Kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house! Rushed morning breakfasts or big family dinners, preparing a snack for your movie night or helping your kids with homework at the island – kitchen is a place where every member of the family frequents.
I personally have started cooking a lot more in last few years, after switching to a healthier diet and more organized meal planning. So, if you, like me, like to experiment in the kitchen and surprise your family with culinary creations, you have to have a functional kitchen! Read on for some important design tips =>
1. Plan your storage space well
If you cook, you probably know that there is no such thing as enough storage. This is why it`s a good idea to maximize the space you have to make more storage space.
Good news is that cabinet design can get very creative these days, helping you use every centimeter of the space in your kitchen. Imagination is the limit here. Here is an example of a creative corner cabinet.
Pro Tip: Extra storage can be created in the kitchen island and beautifully integrated into the overall design.
2. Explore options when selecting your countertops
These days, there are dozens of options for beautiful countertop materials. You can find one for any taste, budget, colour scheme, style etc.
Countertop materials is a separate blog topic on its own, and I promise to do a post on it very soon. But here are some basics. You want to choose a countertop that:
- Is non-porous (to prevent spread of bacteria)
- Heat resistant
- Does not leave stains
- Is durable
- Requires minimal maintenance
My personal favourite countertop material is quartz. It is an engineered stone, which has all of the above characteristics, and, in addition, also looks gorgeous! Here is one example:
3. Good lighting is essential!
Lighting ideally should be created in “layers”:
- Ambient lighting – it sets the overall even light in the space, e.g. recessed downlights
- Task lighting – help light the tasks being performed, e.g. undercabinet lighting or lights on the stove range can help with food preparation tasks
- Decorative lighting – adds to the design of your interior, e.g. pendants above the kitchen island
When all of these are well-planned, they prevent glare, unwanted shadows and enhance your experience in the space.
Pro Tip: Choose dimmable lighting, it will help you regulate the level of light in the space and is more energy-efficient.
4. Opt for neutral (but interesting) backsplash
Unless you are going for a specific design style (like Provence kitchen or Country Home kitchen), you would probably want to select a neutral backsplash, that will not get tired or boring over the years.
Timelessness is one of our mottos in KC Studio. Interiors beyond time and trends will look a beautiful in 5-10 years, as they do now.
5. Think about maintenance
When planning an interior design, we think not only about aesthetics, but also functionality. Imagination can take us to solutions, that may not always be practical. So, the aim is to balance looks and functionality.
Things like low maintenance countertops, no hard-to-reach corners and appropriate finish of the cabinets can go a long way and save you a lot of time and effort.
For example, although acrylic finish of kitchen cabinets looks stunning, it shows all the finger prints and stains and requires a more frequent cleaning.
6. Consider the space between wall cabinets and ceiling
This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. Space above the wall cabinets is where the dust usually collects, and it is not easy to clean it.
If you do not like when the cabinets extent all the way to ceiling, creating a soffit (bulkhead) above the wall cabinets, may be a great option. Cabinets, installed flush with the bulkhead, will prevent dust from reaching the cabinet surface.
7. Think about location of electrical outlets and light switches
Giving this point some extra thought can make your kitchen more convenient. Think about your movement patterns, when you use the space. Consider the electrical equipment you use in the kitchen.
What you want to avoid, is wires spread over the kitchen counter, because there isn`t a closer outlet.
A great option here is a rollout shelf inside a kitchen cabinet, that can house some of your equipment and connect is to an outlet inside the cabinet (like in the picture below). It may not work for all kitchen gadgets, but will definitely free up some counter space!
Image Source: Redstart Construction
8. Consider ergonomics
Ergonomics is a discipline that deals with designing and arranging spaces to fit people who use them. That is to say, in interior design, it is important to consider heights and width of countertops, location of door handles, adjustable bar stools at the kitchen island – all this is part of ergonomic design.
The most important factor to consider here is who actually will be using the space and who cooks more. Person`s height is important when deciding the height of cabinets or the build-in oven, for example. Of course, standard sizes can be used a starting guide (e.g. standard counter height is 91cm), but this, of course, can be adjusted based on the needs. A person taller than 180cm, will definitely feel more comfortable with countertop height of 99cm or slightly higher.
This is an example of how design can help improve health and wellbeing – in this case by helping avoid back strain and fatigue from usage of space.
I hope these tips were helpful! Stay tuned for more interesting design tips and information!