erfecting your kitchen design is a big and exciting job – and can be expensive too. Hours can be spent dwelling over ‘mood boards’ and design variations, and there's no denying that it can get stressful.
In this editorial, I hope to cover a few aspects of kitchen design, taking you through all the stages. So, if your current kitchen is outdated and needs a drastic makeover, or if you have a blank canvas to design your new kitchen from scratch, read on.
Today’s kitchen are more than just places to cook, they’re rooms in which we spend huge amounts of time. Not only do they need to offer the preparation and cooking facilities that suit all the home’s occupants, but they must also be stylish space we want to enjoy being in.
Proper kitchen planning is key if you want a successful kitchen design, and hopefully these few steps will get you there, whether you’re doing it alone or have called in the help of an expert.
Firstly, list the elements you want in your kitchen; cabinets, appliances, lighting, scullery etc. Analysing what you currently have in your existing kitchen versus what you need and want from your new kitchen design is key. Often, it's best to do this yourself before you goto a kitchen planner or kitchen designer, using what works in your kitchen now – and changing what really doesn't.
Draw up a detailed kitchen floorplan. With your list done, you can begin to work up a floor plan. When you design a kitchen, it’s important to understand the space you’re working with. Ask a kitchen company, or a designer, and make scale drawings of your kitchen's floorplan.
When you do your drawing, indicate the exact location (to scale) of doors and windows, so you have the best flow possible between your kitchen. You'll need to factor-in ‘zones’ in your plan if you're designing an open plan kitchen – your flow and movement.
Once you’ve done a drawing to scale, you’ll see exactly how much room you have to work with – and give you a clear idea of how much cabinetry you’ll need - and what you may need to spend.
When considering your kitchen design and layout ideas, think about how you use a kitchen - the kitchen layout should be designed to perfectly fit your lifestyle. Is it an open plan space, a tight little corner, or a room on its own? Focus on the layout of the working part of the kitchen first, that ‘working triangle’; The segments of the triangle represent traffic flow within a kitchen, ideally creating a rotational movement between the tasks of cooking (stove), chopping/peeling (sink), and storage (refrigerator). The three points should be near enough to each other to make meal preparation efficient but each work station shouldn't feel restrictive.
Once you've considered the starting points above, you can focus on the design elements. Do you want it to complement the style or period of your home or contrast it? To match the decor of your other rooms, or to stand out? What style of units do you want to go for? How will you use colour or bring texture into the room with materials? Once all these elements have been considered, you can start to put your kitchen planning into practice.
Some pointers on materials: Marble, granite and hardwood are the best and most hard-wearing material you can choose for your kitchen cabinets. Cabinets and cabinet doors that have a wood veneer tend not to last very long as the veneer layer can peel and chip. The same goes for particle board. However, both these materials are budget-friendly, so if you are trying to keep your cost at a minimum they might work for you.