The right ingredients for the perfect kitchen
Get all the right elements for a kitchen design that you’ll love to use when cooking and entertaining for years to come.
Your kitchen is likely to be the room you use more than any other. That’s why it’s so important to plan it carefully, from the layout and appliances to the design details that will make it a welcoming, comfortable space to spend time in, whether you’re cooking or dining.
Having all your workspaces in the right location will make all the difference to the ‘flow’ in your kitchen. You’ll need easy access to your fridge, cooktop, pantry, prep area, sink and dishwasher, all within a few steps, but without feeling cramped.
For many years, the popular solution has the fridge, range and sink equal distances apart in a triangle from 1.2–2.7 metres on each side. With modern open plan homes, where the kitchen is often the centre of all the action, it makes sense for kitchens to be designed for socialising and dining as well as cooking.
Creating different zones can be a better way to plan the layout for your appliances, storage, bench tops and seating. Perhaps you’ll need a dedicated area for the kids to do homework that can do double duty when chef and guests enjoy a glass of wine together.
However you decide to divide up your zones, you’ll need at least 1m between each side of the kitchen. Don’t make it more than 1.4m or you’ll spend more time walking than cooking.
Many home chefs favour large drawers over cupboards for easier access to everything from tableware, pots and small appliances to utensils and napery. For a really minimal look, an appliance cupboard with power points can be the ideal way to keep things neat but accessible. Or better still, include a butler’s pantry to conceal your entire prep area if space allows.
To show off your beautiful collections of recipe books, glass or table ware, fit some open shelving to break up a run of units. Be careful to keep them tidy so they add to the design appeal rather than attracting unwelcome clutter.
Big ticket appliances
A French door or side-by-side fridge is essential for big families and the serious entertainer won’t be satisfied with only one type of oven. Take some time to choose your major appliances early in the process and make sure you allow enough space in your layout for an oversize range or a dedicated wine fridge if you need one.
Colour and finishes
There is a huge range of kitchen finishes available in all sorts of colours. If you’re keen to get the best from your budget, splurge on natural or engineered stone for your bench tops as these materials are much more resistant to staining and chipping making them better value in the long run.
For a classic look, choose finishes in white, pale grey or natural tones with some timber for added warmth. If you’re after a really lively atmosphere, there are lots of popular two tone colour combos to choose from. Make a bold statement with black and emerald or go for a soft but striking look with copper and mint.
Whatever you choose, make sure your design is practical above all else. You’re going to spend a lot of time in your kitchen and it’ll make your life much, much more enjoyable if you can perform all your tasks with ease. Once you’ve got that in place, the right colours and style will be the icing on the cake.