Your new kitchen design can be both beautiful and functional, but most importantly should facilitate the way you live. To do this, kitchen designers explore just how you use your kitchen space to cook, eat, entertain, socialise before creating your ultimate user-centred kitchen layout. Consider these 10 ingredients to make your best kitchen re-design yet.
1. Why Are You Renovating?
Decipher just why you’re renovating. Is your kitchen long overdue for a modern makeover? Is a re-design essential to best meet your family’s needs? Understanding your intentions will bring clarity, helping set the scene for just how much renovation work is required.
Do this step first and the rest flows easily.
2. How Do You Use The Kitchen
Consider how you now use your kitchen, and also how you would like to be using it. To transform it into a social hub, consider adding a breakfast bar or servery area. Is your kitchen primarily a working hub? If so, good lighting and an oversized bench space might be top of the agenda.
3. Who Uses It?
Factor in who you’re redesigning the kitchen for. Is your renovation purely for resale value? Are you creating the ultimate haven for an aspiring chef? Are you after a functional space to cook and socialise with the kids?
If you often have more than one person in the kitchen preparing meals, make space for them.
4. Make It More Usable
Weigh up what aspects of your current space work well. There’s no point altering a well-functioning layout for the sake of change, but a few smart changes to design and fit-out could make the space more usable, practical and up-the-ante on storage too.
5. List The Elements You Dislike In Your Current Kitchen
A pesky oven or a jamming kitchen drawer? Perhaps a faulty stove igniter or a broken thermostat. Faulty items in a kitchen tend to drive us crazy because we use the room everyday. If you’re going to update you kitchen, make sure you eliminate anything you hate about it!
Tally up what’s not working in your kitchen space. While compromise is sometimes called for, the last thing you want is to repeat your current space’s limitations. Do ask your designer to offer their ideas/expertise. Poor lighting could require a simple fix such as additional ceiling lighting or pendant feature lighting, or a structural change might be the solution (a window or skylight).
6. Boost Your Storage
Most people will say the more storage the merrier, even if kitchen space is aplenty. Look for ideas to up your storage without crowding or overpowering the kitchen design: overhead cabinetry, deep drawers instead of cupboards, a walk-in pantry if space allows. And consider what you are storing, particularly any bulky items you want out of view appliances, large pots/pans, a slow cooker, Thermomix or blender?
7. What Appliances Do You Love?
Size, style and function all come into play here. If you’re always cooking, love to entertain or have a large family, then chances are your must-haves include an oversized oven/stovetop and large refrigerator too.
8. Which Layout Works Best?
Consider how the various common layouts (L-shaped, U-shaped and galley-style kitchens) could work in your kitchen. Play with various layouts until you achieve a harmonious blend of style and practicality, fitting in appliances, storage, bench space and any extra essentials: walk-in pantry, breakfast bar, island bench. And be mindful of existing electrical wiring and plumbing (not moving this will save time and money).
9. What’s Your Aesthetic?
There’s no point creating a functional kitchen space that doesn’t look the part. As well as considering colours/tones, look at finishes (gloss/matte), materials (timber, stone, laminate, glass) and lighting to create the overall look.
Many older homes have the kitchen as a seperate room to the dining and/or living area. Removing a wall completely changes the way you use the space and how you family/guests engage with you while you’re in the kitchen. It also creates a hub of the household for those who like to eat casual meals at an island kitchen bench.