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Tips for Building a Sleek Kitchen

Posted in Kitchens over 6 years ago, 0 replies

It may be the social hub of many households but the kitchen is primarily a workshop and any new design must be well planned, well lit and well ventilated. Before thinking about color schemes or approaching a designer, it is vital that every practical consideration is given careful thought.

Layout
The 'work triangle' is the classic kitchen layout, placing the cooker, refrigerator and sink at three equal points. For a larger kitchen, work zones can be grouped by task such as food storage, food preparation, cooking, clean-up and washing. The addition of an island will provide a more flexible area for preparation, drinks or casual dining. Once identified, the requirements of each zone should be evaluated for worktop space, lighting and storage. Additional considerations are sink and drainer sizing, tap design, waste and recycling needs and the position of power sockets according to appliance.

Space
Seek clever ways to accommodate any quirks of the room into the plan. A wide range of design elements will assist in maximizing storage space. These include bespoke cabinets and shelving, pull-out trays, pull-down drawers, wall-mountings, corner systems, larder fittings, hidden and integrated waste disposal and retractable sockets. Taking the time to match innovative design solutions with individual needs will result in a smoother functioning and more spacious kitchen.

Worktop
As well as looking good, the worktop must be sturdy, heat resistant and easy to clean. Laminate worktops offer a non-porous and durable solution in a range of styles at reasonable prices. Wooden worktops have natural good looks but can stain and discolor or react to moisture, particularly around the sink. Granite and engineered stone represent the most hardy but expensive choice. Due to the weight of these materials, some reinforcement of the cabinets beneath may be necessary.

Lighting
Any kitchen should be well lit. Ill-conceived lighting will certainly irritate and may be dangerous. A lighting plan should form part of the main kitchen design in order to identify potential dark spots and meet every practical need. Feature and ambient lighting add atmosphere but task lights beneath wall units and under cooker hoods must be fit for purpose. All work areas should be brightly lit with down-lighting to avoid dazzle. Automated lights can also be positioned within units to illuminate each time the door is opened. Natural light should also be considered with uncluttered large windows and bright, reflective surfaces. For kitchen extensions, skylights and French windows will always benefit the room.

Ventilation
Kitchens become hot and odorous and if badly ventilated, emissions can linger and cling to surfaces. Large opening windows will provide natural ventilation but an external extractor fan or powered filter above the stove will assist further in removing odors, smoke and contaminants. Whichever ventilation solution is preferred, selecting a model that is correctly sized for the kitchen and stove is vital.

Planning a new kitchen presents a myriad of practical considerations for design, materials, layout and proportion. It is a challenging and daunting process but with careful planning and forethought, one that will pay rich dividends.
Photo of Tony.