Renovating your kitchen is the opportunity to create a space for your family that is personal, practical, and stunning. Here we look at some aspects that should be considered when planning your ideal space.
Clever Planning is Key:
If you are going to invest bucket loads of time, energy and money renovating a kitchen, it is crucial that clever consideration is given to planning the whole project before you start. Regardless of whether you are totally restructuring, or just tweaking a few bits, adding new appliances and replacing tired units, you will still need to give a great deal of thought to the process. The most important factor has to be functionality, as your kitchen needs to be practical. A great principle to work with, is keeping the three most-used areas, the hob, fridge and sink, situated in a triangle shape, with no more than six feet in between them. This immediately maximises usability and convenience, regardless of what shape or size your kitchen is. When planning your kitchen, don’t scrimp on the cupboard and storage space; think creatively, making use of any small, tight spaces, and try to fit cupboards right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a pointless gap that serves no purpose. Deep drawers are another useful way to maximise storage space. One last major consideration is lighting; this is often overlooked, but is a crucial component of an efficient kitchen. Overhead lighting in a kitchen is often impractical because it can create shadows on the surfaces you are working on. It is a much better idea to include under cabinet spot lights, as these will shine right on to the counter-top; they can also be switched on only where you need them, rather than lighting the whole kitchen, which is energy-efficient. Light bulbs direct do all kinds of spot lights, at a reasonable price. You can buy them from here.
Make it All About You:
The kitchen is often the most integral part of the house; the place where the whole family gathers. Therefore, put your own unique stamp on it. Why not go with a theme, and incorporate it all over the kitchen? This doesn’t need to be anything too elaborate; choosing a colour scheme with coordinated accessories is enough to add your own personal touch. Although kitchens are traditionally quite bare of paintings or photos, it doesn’t have to be that way; filling up your walls with bright canvases and favourite family pictures will allow for a feeling of warmth. Similarly, you may not wish to clutter valuable surface space with decorative items, there is no reason why you can’t find a spot in your newly renovated kitchen for a display; use a simple shelf to show off items you cherish, or your favourite plate collection.
Install Smart Appliances:
Although it might be tempting to cut corners and use your old appliances, this is rarely a good idea; they will simply look out of place in a new kitchen. Go for modern, updated versions, as these smart appliances do what they say on the box by offering innovative ideas that are often far more economical and user-friendly than their predecessors. A great example is a double drawer dishwasher like this one: these fit into the space of a standard dishwasher, yet provide a flexible (each drawer can be run on a separate cycle, at the same time), energy-saving, and practical option.
Another smart appliance rapidly increasing in popularity is a convection oven. Although they have been commonplace in commercial kitchens for some time, they are now taking off for home use. These ovens can reduce cooking time by 25%, with means that meals are conveniently ready much quicker, using less energy.
If you live in a hard water area, then installing a water softening system like this one is a must-have during any kitchen makeover. Hard water causes untold damage to pipes and electrical appliances, and leaves unsightly marks in toilet bowls, and in sinks and baths. Installing a water softener is simple, as most models will fit easily under your kitchen sink. The benefits will be remarkable: energy costs will dramatically reduce, and the efficiency of appliances will be greatly improved. Not only that, but less elbow grease and fewer cleaning products will be needed, as unsightly marks will be a thing of the past.
Keep Your Surfaces Practical:
Give careful consideration to your work surfaces and floors; what might look visually stunning could prove a nightmare to maintain. For example, stainless steel looks amazing, but is easily scratched. Go for a surface that is easy to clean, and takes wear and tear well. Butcher block counter-tops are affordable and relatively low maintenance, and they offer an attractive, yet functional option. Alternatively, you could opt for granite, caesarstone or soapstone which would all add a touch of luxury to your kitchen. When considering your floor surface, again practicality should take priority; try not to be swayed by beautiful floors that will be difficult to clean or maintain, especially with a young family. Whichever you choose, the material should be non-slip, porous and easy to look after.
Put Safety First:
For families with small children, safety in the kitchen is often one of the biggest concerns. Renovating offers the opportunity to re-design the kitchen in a way that is practical and safe. Place your oven at adult height, rather than floor level, to prevent accidents. Use counter-tops that have rounded, rather than sharp, edges, and choose drawers that are soft closing to reduce the likelihood of trapped fingers. It is also a good idea to invest in some cupboards that are lockable, as this will ensure that hazardous products (such as bleach) are secured away from inquisitive hands.