Your kitchen is often the most hardworking room of your home. Discover how the right design can help make living easy for you and your family
How to design a kitchen that works for you and your family
There was a time when planning a kitchen was relatively simple. First, you chose a layout: U shape, L shape, galley or island. Next, you had to consider the work triangle – the relationship between fridge, sink and stove – and make sure there was no more than a step or two between each. Then you added a bench and storage, and the job was done. You still need to consider all these things, of course, and the work triangle is no less important. But these days, kitchens have morphed into strenuously functional and beautifully designed spaces.
Innovation is what today’s kitchens are all about. And while it can be tricky to find a balance between current and enduring styles, trends present a good way to educate yourself on the latest materials, styles, profiles and fittings. But first things first. As with any room, it’s important to know just what you need to achieve.
Think about the space and the size of your current kitchen, as well as its location. Where does it sit in relation to the living and dining zones? Is it already in the right spot, or could you relocate it to better serve the occupants and the flow of the home? And how big does your kitchen need to be in order to function properly?
Once you lock in the location and size, and have a rough idea of the layout, look closely at storage. Think about all the things you need to accommodate: pots and pans, plasticware, glasses, crockery, cutlery, food, cutting boards, appliances and odds and ends such as plastic wrap and tea towels. Every one of those things needs a home.
Each drawer and cupboard needs to have a designated function, so you know where everything will go and can make sure that everything will ultimately fit. Think about what form this storage should take in order to suit the objects inside, and the level of access you need to make working in your kitchen a breeze.
Drawers work better under benches than cabinets more often than not. They allow you to see all the contents within and to easily grab just what you need. Dividers for large, wide drawers offer a great way to stack glasses, plates and bowls for easy under-bench access. You could try customising pull-out pantries with a mix of drawers and open shelves.
You can also buy fittings that split the contents into two sections for accessibility, as seen above: the front shelves are attached to the door and as you open it, the rear shelves move forward. That means nothing will languish in the back for years.
The perfect finish
Next, consider the aesthetic angle on storage. What will the drawer and cabinet fronts be made from? What is the best colour and material solution? White is a safe and popular choice, but there are ways to jazz it up and elevate it to something special.
Benchtops, splashbacks (think tiles, mirror, or stone), handles and door profile styles all add extra interest. Go wild thinking about contrasting materials – timber, veneer, vinyl wrap, polyurethane, laminate – and exciting finishes. Mixing different textures, colours, gloss levels and patterns can give you a unique and bespoke look.
Start a scrapbook, put your choices together and make sure that they work on paper before applying them to the real world. A big risk can bring big rewards but as this is one of the most expensive and enticing spaces in any house, make sure you create the right kitchen for you, your family and your home.
Words by: Darren Plamer. Photography by: Jeremy Toth and Felix Forest.
This article originally appeared on Homes to Love Australia.