Today's post has been inspired by some of the enquiries I have been receiving this month. While there was a good amount of "entire home" design consultations. There was a notable increase in clients who were solely focusing on their kitchen. Coming from a family that loves good food, cooking and entertaining. The kitchen and dining rooms were a major focus in the houses of my family and always stylishly designed. And so, when I had to spend some time living in a care home for children, I was pleased that the tradition of dining together was the highlight of the day after school for everyone. They had a huge, professional style kitchen with all mods and cons (it had to be - 2-3 meals were cooked for 12 children every day!) where I was able to endlessly indulge in my hobbies of cooking & baking. In-fact, it was in their country house kitchen, that my famous rice pudding was born! So for me, the kitchen and dining area has always been what I would call the "heart" or the "hub" of the home, so, careful attention needs to be paid to the layout and the factors that will determine your decisions on how this space will function for you and your family.
Due to Lock-Down, we have all had to spend more time at home, and perhaps some have realised, that they would like their kitchen to be more than just a practical space where they can go to mindlessly cook. Perhaps they now want it to be a multi-functional space, encompassing, cooking, dining and living.
While each person that I spoke with had different backgrounds, e.g. some had babies, some were first time buyers with no children, and some who lived alone and loved to entertain. There was one common theme - Open Plan! So, today we will focus on some useful design principles, and some key questions to ask yourself before starting your project. I'll also highlight some popular kitchen layouts (from the many variations available), that will be a useful starting point for you, so that you can then tailor one to better suit your lifestyle.
The most important design principle when it comes to Kitchen Design is to identify your "Working Triangle". This is essential, regardless of what your final layout style will be. This is the three points that will link your key work stations, for example, sink-hob-fridge. It makes more sense to be able to fill your pan with water and then pivot to then place it on the hob, as opposed to having to go to the other end of the room etc.
I then think that you should categorise the space into "Zones" for example, in my kitchen I have a "tea/coffee making zone", and a "food prep zone" this kind of planning can ensure that you, not only optimise on the space you have, but also that you can function in the space efficiently while keeping yourself safe.
U Shaped Kitchen
Single Wall Kitchen
L Shaped Kitchen
Thankfully, there is a growing trend to have a pop of colour, and blue is on trend this year in kitchen design. You could even go black with your kitchen cupboards. Don't be afraid to be adventurous!
Some of the potential clients that I spoke with, were completely unsure of what they wanted design wise and these decisions can be extremely overwhelming when it comes to Kitchen Design. Quality Kitchen Design is a complex project, and if you can, I would always suggest working with a professional Interior Designer.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself before you start thinking about Space Planning and Layout Styles:-
What is your interior design style? e.g. modern, industrial
What colours do you like?
Is Sustainability important to you?
What are the key features/elements you need your kitchen to have?
What are your design goals for this space?
What is your budget?
Will you be the only person using the kitchen to cook?
Where will your family eat their regular meals?
Will you use the space to entertain?
What electrical appliances would you like to have?