A kitchen redesign can go a long way towards making a house into a home. Living room move over, the kitchen is the soul of any home and yours should match the feeling you want to cultivate. This is a massive project though. There are so many things to consider, buy and plan that you can be a little lost as to where to even start. We have got your back with some useful kitchen design tips. Here are seven questions that you should answer before designing your kitchen.
1. What place does your kitchen hold?
The kitchen is the soul of a home, but what kind of soul does your home need? A kitchen serves many more uses than just a place to cook. It is a gathering place for friends and family. It is a place for work and play. It is the place where food is made for every part of the day. Consider what your family needs in a kitchen.
The kitchen triangle design can help you think about the layout of your future kitchen. Coined by Jerome Buttrick, the kitchen triangle refers to the design of having the refrigerator, stove and sink sitting in a triangular fashion relative to each other. All other needs are designed around this, as these three serve distinct purposes. It also creates a logical flow: from stored in the refrigerator to cooking on the stove to being washed in the sink.
Kitchens are also recreation or work areas at times. The hard surfaces and usually plentiful chairs lend themselves to a place where you can sit at attention and get to work. Do you want this role in your kitchen? If so, how can you further it? One option is to add a small table/desk to an empty corner. Perhaps installing a roll out desk in the benchtops would be handy for transitioning between needs.
2. What theme do you want?
This question will decide what colour scheme you use as well as what appliances andhandles/knobs you choose. The themes possible for a kitchen range from sleek and minimalist surfaces to warm and home-like organisation. Do you want standard whites and cool-colours design or do you want to play with greens, red and other living colours? Texture and colour should synergise regardless of the direction you go with the kitchen. A great starting point is determining what you want from a kitchen. Leave out the things you do not like and decide what theme would best fit these needs.
3. Traditional or Contemporary? Or both?
Related to theme is the architectural direction that a kitchen can take. In the world of kitchen design, there are three themes: Traditional, Contemporary and Transitional.
Traditional is considered “old world” by most. It uses a lot of glamorous details that serve no particular purpose other than decorative flourish and trends towards painted or wooden cabinets. Chances are a traditional kitchen is the kind you are most familiar with. Earthy, wooden or reserved tones are mostly used here. Bright colours and finishes are not common in a traditional kitchen.
Contemporary style uses sleek edges and sticks to a philosophy of minimalism. If it is not needed, get rid of it. Contemporary style stays away from elaborate details, intricate light sources and unnecessary accessories. Contemporary colour patterns and finishes tend to stick to the extremes: bright hot colours or steely cold colours. The point is to engage with the occupant without getting in the way.
Transitional is a blending of the two styles. This has emerged in the past few years and can create some very interesting design choices. For instance, a contemporary finish on a traditional set of cabinets is an example of transitional style.
4. What is your budget and plan?
A budget is very important for anyone going into renovation of any kind. The best kitchen design tips will do you no good if you cannot fund your ideas. Tearing down walls and cutting pipes can be expensive and can go wrong if not planned well. This will mean extra runs to the hardware store and more dollars spent. To the best of your ability, have a plan of attack before you begin. You should know what kind of pipes you will need to rebuild the sink, what kinds of wood/other materials you will use and what the kitchen will look once the project is finished. Do not, I repeat: do not, start renovations without a blueprint of what the kitchen will look like at the end of the project.
The budget should reflect what you want and still be within your range. Your budget may end up dictating what sort of design you can go with. If you want a super modern and elegant kitchen, you may not have the money to afford the expensive solid metal refrigerator it calls for.
5. Do you want an island? (Answer: Yes)
The island table in the middle of a kitchen is an increasingly popular option in modern kitchens. Its use as an additional surface and additional storage is only complemented by the flow it brings to a kitchen design. Instead of being restricted to benchtop space along the walls, you are making use of space in the middle of the room without restricting eye line. You are also putting that formerly useless space into storage room at the bottom of the island.
Islands also increase the flowing nature you want in a kitchen. The kitchen is a socialising point in the home. Whether chatting before dinner, need more space than is available in the living room or want to smoothly move people from living room into the kitchen to plate their food and back out into a dining area an island serves many purposes. Instead of being bottlenecked at the back of the kitchen, there is an indication for direction of movement.
Islands are a great addition to any kitchen. Have I made that clear?
6. What benchtop suits your needs?
Benchtops are one of the most important features of a kitchen. They surround those in the kitchen and serve as the work surface for everything in that kitchen. These are often installed and then not changed out for over a decade or more. When you decide on your benchtop style, make sure you like it and that it will remain fashionable for years to come. If you have not already, we have a whole article about benchtop design and the options for it. Give it a read for kitchen design tips related to benchtops in your new kitchen.
In short, you need to know what you will be doing with these benchtops. A work surface? Lots of cutting and mincing ingredients? Will you be rolling a lot of dough? There are materials and designs that match every need.
7. Cabinets: Glass or Wood? High or Low?
With benchtops, cabinets are crucial to the kitchen. In general, cabinets are placed high so that you can easily access them. Roll out cupboards are kept low and hold heavier things. We advise storing dishes and glasses in high cupboards.
A larger design choice you will have to make is the material of the cabinets. Standard cabinets are generally not see through and will blend easier with an overall kitchen design. However, glass cabinets offer a variety of options to make an interesting kitchen layout. Using glass cabinets mean you will have to organise everything in it in a logical and visually attractive way. Glass cabinets can make a kitchen appear larger and adds a layer of depth.
These kitchen design tips will push you in the right direction towards re-modelling your old kitchen or building a kitchen you have always dreamed of. Follow them and start that sketch of the kitchen you want.