The Do’s and Don’ts of Designing Your Perfect Kitchen

The Do’s and Don’ts of Designing Your Perfect Kitchen
  • Opening Intro -

    Kitchens see the most use in our homes.

    They have to be functional, hard-wearing and, most importantly, beautiful- the kind of place where you and your family want to spend time.

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Designing the perfect kitchen can be challenging, and achieving a layout that ticks all the boxes is not a task to be taken lightly. The first ‘Do’ in this list of Do’s and Don’ts then would be to consult a professional kitchen designer. Taking on a massive redecoration project like this, single-handed, is not advisable, because you may end up making a very costly mistake that could take a lot of work to fix. Professional kitchen designers will also know about the latest technology and design features that could work brilliantly in your home, which you may never have considered before.

So with that in mind, here is a list of a few more kitchen design do’s and don’ts to think about before undertaking a huge job like re-decorating the heart of the home.

Do Plan Your ‘Kitchen Hotspots’ Carefully

The three areas that see the most action in any given kitchen are the sink, the oven and the fridge. Make sure that you have good access to these points in your design scheme and ensure that three different people have enough room to wash, snack and cook – all at the same time – without getting in each other’s way.
For most there will typically be around three metres separating each ‘zone.’ Make sure that the distance is not greater than five metres, because this will be too far away for your convenience.

Don’t Assume That Your Sink Has To Stay Where It Is

Many kitchens have the sink directly above the plumbing, but this may not be the best place for the sink in your dream kitchen. Consult a plumber to see if the plumbing and drainage can be moved to somewhere that will work better for you, say under a window, for instance.

Do Buy Cabinets That Are Built To Last

Unless you want to fit a new kitchen every two or three years, buy a kitchen that is built to last. Invest in materials that are strong and durable, and make sure that the hinges and drawer runners are strong enough to withstand years of opening and closing without falling apart or becoming jammed.

‘Soft close’ devices prevent you from slamming your drawers and cabinet doors and will protect the finish of your kitchen and are therefore a wise investment.

Don’t Over-Egg The Pudding

There is such a thing as over-designing your kitchen space and incorporating too many elements that will make your kitchen feel too overpowering for you to relax and cook in.

For instance, buying too many of the latest stainless steel mod cons could potentially frustrate you as you realise that the old appliances you had before were perfectly serviceable. Think, do you really need a microwave that cooks your baked beans in a thousand different ways? And do you really need to fill that redundant wall with cabinets, do you even have anything useful to store in them?

It’s very hard to know when to stop, but know that every kitchen should have its limits.

Do Think Floor To Ceiling

It’s important to consider the vertical layout as well as the horizontal layout in your kitchen design and ensure that you are getting the maximum amount of storage from your cabinets. Don’t get cabinets that fall short of the ceiling because the tops of them will only end up collecting dust and grime as the space becomes neglected.

Don’t Consider Lighting As An Afterthought

Bad lighting in a kitchen will render even the most beautiful design as ugly and unfit for purpose. Not to mention the fact that it’s really not a good idea to handle knives or hot food in an area where you can’t really see what you’re doing properly. 

You will need task lights -recessed spots lights, for example – over the main working areas, some atmospheric accent lighting for the dinner table (perhaps a low hanging pendant fixture that creates a soft pool of light on the table’s surface), and some general overhead lighting to illuminate the whole room for when you’re heading downstairs for a midnight snack.

Do Consider Your Countertops As A Priority

At the very least, investing in stunning countertops will really freshen up your kitchen décor. And, according to designer Leah Moss, the thicker the countertop the better the look. She also recommends spending the lion share of your budget on counters, if you can’t afford to revamp the whole space, because this will make the most visual impact. Also try and get the most countertop space as possible in your kitchen, as this is the most useful design element in any scheme.

Don’t Forget Ventilation

Don’t scrimp on installing a decent ventilation system for your new kitchen because you don’t want your house to always smell like the previous night’s meal. It just doesn’t make for a pleasant dining atmosphere. Good ventilation will also help you keep on top of the cleaning, as steam and odours will be less likely to settle on your tiles and high gloss kitchen cabinets.

Have you got any other clever kitchen design tips? Share them in the comments below.

Estelle Page is a writer and interior designer from Sussex who has seen it all in the kitchen design biz. Ask her your interior design questions on Twitter.

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