tips and ideas on designing your dream kitchen
I would share our trials and tribulations about designing a kitchen
for our new home and maybe save you some of the stress we experienced.
most important lessons I have learned is:
are personal spaces - one size or one design does not fit all!
a professional kitchen designer - saves time and effort in long
by choosing your appliances - saves a lot of time as you have
all the measurements when you start designing.
into account your lifestyle.
I could do it over, i would design my kitchen first and then
build the house around it
me the kitchen is the hub of the house, not just a space for preparing
meals, its for entertaining/ socialising - like long cozy meals
with friends, chats with hubby after a long day and lazy meals
at week-ends, plus of course all the facilities to indulge my
passion for cooking.
at the end of the day, your kitchen must be what you want, not
what your friends have or what your designer/renovator wants,
so keep in touch all the way through from design to installation
and finish - stay true to your vision.
I wrote the email out to FoodFreinds members asking for advice
(thanks for all replies), I have received numerous phone calls
asking me for advice and sourcing of materials.
person asked - "can you purchase all in Penang?" From
my experience the answer is Yes.
has a huge range of appliances from local brands to a huge range
of imported brands, several designer kitchen showrooms, at least
two different ranges of 'solid' work-surfaces and almost everything
you need for your dream kitchen. Two areas I found lacking - a
good set of kitchen knives and gadgets.
of our friends have also bought new homes here in Penang, so I
viewed their kitchens, got their advice, asked what lessons they
learned and what would they change it anything?
and lessons learned:
Create a Natural Workflow
Kitchens are organised into three main work zones - storage, washing
up and cooking. kitchens designers call this the Work Triangle,
and most designs are planned with these components in mind.
Now, based on extensive research with kitchen experts and everyday
kitchen users - kitchens should be planned with Five Zones:
- includes fridge/freezer
- includes dishes, glasses, cutlery as well as empty plastic
- the sink and dishwasher form the centre of this zone
- where meals are prepared- utensils, knives, electric appliances
- arranged around the hob and oven, pots and pans and cooking
That while the oven is for cooking, food in an oven does not require
the attentions that cooking on a hob needs stirring, turning etc.
So the hob has to be conveniently placed, but the oven does not.
Made to Measure
The standard bench height is 900mm. However, if you are taller
or shorter than the average person, you should have bench height
modified to suit your height. As a general rule, a bench-top along
a wall should be around 600mm - 650mm in depth - any deeper and
it becomes too far to reach the back.
A good kitchen gives you room to move but is compact enough to
allow easy reach between different activities. Make sure it isn't
a thoroughfare. Bear in mind that left - to right handedness affects
Room To Move
Leave ample bench space between the sink and the cooktop and next
to fridges and freezers, as it makes unpacking easier.
Try and avoid having to cross the kitchen with hot pots and pans.
Close proximity of the hob to the sink makes it easier to drain
pasta and vegetables.
Locate the dishwasher near the sink to allow easy loading. This
also concentrates your plumbing in one space and saves money.
The dishwasher should be close to the crockery and cutlery. It
should also be away from doorways and ovens, so it can be loaded
A multi-bin sorter under the sink is a great solution. It means
you can separate your rubbish for recycling straight away. Also
think about putting in a waste disposal unit - these certainly
get rid of a lot of bulky vegetable waste.
Ensure appliances and cabinetry fit, accounting for the 'sweep'
of doors and opening drawers and allowing for normal movement.
Have more electric points than you think that you need - plan
out where you think you want them and go for double sockets.
There are interesting system on the market - strips that enables
you to move the sockets to any point along it. Makes it a very
Think about your Liftstyle
Questions to ask: Are you a Delia Smith? Size of your family?
Use of kitchen? Will you eat in the kitchen? Type of food you
prepare? Do you entertain?
Also consider the design of the appliances for your personal use.
For example if you like lots of fresh fruit and vegetables - then
you need a fridge with lots of fresh food space, good chiller
space and less freezer space. So think of uses before you purchase.
Make sure there is enough, whether natural, ceiling, or under
Non-slip, water proof, sealed for easy cleaning and resistant
to oil and heat.
A kitchen is normally expected to last a long time - at least
ten years. Think carefully about your choice of colour. What is
trendy this year will be immediately dateable in a few years time.
White or neutral colours are the colours of choice and additional
colour can then be introduced by means of storage jars, crockery,
kitchen towels etc.
So many choices - find out what they will be like a few years
down the line (e.g. some laminates/gloss finishes can peel away
from the core between them). Everything at floor level should
be water proof. Avoid laminated chip board touching the ground.
Carefully consider the choice between a real granite or marble
work surface and a 'solid' surface - these days the price is about
(A) Solid surface bench-tops are made of a solid block (a mix
of natural minerals and acrylic), ensuring a uniform colour with
no visible joins. The advantage of using a material such as this
is that it is stain-resistant, hygienic, can be custom-made to
your specifications and comes in a huge range of colours and patterns.
Also if there is damage to surface it is possible to sand down
(B) Marble and granite are porous, although durable it can scratch
and chip and will need to be sealed regularly. Marble will be
dissolved by acids like lemon juice and vinegar. Colours may vary
and joins are visible.
Extractor fans have to be at optimum distance from the work surface
to be efficient. If you are going to extract to the outside ensure
that you have a suitable external wall or else consider a recycling
system (not so efficient).
If you are going to have an island ensure that it will be big
enough - a lot of them are not and simply take up a lot of space
for no good reason. Mark the site out and ensure that you have
enough space all the way round to open doors and drawers, pass
by etc. Kitchen designer will give you the required measurements.
Consider if you want a sink in the Island so you can have the
water supply and drain installed as the building is constructed.
Think about where to put cookery books so that they are easily
Big or small, basic or elaborate, most efficient kitchen designs
fall into one of a few basic arrangements. Your existing kitchen
probably fits one of these. Think about which appeals most to
L-shape kitchens have one long "leg" housing two of
the three basic appliances (range, fridge, sink) and one short
"leg" housing the other. This layout often places
the fridge at one end, the range at the other, and the sink
U-shape kitchens have two "legs" of equal length,
so the range and fridge are opposite each other and the three
appliances are equal distance apart.
G-shape kitchens are L- or U-shaped with an added peninsula
partly separating the work area from an adjoining breakfast
area or family room.
or galley-shape kitchens, sometimes called step-saver kitchens,
and sink on one wall, a fridge directly opposite, and a narrow
(but not less
36- to 40-inch) walkway in between. Very efficient use of space
but no space for eating.
the above information advice in mind - go create your dream kitchen
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