enough power points wherever you need them.
- Cut cleaning time. Careful design decisions make cleaning easier. Glass fridge shelves are preferable to wire shelves because the glass will catch spills which wire isn’t going to. Flush-set or undermount sinks don’t have a crumb-catching rim to worry about. Matte finishes don’t show dirt as much as glossy ones do.
- Break up blocks of cabinetry. Stay clear of uninteresting, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding appealing details such as glass doors and display cabinets. Or consider wine storage or windows.
- Use lighter colours in a smaller kitchen. Dark colours tend to make a space less inviting then light colours and can shrink an already small space. Use soft shades on kitchen cupboards and and you can make use of natural light to visually expand a small room.
- Give your kitchen a focal point. Splashy tile, fancy floors, sizable range hoods, bright kitchen cabinets, and busy worktop patterns can give you far too much to look at. Choose one focal point in the design of the kitchen and supplement that area with some other more subtle, eye-catching details.
About the Author:
RW Joinery is a Check a Trade approved Carpenter in Northwich who specialise in the designs and fitting of new kitchens. Examples of their work are available on their website.