Ten top tips when designing your new kitchen
1. Understand your style but be brave enough to push the boundaries
While it is tempting to go down the safe road of an all-white kitchen, it is more rewarding to push the design boundaries. You should aim for a brilliant renovation instead of an average one. Playing it safe is great for investment properties, but creating your dream kitchen allows for more creativity.
Your home has been created through your own style, taste and sensibility. Your kitchen should relate to the rest of the home. However, don’t worry too much about making it match exactly. Your home is always evolving; a new kitchen can be a breath of fresh air for developing your style in other living spaces.
2. Design for practicality
Design your kitchen to be practical and ergonomic. You don’t just want your kitchen to look amazing, you want it to be functional too. Make sure your layout works efficiently. Your fridge needs to be accessible; your dishwasher shouldn’t block any paths either. You need ample bench and storage space too.
3. Be different
Have fun with your new kitchen design and think about elements that you can add that take your kitchen space into the next realm. There is much more to consider when designing your kitchen other than just the cabinetry. Don’t forget there are design opportunities in your flooring, ceiling, splashback and lighting.
4. Design a kitchen with ample bench space
Having ample bench space is pivotal to a functional kitchen design. If possible, allow bench space on either side of the cooktop. Ideally you should have at least 800mm on either side, although this may not always be possible. Having a larger area for preparation is ideal; having at least 1200mm provides a long stretch that makes it easier to prepare food. Try not to clutter your benchtop with too many items, and design a space for your microwave so that it is out of the way.
5. Make sure you source a custom manufactured kitchen
There is nothing worse than designing and installing your dream kitchen and it doesn’t fit the space. Some companies use modular cabinets, therefore leaving the spaces inbetween to be filled with fillers and panels. Not only does this look bad, it is a waste of space too. Make sure your chosen kitchen company custom make their cabinets. Beware, some companies use the words “custom designed kitchen” which differs from custom manufactured kitchens.
6. Choose durable materials that need little maintenance
It is tempting to look at kitchens you see in magazines and dream about white marble filled spaces. While they are stunning, your kitchen is likely going to be a 20-year investment, so you will want to choose materials that are durable. While marble can look great, it is also porous, it can absorb stains and needs maintenance. Stainless steel looks great in photos too but it scratches easily too. Choose materials that suit you and your family’s needs.
7. Don’t forget your appliances
You will want to enjoy your new kitchen with new appliances too. Appliances can be a significant part of your kitchen budget, but remember they will get used everyday. You don’t have to choose the most expensive appliances but choose brands that are well known so they can be serviced if need be. It’s a good idea to purchase extended warranty too for peace of mind.
8. Storage solutions
Designing your dream kitchen means you have the luxury to design it to your needs specifically. If it is within your budget you can include advanced storage solutions. Drawers are efficient and can hold up to 30% more items than shelves. They are also easy to use, and you don’t have to crouch down to locate items. Hidden drawers, pull out pantries, and pull out corner solutions can make your kitchen easier to use and will be a good long-term investment.
9. Garbage solutions
When designing your dream kitchen, it is easy to get excited and forget about the nitty gritty daily needs of the space. If you are tight on space, use the under-sink area for pull out bins, which come in a variety of designs and sizes. If you have more room and need something larger, consider adding a full-length pull out bin. The best place to keep a bin is near the sink.
10. Task lighting
It’s better to have light fall in front of you than behind you, so that no shadows are cast. Sometimes overhead lighting is not sufficient, use LED lights in your wall cabinets to brighten up the bench space.
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By Brij Kumar
Source: Today’s top tips come from kitchen designer Nadia Hursky of Sydney kitchen design and renovations company, Blue Tea.
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