You hear it all the time but the kitchen really is the heart of the home. As well as being a food preparation area, it is also a place for entertaining and for the family to congregate so it is essential to get the right kitchen for your needs. A poorly designed kitchen will cause no end of frustration so we will take the time to talk to you and sort out your requirements to ensure that you get the best kitchen possible.
Designing your Kitchen
This may end up being a long process, but taking the time to get things right here will ensure that there are no problems in the future. The first thing to consider when planning for your new kitchen is what you will use it for, whether it be primarily for cooking for your family or for entertainment (for more information see new kitchen). If you plan to entertain, how often will you do so, how many people will you be cooking for and will it be formal or informal? All of these influence how much space you will need, both to work and for storage.
Identify existing problems in your current kitchen and see how these can be rectified. Working with a professional kitchen designer is invaluable here, and throughout all parts of the kitchen design process. If you do not like the placement of existing plumbing and electrics, keep in mind that it may not be as expensive as you think to relocate these. A plumber or electrician will need to be consulted before making any decisions. However, any kitchen should have the following basics: ample working and storage space, good lighting, good plumbing, reliable appliances, and plenty of power points (for all those small kitchen appliances!)
Types of Kitchens
There are several different types of kitchens from U-shaped to island kitchens. Following is a brief overview of each type.
- U-shaped kitchen – this style of kitchen is suitable for small or large kitchens and is the safest design in that it stops members of the household from walking through the potentially dangerous work triangle. It also offers optimal bench and storage space. If seating is at a premium in your home, you can also use one of the “legs” of the U as a breakfast bar or eating area.
- L-shaped kitchen – this kitchen style is great for narrow, long or open-plan rooms and still provides a good amount of storage and workspace. It is also easy to reach all of the main working areas.
- Single-line kitchen – use this kitchen in small spaces. This style of kitchen has appliances placed underneath the countertop for maximum workspace and storage cabinets are usually placed overhead.
- Galley – this style of kitchen minimises the amount of movement as cupboards and workspaces are located in front of and behind you. However ensure that the space between the two sides is wide enough for people to navigate around you.
- Island kitchen – this is any style of kitchen with a separate workbench included. This is useful if more than one person is cooking at a time and works best in larger open areas, so that traffic flow is not impeded.
Kitchens can be constructed from a wide variety of materials including timber, stainless steel, stone such as granite or marble, tiles, laminate and glass. Here is a brief run down of each material:
- Stone – granite, marble and other stone is a very classy material that will not scratch, burn or otherwise mark. It is expensive but it will last for a long time.
- Acrylic – for use as benchtops and splashbacks is a great idea because it is an extremely versatile product whose main feature is its ‘seamless’ joins.
- Laminate – can be used practically anywhere in the kitchen – for countertops, cupboards and doors. The wide range of finishes available means it will suit any kitchen design but it is not as hardwearing as some other materials.
- Tiles – are great for splashbacks and other accents but if used as a countertop, the grouting may prove to be unhygienic. Tiles come in a great range of colours and finishes and can be very inexpensive. For more see kitchen tilers.
- Stainless Steel – is a very modern look and also hygienic but it can be hard to keep clean.
- Timber – is stylish and durable but if used as a countertop, it is prone to scratches and burn marks and can be unhygienic if meat or poultry is prepared on it. However, it is a great option for cupboards and drawers.
- Glass – in the kitchen, glass is used primarily for shelving and splashbacks. It provides a modern look and is hard wearing if properly reinforced but it can show dirt easily.
For more advice or help with your next kitchen renovation call Kitchen Biz on 9816 3799 and speak to a professional.