Where do you spend the majority of your time when you’re at home? I don’t know about you but of an evening, my waking hours are mostly spent in the kitchen. I’m preparing dinner while simultaneously 20% of my brain is watching the news, another 30% of my brain is thinking about work and another 10% is wishing the cat would realise there’s no second dinner happening tonight (for him at least).
It turns out, most of my clients are the same and the kitchen is the number one priority space when thinking about renovating their home. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about kitchens and the best ways to resolve issues like storage space, manoeuvrability, practicality and of course aesthetics and style. If you’re starting to think about renovating your kitchen or even just fantasising about what your kitchen could be, I’ve got 4 tips for you!
Tip number one: Nobody puts baby (the fridge) in the corner! Yeah, okay fine that dirty dancing quote is totally over used but it’s just so relevant here. Whether you’re including an integrated fridge or a stand-alone fridge in your kitchen, my number one rule is to not put it in a corner. You want the door to be able to swing past 90 degrees so that you can open it up the whole way. This is so that you can get in there are really find what you’re looking for but the main reason is cleaning. In order to be able to pull the shelves out and give your fridge a really good spring clean, that door needs to swing all the way open. (kitchen drawing showing a door swing)
Tip number two: Utilise those corners! Now that we’ve established that there are no fridges in the corners of your kitchen, let’s use them for something else! Storage is the most flexible way to use the corner cupboards in your kitchen. There are great options for pull-out shelves that curve around corners and help you make use of every inch of kitchen space. Another great kitchen element that I like to bring into my designs when possible is a flip-up appliance cupboard which is accessible from your kitchen bench. If we can utilise empty space while also finding a place to hide the toaster, I’m always on board.
Tip number three: Lighting is a big deal. Incorporating a range of different kinds of lighting into your kitchen will make a big impact on the design and also the functionality of your kitchen space. I like to add the following to most of my designs: and LED strip light to the underside of overhead cupboards (task lighting), downlights (primary lighting) and if theres an appropriate island bench, pending lighting or chandelier (feature/ ambient lighting). If there’s no spot for a pendant or chandelier, maybe think about whether or not decorative wall lights could be incorporated to add a little jewellery.
Tip number four: Pick an appliance theme and stick to it! If you’re thinking about appliances like your oven, dishwasher, fridge, cooktop etc my biggest tip is to try and stick to only 1 or 2 brands (the less the better) as they generally will have a collection that you can choose a range of different pieces from. If you’re choosing from different brands (let’s face it, we need to think about more than aesthetics when selecting important things like appliances) then stick to a colour scheme. For example, mostly black glass with elements of stainless steel or full stainless steel or white glass only. Things will start to look messy and rushed if there’s more than one aesthetic theme going on. Try to also keep this in mind when selecting your microwave, toaster and kettle especially if they’re on the counter all the time.
These are my absolute top 4 tips for designing your kitchen. There are of course many more things that go into designing a beautiful and functional cooking space so if you need some help, don’t be afraid to get in touch!
Until next time xx