My Kitchen Rules Part 1
Designing a new kitchen can be fun but very demanding in terms of thought. What will be the perfect kitchen for you and your new home? In a home built by a Volume builder the kitchen is already planned and designed, with minimal changes that you can incorporate. In a Custom Designed Home, most of the choices and decisions will be on your shoulders.
The first step when planning a new kitchen is to plan the layout that makes the best use of space. There are 4 classic layouts each with their own benefits: single and double galley kitchens, L-shaped kitchens that are built into a corner and U shaped kitchens which surround the cook with everything within easy reach. Your choice needs to work in with your house plan, to provide the ultimate look and functionality for you.
Think carefully about how you wish to use your kitchen – what are the important elements you need for your lifestyle. Light is very important; the size and brand of your cooktop, oven and fridge(I spent a whole day checking out the huge range!); one sink or two; clear vision of your children’s play area; entertaining; somewhere for the kids to eat breakfast or to share a glass of wine with your partner or guest while you cook. So many things to think about – and we haven’t even started with pen on paper. Many people create a scrap board or book, so that when they get to this stage of design they have clear ideas of their ideal kitchen in their head and a hard copy – making it easier to get a final plan on paper!
Today, most new houses are built with an open plan design, separate dining rooms are out and the dining area is incorporated into the kitchen/living zone. This has led to the inclusion of an ‘island’, a multitasking space that is in the kitchen linking the living and kitchen zones. The ‘island’ can be a work bench, serving area, breakfast bar, homework station, socialising table, all of these and more. Some include sinks or pop up power boards, there is usually extra storage underneath on the kitchen side and often stools on the living space side. The whole area forming one united living space. Your kitchen / living space will also need to include a dining / kitchen table for family meals and entertaining.
Think about the placement of those appliances you chose earlier, the basic rule of the golden triangle for functionality is worth considering, and I’m sure your Custom Builder will lead you in the right direction. Now for the exciting stuff- cupboard doors, what colour, style, finish do you want? Slide out drawers are all the rage, and seem to be a good way to store most of your pans, dishes, cups and dinner sets. A garbage bin, recycle bin – maybe vented, definitely slide out for easy use. Your pantry can be of many styles, from traditional cupboard, pull out vertical storage shelves to a full walk in pantry with power for your appliances and some with a sink too.
Wow! This kitchen design is exciting but exhausting too. Do your research, be prepared by collecting pictures and ideas, see what works (or doesn’t) in your friends kitchens and go to your planning meeting ready to tackle the designing task. I’m sorry to say it – but your only limitation may be the cost.