Kitchen Design Considerations
Mistakes and Oversights
If you’re unfamiliar with kitchen design and renovation, it’s easy to make mistakes that can prove costly. These mistakes will also have a negative impact on the way your kitchen functions.
Major design issues to avoid include:
- failure to stick to your budget
- compromising the ‘kitchen triangle’ (the area between the fridge, cooktop and sink)
- wasting storage space
- inadequate bench space.
While these are the ‘big ticket’ problems to avoid, this is by no means a comprehensive list. Below are kitchen design considerations that are easily overlooked. Make sure you consider these so that your kitchen renovation gives you the desired results.
Choosing Appliances Last
Should you make your kitchen fit your appliances, or your appliances fit your kitchen? Unless you’re going to use your existing appliances, you should decide what appliances you intend buying before you design your kitchen.
Professional kitchen designers will work with the specifications of the appliances you choose to ensure that everything is accommodated in the finished design. It’s much easier to design your kitchen around your appliances than having to purchase appliances to fit a finished kitchen.
Is a Kitchen Renovation and Upgrade?
A new kitchen is a significant investment in the value of your home, and should be considered an upgrade. There’s little point investing time and money into a kitchen renovation unless it adds something to your home. For example: functionally and value. While budget considerations are always important, so is value for money. By all means stick to your budget; however, you’ll be happier with the finished kitchen if you achieve an upgrade over your existing kitchen.
Open shelving is becoming a popular choice for kitchen renovators. It allows home owners to achieve storage solutions and areas to display attractive crockery and ornaments. While open shelving has its place, too much open shelving can make your kitchen look cluttered and become a dust-trap. We suggest if you’d like to include some open shelving in your kitchen, that you include it as a design feature, not the solution to all your storage requirements.
Omitting a Splashback
Almost all new kitchens include a splashback, and for good reason. While omitting a splashback may seem a reasonable way to save a few dollars, the wall behind the cooktop will become almost impossible to keep clean. Modern glass splashbacks look very stylish and overcome the problems of cleaning as they are easily maintained. You may be surprised that they are also relatively inexpensive.
Playing it Safe
Classic colours and finishes will always outlast passing trends. However, a new kitchen renovation is an opportunity to express your personality and give you a result that you’ll be proud to share with your friends and family. Work with your kitchen designer to plan a kitchen that is not only functional, but also pleasing to the eye and a perfectly co-ordinated upgrade to your home.
Home renovation shows on television often feature kitchens with extensive use of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a very modern material that is easy to maintain, and it presents very well on your television screen! If you favour the look of stainless steel, it’s important to use it in moderation. Over-use can result in a kitchen that looks more suited to a commercial application than your home. If you’re after an ‘industrial’ or commercial look, then stainless steel may be the right choice for you. However, its over-use may also leave you with a kitchen that doesn’t suit the rest of your home.
The most cost-effective time to plan for electrical outlets in your kitchen is at the beginning of the process, not the end. Don’t underestimate the number of outlets you will require. The cost of providing additional outlets during the kitchen renovation is incidental compared to the cost of increasing the number of outlets after the renovation is completed.
Without a doubt, one of the most annoying problems in a poorly designed kitchen are doors and drawers that bang into each other. Ask your kitchen designer to ensure that all the doors and drawers in your new kitchen will operate freely, and without interference.
The Wrong Island
Some kitchens simply aren’t large enough to include a meaningful island bench. If your kitchen space is small, you’re better off not having an island. The kitchen is fundamentally a work space. Maintaining an area where movement is unimpeded should be a priority.
If you have a larger space to work with make sure you choose an island that is the correct width, height and length. This will allow it to perform its function and complement the style of kitchen you’ve chosen. An island that is too big leads to problems moving around your kitchen. Too small results in an island that will be out of proportion with the rest of the kitchen.
The Finishing Touches
- Try not to skimp on hardware, as cheap fittings and hardware will compromise the quality finish you require.
- Ensure there is adequate ventilation to deal with cooking odours and moisture.
- Make allowance for rubbish disposal and recycling by using under-bench, retractable bins.
- Make sure you provide sufficient lighting so your kitchen is a pleasure to use at any time of day or night.
DIY, Do it Yourself
Of all the renovations that ‘do-it-yourself-ers’ attempt around the house, the most challenging is a kitchen renovation. Electing to go it alone rather than engaging the services of a professional kitchen designer is fraught with problems and pitfalls. Unless you have particular skills in kitchen design and installation, you risk wasting lots of time, money and energy by undertaking the project yourself. Imperial Kitchens offers a free consultation in your home— so you have nothing to lose by seeking the advice of a professional company.
Please contact us for a free, no obligation consultation in your home or our showroom. We look forward to helping you design a new kitchen you’ll be proud to own and enjoy using for years to come.
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