The recipe for a well-designed kitchen
Kitchens have come a long way from being solely a place to cook. Today they are often the heart of the home and the room where families gather as the day begins and ends, where parents cook dinner while checking homework, a spot for cocktails and nibbles before dinner parties, even a second living area for larger households. So it’s important to get the design right from the beginning so your kitchen works for you.
From our years of designing all types of kitchens, we have a set of ground rules with any project:
If size allows we always include an island bench in the design, as it works so well with the social aspect of modern kitchens. Don’t put the kitchen sink in the beautiful island bench – not only is that unattractive, it also limits the functionality of your island bench. The island bench can be used for all sorts of things; a banquet buffet at Christmas, an extra dining table, a place for morning coffee or catching up on emails etc. It’s also often the point of arrival and it should be treated like a beautiful hallway entry with fresh flowers and no clutter, a key feature of your kitchen and living space.
If you have enough room, create seating space around the island bench including a spot for the chef to sit - it’s handy to have a seat while the meal is simmering.
Don’t install over bench cupboards - these can make the kitchen feel smaller, it’s more cleaning and dusting on top and most people aren’t tall enough to reach the top shelf! With a well laid out kitchen, lots of drawers and decanted pantry items, you might find that you no longer have a need for those annoying upper cupboards. Use the space to
compose a spacious and beautiful splashback instead.
If you can, create an area of ‘high’ (full wall height) storage, which contains the wall mounted ovens, appliance cupboard, pantry and integrated fridge. This will give a seamless, neat feel and keep these appliances and food storage areas handily grouped together. Make sure your rangehood is installed correctly to evacuate cooking smells
and grease directly outside - it’s amazing how many existing kitchens we’ve come across where the rangehoods are ducted to nowhere! And if possible create an appliance cupboard, a space with pocket doors where kids can make toast, you can make coffee, create crumbs and mess without worrying because you can shut the doors when you
want the place to look good!
Creating the right flow
We always position the fridge where family members can easily grab a drink without coming all the way into the working space of the kitchen. For washing up, we find the most effective layout is to locate the sink between the pull-out bins and the dishwasher, then you can do everything in one place.
If you install a floor to ceiling pantry, make it work for you by decanting food items into jars that are perfectly sized for the space. This allows you to fit so much into the pantry and create a sense of order and calm in the kitchen.