What's a good starting point for planning a kitchen?
There are many things that need to be considered early on in your kitchen design. Firstly it is important to apply the 'working triangle' to any kitchen plan, as although its format may seem basic, it is equally an affective way to make sure you can move around your kitchen with ease. The three points of the triangle connect the main work areas in the kitchen - the cooker, the sink and the refrigerator. Keeping a certain amount of space in between each of these can help keep traffic in the workspace to a minimum.
Having an abundance of storage and planning the positions of specific storage solutions is important to work out earlier than later and will save you having to adapt the way to work in your kitchen. Its essential to try and "imagine yourself standing at each major area of the kitchen, and determine what they need within arms reach" says architect Hiromi Ogawa. For example considering the proximity of your cutlery draw to the sink or your dishwasher ensures a quick and easy cleanup.
The dream is to have a long run of worktop space, which is most of the time not possible, however it is important to plan your worktop space to make sure that you aren't having to cut your veggies on top of your hob! If at all possible a kitchen island is a perfect way of adding additional worktop space that also allows you to look into the room, making your food preparation more sociable.
What sort of layout options are there to consider and what the pros and cons of some of the most popular?
The sort of layout options available to you are always lead by the space that you are working to. One-wall kitchens are on trend at the moment as it de-clutters a space and becomes a talking point in its simplicity, ideal for smaller spaces but can be dramatic when used in a larger space as it appears as one long run of worktop.
An L-shaped kitchen can maximise corner spaces and allows you to gain as much storage and worktop space from two walls. A Horseshoe design can mean that you can add extra units into a room without sitting directly onto a wall. It can also double up as a place to eat with the addition of stools and extra space to prepare food. The most popular layout is a peninsula kitchen where a kitchen island sits proud of a line of wall backed units. The benefit if having an island means that it allows the cook to interact in the space and cook or clean up facing into a room. The extra storage space that it provides is also a benefit and can be used as a feature piece, topping it with a concrete surface for instance.
Source: DeVOL Kitchens
What do you need to consider when choosing worktops?
A kitchen worktop can define a kitchen and make it an individual, stylish and depending on the style, a dramatic space. The first thing to consider when deciding on a kitchen worktop is the budget, second is practicality and finally the style.
Kitchen worktops can most often than not break the budget so it's important to understand how much your ideal worktop will cost and build it into the overall budget of the kitchen. A laminate is most often than not the more affordable type of top with a marble being the most expensive on the market.
Once you have a budget in mind the next step is to consider the practicalities, such as the maintenance of your worktop with young children or the ability to move a hot pan from your cooker straight to the worktop.
A marble can be an incredibly dramatic statement but is prone to staining and can be a strain on the wallet. To answer busy households prayers, the market for copycat marble worktops has grown to great proportions with Quartz or Corian stones mimicking marble patterns beautifully as well as providing a heat and stain resistant work surface.
What are the latest trends in kitchen design?
Colour! There is a new wave of interest in coloured kitchen units. Mixed together with dramatic worktops makes for a spectacular kitchen design. A colour that seems to keep popping up is a deep racer green matched with an Alcantara Black Granite worktop.
An on going trend is the use of metal sheeting or gold or copper shaded glass either as a splash back or placed on the face of kitchen cabinets.
How do you decide on a colour scheme?
Deciding on your ideal colour scheme begins with a single design catalyst. It may be that your kitchen is to work around the love of brass accents or around your desire to have a minimalist and crisp white kitchen. It is important to find something that drives your colour choices and will therefor in turn fulfil the overall design.
Do all the metallic finishes in your kitchen have to match or can you mix them up?
I think keeping the metallic finished in your kitchen the same provides clarity of design however it can be a big decision to invest in a brass tap just so that it matches the brass pendants above the kitchen island or the brass splash back. I believe its always important to throw yourself fully into an design and if that means making sure everything is in the same metallic finish then I think this is important and will aesthetically pay you back tenfold.
Source: Isle Crawford Interiors
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