Tips & Trick

These tips may help you designing your room

Practical Tips For Kitchen

So it is time to tackle the kitchen, no not the dishes that have been piling up, but the kitchen design of your dreams. One of the largest considerations when it comes to any type of design project is making sure everyone’s ideas are heard. The definition of everyone is different with each family it could be you and your spouse or it may include the kids. How you and your family use your kitchen will need to be determined to ensure all considerations have been made.

A kitchen can be beautiful, eye catching and magazine worthy, but without true function and a practical approach, the kitchen’s design falls flat quickly. Instead design a kitchen with its primary focus on functionality that meshes with your lifestyle, and then play up the kitchen’s aesthetics.

Start with a wish list of everything you need in your kitchen, and then follow this list with what you desire in your kitchen. Don’t leave anything out. Be sure to think through how to make your kitchen as functional as possible, by using the following five tips.

TIP #1: PLAN FOR STORAGE – A well functioning storage pantry can take a kitchen’s design from mundane to outstanding.

A storage pantry is a key feature in ensuring your kitchen is functional. It is the home for canned goods, small appliances, dry goods and the list goes on. Understanding how your family uses the pantry, as well as, what your family typically stores in the kitchen will be the insight required to select a pantry and storage facility best suited to you.

TIP #2: PLAN BEHIND CABINET DOORS – Cabinet features and accessories are easily forgotten, however these “extras”, like power steering in your car, will make your kitchen a haven for comfort living.

Cabinet features and accessories are critical to creating a truly functional dream kitchen. However they may be easy to forget because they are often hidden behind cabinet doors and underneath sinks. Cabinet features such as drawers in base cabinets instead of doors, drawers under sinks with cutouts for plumbing, soft-closing or self-closing doors take a kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary. No more slamming of cabinet doors, or drawers just left a touch open.

And remember those rickety corner unit lazy susans or better yet the corner units with non-adjustable shelves in them? Well say good-bye to impractical non-functional corner units and say hello to amazing innovative ideas. Now there are corner units that completely pull out for full access. Other great innovations are corner drawers, stable lazy susans and various blind corner cabinet accessories. Make sure that you do your research when it comes to cabinet accessories and find products that best suit your lifestyle.

There are also thousands of unique cabinet accessories such as: garbage pull outs, recycling centers, drawer dividers, mixer lifts, tray dividers, spice racks, adjustable plate stacks, and the list continues. Once you have a potential kitchen design in place take the time to determine how your pots, pans, cutlery, spices, cups, plates, etc will fit and find they appropriate accessories to maximize its efficiency. Often these cabinet features and accessories may be overlooked, however it’s these hidden gems that truly make a kitchen functional.

TIP #3: DETERMINE WORKSTATIONS & AN ISLAND’S FUNCTIONALITY – Having well-structured workstations, allow a kitchen to be efficient and effective.

Having a basic understanding of the working triangle will help you begin envisioning the primary workstations in your kitchen and how to arrange them in your new kitchen design. A working triangle is the figurative triangle created between your sink, cook top and fridge. The working triangle is one of those things that have been drilled into our heads throughout the years.

The working triangle shouldn’t be your complete guide to designing your dream kitchen, because a great working triangle alone doesn’t create a functional kitchen and can stifle creativity by trying to work within too many constraints. However, its basics should be considered.

The corners of the working triangle are the primary workstations in your kitchen. However, there is another workstation the working triangle doesn’t mention. It’s the food preparation station or stations. The food preparation station is one where you have a reasonable amount of counter space to cut, chop, measure, mix a variety of foods. This could be on a peninsula, on the countertop underneath upper cabinets or on an island.

When assisting clients with their kitchen design many request an island. But be forewarned an island is not appropriate or functional for every kitchen. The first thing that needs to be determined when it comes to a functional island is the space limitations within the kitchen.

An island requires space. On all four sides of an island you need to have a minimum of 36” of traffic space. Once you have measured in 36” from the nearest cabinets and walls the remaining space between your measurements is the space available for an island. For your island to be functional a minimum width of 24”, and a minimum length of is 36” will need to be maintained.

This 36” of traffic space is only a minimum and is not always adequate for all spaces. For example if seating will be incorporated into the island there needs to be more traffic space allowed behind the chairs to comfortable use of the space.

If you need help determining if an island would created added function in your kitchen or where best to place other working stations, your interior designer or kitchen specialist will be able to offer guidance.

TIP #4: EXPLORE APPLIANCE & PLUMBING FIXTURE OPTIONS - To create a functional kitchen the functions of your appliances and fixtures need to unite with the unique requirements and lifestyle of your family.

“The fridge isn’t big enough, honey!” I’ve heard this statement countless times.

Maybe the basic fridge, stove and dishwasher will work perfectly for you. While those with larger families or a lot of dinner guests may benefit from an over-sized fridge, two ovens, a pot filler, and a separate cook top. On the flip side smaller families may benefit from smaller dishwasher drawers, allowing them to wash a smaller load and use less water.

As your family grows and changes you need to consider which appliances you require making your kitchen as stress free and functional as possible. So ask yourself, would the standard appliances prove functional for your lifestyle or would a few extras improve your kitchen’s day-to-day functionality.

Forget for a moment your sink is connected with plumbing pipes. And explore your options by determining where may be a more functional place for your sink, if your new fridge would be more functional if it had a water and ice dispensary, if a secondary prep sink would be beneficial, if a pot filler or instant hot water tap would save you time and increase your efficiency, or if a dishwasher placed in another position would be best.

Next, weigh the costs of moving plumbing with the increased functionality of your kitchen. Before making your final decisions regarding moving the plumbing or not explore all of your options to ensure you won’t regret your decision later.

Now’s the time to make these additions or modifications, before you’ve spend thousands of dollars on the millwork and countertops and construction. Making this decision after the project is completed will not only be very costly but also a waste of a lot of materials.

If you are considering extra appliances or fixtures you need to consider the space limitations in your kitchen. If you have a 100 square foot kitchen and your appliance and fixture list is longer than your arm, consider prioritizing. If you are uncertain about what type of appliances or plumbing fixtures may make your kitchen more functional consult with your interior designer, or appliance specialist.

TIP #5: ADD MANY LAYERS OF LIGHTING – Showcase the rest of your kitchen’s functionality, by layering the lighting in your kitchen.

Without enough light there is only eyestrain, nicked fingers and headaches. Many of my client’s complaints about their existing homes is the lack of light, or the pockets of shadows and darkness that come from poor lighting design. The trick to rid yourself of these same issues is layering your lighting.

When it comes to lighting a kitchen, layers of task lighting is critical. There are many different tasks being done in different areas so providing enough light is essential. You will also need to consider general room lighting, under cabinet lighting, island/peninsula lighting, and any accent lighting desired. Your interior designer or lighting specialist will be able to assist you in determining lighting types, locations and amounts needed.

Use these tips to explore the possibilities in your kitchen, and start discussing your wishes and desires. If you’re overwhelmed by the possibilities or just need someone to walk you through the process of preparing a functional and creative kitchen design set up an appointment with your local interior designer.

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