Monday, 31 October 2011
Top 5 Kitchen Mistakes to Avoid
As many people are aware, the kitchen can often become the social hub of the home. Where children stay in their rooms and parents sit about in the living room, the one place they all congregate is the kitchen. So any poorly made choices in the design stages can make for a poor social space.
Remember the Kitchen Triangle! Unless you are a big kitchen design fan, you may not have heard the expression, but basically, the triangle represents the route around your sink, fridge freezer and oven. The idea is that the routes between these should be as short as possible and completely unobstructed.
If you're rushing around cooking a meal, and you keep catching your hips or thighs on a jutting island or counter corner, you'll want to tear it out. This is why these routes need to be wholly accessible at all times, you'd be surprised just how many times you move between this in one session.
Islands! They look great and fancy, but can sometimes be unwieldy and impractical in smaller spaces. Islands work better in one wall and L-Shape kitchens with plenty of footfall space. In U shape and more complicated kitchens, you need to ensure that you have the space, otherwise you'll violate the aforementioned 'kitchen triangle' rule and you'll find yourself becoming incredibly stressed when cooking larger meals.
Lighting! This is possibly the most common mistake in kitchen design, more specifically the absence of task lighting, the lighting that allows you to properly see what you are doing. Sometimes the best task lighting comes from overhead task lights and under-cabinet spot lighting. As long as it is a bright light source that is not obscured by your own shadow, you should be able to work comfortably at the task at hand. Ambient lighting can bring a kitchen design to life and add that wow factor to impress your friends, but do not splash out on this at the expense of task lighting; otherwise you'll be left with a pretty, but impractical cook space.
Consider the bin! Not something you typically associate with amazing kitchen design, but you'll be glad you considered it. First of all, recycling is becoming increasingly common, so you would do well to cater for it by installing a sectional trash cabinet that allows you to divide up your rubbish; otherwise you'll be doing it by hand, outside and in the rain for much longer than is strictly necessary. This should also be placed closest to the door. If your kitchen backs out onto a garden where you keep your bins, place it close by. If you keep your bins out front, place your rubbish cabinet nearer to the door, so you have less distance to travel and thus, less space within which to make a mess if a bag splits.
Keep it comfortable! When you're not cooking, you're sat down eating or drinking. So if you have an island, consider turning part of it into a breakfast bar; then you can pair it with space saving seating, such as leather bar stools or stackable chairs.
Kitchen Planning is critical, if you get it wrong at the planning stage, the entire project will likely go awry... Or in the very least you'll gradually become disheartened with the amazing, yet dysfunctional space you have created.