The kitchen is a key part of your home as anyone will gladly tell you. This is the where the family’s nourishment is prepared. If it is combined with a dining counter, then it is also likely where the family meets in the morning before they leave and go about their daily routines. In the traditional American home, it was also the sole preserve of the lady of the house, and we all know that the lady of the house needs a domain worthy of her.
Remodeling your kitchen is probably something that’s been on your mind for quite a while. You might, however, feel a little daunted by the whole prospect of undertaking a kitchen makeover. What if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to? Where do you even start? After all, we’re not all consummate interior designers and creatives. We decided to talk to an interior designer, Angela Cortez, who has done some of the best kitchen makeovers Brisbane has seen, and she gave us some valuable and inexpensive tips just about anyone can implement in their kitchen makeovers.
Keep Circulation Convenient | When you’re designing your kitchen, you should think about the items you use there. Where do you use them? How do you use them? The answers to these questions will help you better arrange things for convenience so people don’t have to walk around much. Cereals should be near the table where people take breakfast, for example, and dishware should be as close to the dishwasher or sink as possible.
Walkways Should Be Wide Enough | No one wants to feel squeezed when they’re walking through the kitchen. The average path in the kitchen should be no less than 36 inches in width. Near the cooking zones paths should be even wider. You can have either a width of 42 inches or one of 48 inches, depending on how many cooks are going to be in that kitchen. Make sure to take this into consideration when you’re building your peninsulas and kitchen islands.
Manage Kitchen Traffic | There are definitely going to be lots of people in that kitchen, including children. Make sure they don’t end up playing with handles of utensils on the cooktops by putting cooktops out of their reach. On the other hand, make sure the refrigerator is well within reach, both for people working in the kitchen and outsiders coming to pick something up from the kitchen.
Minimize Corners | If you want the doors of your appliances and cabinets to open the whole way, like they’re supposed to, then have enough space for their clearance. You should take account of all the details, including the direction of the swing of the doors when you’re designing your kitchen. You should also avoid having your appliances in corners or right next to each other with opposing swings because that means the doors will bang into each other.
Kitchen Islands | Kitchen islands are probably the most versatile elements in kitchens. In this case, function should be considered first, then form. Figure out if the island will be for cooking, eating or both, and then plan your space so that the dining area and the cooktop are properly separated.
Microwaves | Microwaves are a special issue here because of the eternal question of what height to put them on. It should be appropriate enough that it is kid friendly and convenient enough that the resident chef can easily access it. A height of 15 inches above the countertop is OK for adults and slightly below the countertop should be fine for kids to reach it. It’s all a matter of finding the right compromise.
Countertops | Whenever you’re putting up a cooktop, microwave or refrigerator, you need to consider something called landing space. This ensures you don’t drop anything over the edge easily and onto the floor. A good rule of thumb is to have 15 inches of countertop around cooktops, microwaves and cooktops. You should also have plenty of counter space if you like to cook a lot. This space should ideally be located between the sink and the range. You can also have countertops at two different heights to make for easy meal preparation for your kids and also to support baking.
You Can Have More Than One of Some Appliances | If you’re going to have snackers come into your kitchen frequently then it might be a good idea to have more than one refrigerator and microwave. The extra ones can put right outside the work center of the kitchen so that kids and other outsiders don’t interfere with the workflow in the kitchen. You can even throw in a snack bar with comfortable stools if they want to hang out in the kitchen.
Keep Your Range Tidy | You can do this by adding a shelf just behind the range or beside it. There, you can store your utensils, spices, and oils. Hooks will make for convenient hanging of pots and pans.
Consider Installing a Pot Filler | You might have got tired of filling up water pots and then carrying them all the way from the sink to the cooktop. A few trips like this one and you’ll be pulling out your hair. Luckily, there’s a solution to that problem. You can get a tap that swings out, also known as a pot filler. Install it near the cooktop and use it to fill your pots right where you intend to heat them. You can also install a hose on your faucet that brings the water right to your cooktop.
Knife Storage | Knives are one of those things where you have to strike a delicate balance between being able to conveniently access the tool and also keeping it at a safe distance from kids in order to avoid disasters in the kitchen. You can consider hanging them on a magnetic strip attached to the backsplash. They’ll remain out of the reach of your kids and make it much easier for you to spot the knife you need for a specific job.
Don’t Forget to Promote Recycling | Here you can pick out one cabinet and put separate containers in it where recyclable objects will be put. You can have containers for metal, plastic and glass. If your garbage collection service recycles, you’ll be making the job much easier for them. You can even have a place where you store old newspapers.
Design for Kids | Your kids, being as short as they are, should also be considered when you’re redesigning your kitchen. Make sure that the things that need most like snacks and dishes are put on shelves that are well within their reach.
Space for a Bulletin Board | You should consider having a special message center in the kitchen. It can be near the kitchen telephone (if you’re old school like that) and include a chalkboard, bulletin board a calendar and some writing stationery.
Power | Make sure you have plenty of outlets for power, particularly on the backsplash. Electricity should be available whenever you need it.
Make the Cleaning Process Easier | If you design your kitchen well, cleaning it will be a breeze. Have a matte finish to hide the dirt, a sink with an undermount to reduce the chances of the rim catching crumbs and so on.
Make Your Cabinetry Interesting | Consider breaking up large and boring cabinetry blocks with interesting little details like display shelving and glass doors. Even a window could make a difference.
Color Schemes | For your kitchen, always go for lighter color schemes as they make it feel larger and more inviting. Dark color palettes have the opposite effect.
A Focus for Your Kitchen | Your kitchen should have one focal point that anchors it visually. That focal point should have the most flourish. You can then complement it with more subtle details in the surrounding area.