When it comes to functionality, a well-designed kitchen makes all the difference.
As any chef worth their salt would know, the layout is all important when it comes to efficient cooking – and not to mention safety.
This layout doesn’t happen by chance though. It requires thoughtful planning at the design stage, where your personal cooking preferences are taken into account.
A commonly found concept is that of the ‘working triangle’, with the three points of this triangle being the sink, the fridge and the oven/hob.
Obviously, your kitchen is limited by the size and shape of the wider room in which it’s housed. But the hypothesis of the triangle looks to minimise the walking distance between each of the three points making cooking a more manageable process.
The triangle, though, isn’t essential. It’s also possible to work to a zonal approach, where specific zones are attributed for specific purposes – for instance, we’re often asked to incorporate a relaxation zone as well as an entertaining area and sometimes a homework/office space. Some kitchen designers think this improves the flow of the kitchen when compared to the rigidity of the triangular approach.
We think both can work on their own merit. Our consultation process takes into account the elements that are most important to our clients on a personal level. Which aspects of their kitchen do they consider essential and which are secondary? We’ll put the emphasis on the former rather than the latter and make our design work for them.
Some things may appear more straightforward than others, but it’s worth considering them carefully too. Although it seems obvious to keep mugs/cups next to the source of hot water for example – be that via an integrated coffee machine, kettle or an instant boiling tap – adequate storage space needs to be allocated within the drinks making zone as well. Mug trees aren’t to everyone’s taste, and indeed can clutter the aesthetics of a kitchen, so providing appropriate storage from the off helps to keep counter tops clear and reduces the need to incorporate additional clutter.
Touching on keeping things out of sight, keep obscure items in obscure spaces. If they’re not in regular use, relegate them to a low-level storage space and keep them at the back! That’s especially the case for seasonal items, such as your favourite Christmas serving dish. You do though, need to make sure there’s sufficient space for this.
If your cooking methodology follows a ‘splash here and a dash there’ then make room for spices and key cooking/baking ingredients near the hob so that they’re in easy reach mid preparation. Those who follow a recipe religiously, might prefer to ensure they have adequate worktop space to allow the easy measurement of ingredients ahead of the actual cooking…while also keeping them close at hand. A popular addition to kitchens these days is a MODO rail that can house a knife block, from which you can also hang utensils, while also having an iPad holder to allow easy access and reading of online recipes.
It’s not just the actual cooking that needs to be taken into consideration either. Our view of the kitchen centres on kitchen living, where it serves as the focal point for the home, acting as a social hub around which the family can gather. Therefore, promoting a socially inviting environment also plays its part in kitchen design – which goes back to our previous reference to relaxation areas that often incorporate sofas, televisions and other accoutrements more traditionally associated with the sitting room than the kitchen.
Given the inherent dangers of a kitchen though, ensuring the sociable part of the space is also safe is again something to be considered prior to its implementation. Keep kitchen ‘guests’ away from the hazardous areas such as the hob, perhaps by incorporating a breakfast bar to the side of the preparation area – which keeps them out of harm’s way, while also within easy talking distance.
Efficiency in the kitchen isn’t an accident of design, it’s a process that needs to be thought through. As kitchen design experts, we aim to make this easy for you. So, please get in touch and chat with the team – we’re well practised in creating the perfect kitchen space to meet your requirements, whatever those happen to be.