What to Consider When Planning Your Kitchen
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR KITCHEN
Not everyone cooks, but everyone uses the kitchen. It’s not just a utilitarian part of the home, it is also the center of family interaction and activities, a place to entertain guests, and the anchor that highlights the style of the home. Designing your home kitchen is not something that should be done without carefully considering the factors that influence the way the space will be used by each individual in the family. The kitchen is a fixed component in the home, therefore, the final decisions you make in planning your kitchen are not just considered investments, but also lifestyle commitments.
The layout of the cabinets and the appliances all depend on how you move and work in the kitchen. Think about your cooking habits and how you go from one task to the next. Usually, multiple things are happening all at once, so it is important that the flow is comfortable and the reach and access to each work zone is seamless. The kitchen triangle works well when you have an L or U shaped layout or if you have an island counter, but it is no longer strictly followed. Focusing on work zones produces a more customized and flexible solution. It’s not just about the action but also about the interaction with the other users and your environment. Do you like to cook while watching your kids? Do you prep your ingredients while facing the outdoors? Do you cook alone or with others? These are a few simple reflections that will influence the planning, clearances, and ergonomics of your kitchen.
INSIDE AND OUT
The cabinet doors as well as the lighting, countertops, and decorative finishes create the mood and expresses the lifestyle and tastes of the family. Visual impact can be achieved no matter what design style, as long as there is a right combination of complementary and contrasting elements- wood with polished stainless steel, shiny lacquer with honed granite, and even monotone colors with varied textural finishes can be dynamic and timeless. The masterful composition of design elements is what draws the attention at first. However, the outward design of a kitchen is only as good as the efficiency of the storage solutions inside the cabinets. Often, the full storage potential of the cabinets is not met because of poor interior planning. Think ahead about what you intend to store inside, and how often you need to access them. This way you can choose the right cabinet configuration with suitable accessories and then place them in the proper location.
The kitchen is constantly exposed to fire, water, and air. Don’t forget the nasty elements like oil, grease, smoke, and dust. It is also operational 24 hours a day. The safety, quality, ease of maintenance, and longevity of every part of it should be high up there on your list. Research about the technical components like the hardware and hinges, drawer capacity, and shelf weight limits. Understand terms like absorption rate, UV resistance, rub and scratch rating, suction capacity, working load limit, flame retardant, and color fastness. These may not stimulate creative excitement, but they are necessary considerations when choosing materials for the kitchen.
NEEDS AND WANTS
It can be overwhelming. You want it all. Budget can be the biggest downer of any kitchen project. Priorities differ greatly for each individual, so don’t get pressured by the must haves of others. Focus on your basics and don’t compromise on those. The budget actually forces you to make the right choices and to distinguish what you truly need from what you simply want. Allow yourself to dream and be proactive in finding alternatives that can complete the package. It is easy to get fixated and emotionally attached to an idea. Fear not, there are endless creative solutions. Be open to new materials and products. There will be one that is the right fit.