If you are considering a new kitchen, why not make yourself a lovely cup of Lady Grey, prepare a plate of biscotti, and read on!
The most fundamental start to creating a good kitchen, is ensuring that the ergonomics are correct. A kitchen can look amazing, however if it is not user friendly you will never be recreating Masterchef masterpieces in your kitchen.
The importance of ergonomic design
Ergonomics is about designing correctly for humans and how we interact with our surroundings. Applying ergonomics to kitchen design doesn’t only enhance workability but also ensure safety. Designers often refer to using a “working triangle” when designing kitchens. This is basically calculating the correct distances between the cooktop, the sink and the fridge. Planning a kitchen with a good working triangle, and correctly placed appliances will ensure maximum workability and practicality.
It is also important to zone your kitchen correctly, into zones of consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking. Correct location of zones, and arranging them to suit the kitchen workspace will shorten the distance walked in your kitchen, it will simplify workflows and make everyday activities in your kitchen much more quick and easy. Frequently used items are best placed in a location that is accessible and at a comfortable height. A lot of logic is required when planning a good kitchen. For example, place large heavy pots and pans at under counter height, while items that are very rarely used can be placed up higher and in a cupboard that is not necessarily in the immediate workspace. I believe that next to your fridge, cooktop and sink, there should be ample bench space. This is really very important, and a kitchen should have a place for absolutely everything.
Storage is absolutely crucial in good kitchen design. It truly does not matter whether your kitchen is large or small, there are storage solutions for every single kitchen, and you just have to be clever about it! There are many companies on the market, such as Hafele, Hettich and Blum (among others) that specialize in maximizing your kitchens potential, and trust me, will make the world of difference to each and every drawer and cupboards storage capabilities.
Designing to the right height
The correct height of things in your kitchen will also play a pivotal role in ensuring your kitchen is designed well. It is of course crucial that each client is treated as an individual; however, there are “standard” heights that every kitchen designer employs. For example, most kitchen bench tops sit at 900mm to the top, overhead cupboards would be at a minimum 600mm above the bench top, but personally I would always do 650mm or sometimes 700mm depending on the client .Not only this, but all dimensions in your kitchen will all be very carefully planned out by your Interior Designer.
Designing child friendly kitchens
If you have children, making your kitchen child-friendly is paramount. Kitchens are actually quite dangerous, with heat and water being the most common ways for children to hurt themselves. It’s really important also to child proof your cupboards until your little angels are past the point where they enjoy exploring absolutely everything!
Good lighting is absolutely imperative in good kitchen design. Natural light is the absolute goal to achieving light in your kitchen, and your architect will position your new kitchen near windows. Clever architects will also use skylights, roof windows and even utilize the kitchen Splashback as a place for a long slot window. As well as natural light, there should be ambient and task light in your kitchen. Task lighting is really important, and will ensure that safety is practiced when cooking. I think lighting under overhead cupboards is a must and is a great way to ensure you are salting your chips and not sprinkling them with sugar!
Decorative lighting of course is also a must for me in good kitchen design, and is best achieved with a pendant light. Again with pendant lights as with all decorative items, they are best showcased in odd numbers. 3 or 5 pendants hanging in a row or in a cluster at different heights look contemporary and add a lovely focal point in your kitchen. If you are adventurous, one striking statement pendant also works just as beautifully !
Heart of the home
“The kitchen is the heart of the home” is an age old adage, and for good reason. Most of us spend a considerable amount of our day in the kitchen, so it makes sense that as such, the kitchen should be easily accessible within your home. It is best placed in close proximity to the dining and meals areas, and also the lounge room. It’s also really practical to have your kitchen close to your outdoor living and entertainment areas.( unless of course you also have an outdoor kitchen, in which case you are, I’m sure, very popular in summer ! )
And last, but by no means least, the materials used in your kitchen will of course contribute to good kitchen design. There is a huge range of materials able to be used in kitchen design, however the very best ones will be the ones that complement the rest of your interiors, wear well over the years and satisfy your aesthetic. !