The first of all kitchen design tips is to consider your layout and workflow. As the kitchen is often considered the heart of your home, it is important to get the pulse right to make it function correctly.
Often your kitchen layout is restricted by the structural layout of your house. However, when you consider your everyday kitchen activities and arrange your kitchen to suit, you can design a kitchen that not only looks good, but one that is practical and functional and fit for everyday use.
When everything is stored where you use it, you’ll save yourself time and shorten travel distances within the kitchen. The way to achieve this is by dividing your kitchen into five distinct zones; consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking.
Food is kept in the consumables zone. When planning this zone it’s important to ensure everything is within easy reach.
The non-consumables zone is designed for cutlery, crockery and glassware. That’s why it’s a good idea to position the dishwasher close by.
The cleaning zone features your dishwasher and sink. Cleaning utensils and agents should be kept here so everything is close at hand.
Your kitchen utensils needed for preparing food are kept in the preparation zone between cooking and cleaning. Pull out drawers ensures they are within easy reach and can be quickly placed on worktops.
Your cooking zone should have enough space for pots and pans and cooking implements right next to your oven and cooktop.
Storage space requirements differ from home to home. A practical kitchen has enough storage space. To make sure there is room for everything in your new kitchen, consider your cooking and shopping habits and lifestyle. Make a list of everything required to be stored in your new kitchen during the planning stage.
Well thought out cabinetry solutions help to ensure all available space is utilized to its full potential. Deep drawers with full extension runners provide 30-40% more storage space than cabinets with doors. Wider drawers with inner dividers, instead of two narrow drawers create up to 15% more storage space.
In almost all cases, a kitchen designed with drawer systems rather than cupboard doors will provide far greater storage space as well as being more ergonomic and practical. Full extension drawers provide easy access and clear visibility of all contents. No more bending down to dig out things from the back of the cabinet.
Even your overhead cupboards can be optimized by utilizing pull up doors. No more ducking and weaving around your overhead cupboard doors when emptying your dishwasher.
Hinges, drawers, drawer runners and lift systems. These are the components that hold your cabinetry together and either make your kitchen a dream to use or a nightmare to curse.
Todays hardware systems have evolved leaps and bounds from the previous generations of noisy, clunky and sloppy systems.
Leading the pack by a long way, and the only brand we use at Easy Living Kitchens is Blum. Superior quality fittings and technology deliver easy to open and close, silent and effortless hinges, drawers and lift systems. Heavy duty drawer runners rated up to 60kg for your pots, pans and crockery perform effortlessly and smoothly every time.
Cost, style and maintenance are the main considerations when choosing a benchtop material.
There’s a huge difference in price between the most affordable benchtops and the most expensive benchtops on the market. Materials like cheaper laminate can be ordered by the metre and cut to fit on site. They are also lightweight and easily transported and installed. Materials like quartz, marble and granite are heavier and more durable, however require specific preparation and finishing prior to transportation and installation. Generally as an example, a standard range Caesarstone benchtop will cost approximately 5 times the price of a laminated benchtop. Natural stone such as granite and marble can cost up to twice the price of standard range Caesarstone.
Style is an important consideration in the kitchen. Some materials are better suited to a particular style of kitchen than others. For example, solid timbers would look at home in a country farmhouse or cottage style kitchen, whereas Caesarstone or other solid surfaces would more likely feature in a modern sleek style kitchen. Consideration needs to be given to material, colours, finish and the combined look with cabinets and accessories.
Maintenance can be a bugbear for many with a benchtop that needs ongoing care and attention. Timber, for instance requires a strong seal to prevent ingress of moisture and can be quite susceptible to scratches, denting and heat scarring. Laminate also can be affected by moisture if its joins don’t hold up over time, as well as being susceptible to heat damage. Caesarstone is a very durable and lower maintenance surface than natural stones, which also require sealing and are porous.
Choices available for kitchen benchtops include; postformed laminate, timber, engineered stone, natural stone, concrete, stainless steel and tiles.
The current trend with kitchen splashbacks is painted glass. Available in any colour, glass splashbacks are durable, hard wearing and easy to clean. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth and glass cleaner, a glass splashback will look like new for many years.
Tiled splashbacks are still relatively popular, however require additional cleaning to keep grout lines looking clean and fresh.
Alternative choices are acrylic, solid surface, natural stone or stainless steel.
With so many brands and types of kitchen appliances it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. A standard kitchen incorporates an oven, cooktop, rangehood, dishwasher and fridge.
Where possible, it can be beneficial to choose one brand across all appliances as they should all have the same colors and finish. Brushed stainless steel can have different looks across different brands. Whites can also have different finishes and hues.
Choices to consider are whether you prefer gas, electric or induction cooktops. Do you prefer freestanding integrated cookers or separate oven and stove? Do you prefer a discrete ducted rangehood or a statement canopy range? It makes sense to provide water to your new fridge space to provide the option for a fridge with water / ice dispenser.