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Designing Your Dream Kitchen
Your kitchen will likely be one of the most expensive rooms to design and build in your new house. It’s also one of the rooms that gets used the most and makes the biggest difference to the flow and feel of family time. The best kitchen designs balance functionality, aesthetic appeal and budget.
Start by understanding how big space is and make sure you have precise measurements. If you’re renovating an existing home, you’ll need to understand where the plumbing and electrical wiring is as moving these ports, especially plumbing, can be extremely expensive.
Also, consider the entrances to the kitchen. If you’re in a smaller house, consider the placement of doors and the direction in which the door will open. If you’re really stuck for space, you might consider a sliding door.
How do you use the space?
One of the key concepts in kitchen design is the work triangle.
This design concept attempts to improve a kitchen’s utility by minimising the distance between the sink, refrigerator and primary cooking surface. Usually, the three should be no more than 8 meters apart with each side of the triangle measuring 1.2 meters and ideally not more than 2.7 meters.
If you’re lucky enough to have more than one person cooking at a time, consider incorporating two work triangles into your kitchen design.
Like all design rules, the triangle can be adapted to your kitchen and home needs.
During social occasions or even at the end of the day, people tend to gravitate towards the kitchen. This means that you must allow adequate space in your kitchen for people to gather and talk.
If you have a smaller house, perhaps consider opening your kitchen to a family or living area. This open-plan layout is particularly useful if you have children in your household as it can give you a line of sight so you can easily supervise them while preparing meals. Open plan layouts are also useful for people who enjoy cooking for and hosting guests in their home.
An often overlooked but critical issue in kitchen design is safety.
Some of the key issues to consider include:
- No open windows, flammable window treatments (especially curtains) near the stove
- Benchtops with curved or round edges (as opposed to sharp edges)
- Installing exhaust fans that discharge outside the building
- Adequate ventilation and natural light
- Safe knife storage
- Adequate bench space for your needs
- Adequate storage space for your needs
- Sufficient number of power points
- Power points sufficiently far away from taps and sinks
- Placing a fire extinguisher in a visible and easily accessible place away from cooking equipment
Lastly, consider the ongoing maintenance of your kitchen. If worrying about lemon juice staining marble benchtops is going to be a difficulty, consider using alternative materials. If you’re going to be doing the cleaning and maintenance yourself, ensure you design a kitchen you can happily maintain.