New kitchens are a popular renovation. As the kitchen is often “central station” in a home, careful planning is required before commencing the renovating process.
First, make a list of your “likes” and “dislikes” in your current kitchen. After this, make another list of what you would like in your new area. There are plenty of magazines, brochures and static displays situated in various building information centres to assist you in this task. Here is a sample checklist of things to think about:
- Design and style – do you want a “country style” with lots of timber or a modern high tech design? Think about who will be mainly using the kitchen and their requirements.
- Investment – long term or short term. The time frame you plan to stay in the home may affect what you wish to spend on your kitchen renovation
- “The Golden Triangle”. Think carefully about the location of the food storage areas (refrigerator and pantry), the sink and the cooking appliances. Is the main kitchen worker left or right handed? Try and design out foot traffic from this golden triangle area.
- What will work in the space available – what is needed – appliances, work bench & storage. What is the best layout to allow good flow and functionality
- Wish list and essentials – there are some items that must be included and some that would be nice if space and budget allow.
- Materials – for cabinet doors and panels and the work surfaces – the counter tops.
- Floor covering is another consideration. Ease of cleanup and durability are two factors to consider. Ceramic tiling is appealing, but cork tiles and vinyl are also very popular
- Make sure that your dimensions are accurate and you allow sufficient space for appliances such as refrigerators that are already owned. Allow enough room for the fridge door to open to 130 degrees. Consider the positions of wall ovens and dishwashers to minimize the amount of bending required. Consider also the height of cupboards above benches, and make sure that you provide for a large workspace and storage.
- Positioning and provisioning for a sufficient number of power points is also important. Think about the number of appliances you require.
- If you are planning to have a breakfast bar make sure you leave plenty of leg and foot room at the bottom. Ventilation and disposal of kitchen waste are also important. Special needs – bad back, wheel chair access should also be considered.
There is a lot to think about. Seek professional advice to make sure that you have all angles covered.
Many people are seeing the benefits of having their kitchen professionally designed. A good design, plans & specifications are essential to a successful kitchen project.
A kitchen designer will guide you through the process and help you make vital decisions. It is also an excellent way to compare “apples with apples” when obtaining quotes for cabinets, fittings & benchtops.
Kitchens are costly – that’s a fact – but the most expensive kitchen is the one which is poorly designed and doesn’t deliver what every good kitchen should – functionality, good flow and the wow factor.
Acknowledgement: Lucy J Design www.lucyjdesign.com.