Most kitchen designs are rooted on or inspired by traditional ideas and rules. However, when coming up with a layout that suits your needs and taste, you need to start thinking outside the box.
Having a kitchen with a poor layout can be a maddening time waster. If there’s one room in your home where you need to get the design right, it should be your kitchen.
If you want to have the perfect kitchen design, you must recognize that it’s all right to break some traditional kitchen design rules and ideas. These include:
1. The kitchen work triangle
The kitchen work triangle design was introduced in the 1940s to help housewives save time and energy while they were cooking. This design principle brought together the three most-used workstations in the kitchen: the sink, the refrigerator and the gas range or stove.
But unless you plan on having a U-shaped kitchen, the work triangle principle won’t suit your needs today. This is because most kitchens today stand along the back wall and usually have an island and walk-in pantry.
Since kitchens are also now bigger or more spacious, the best modern kitchen designs now focus on zones — separate working areas for preparing food, cooking, storage and even cleaning. By having specific zones, you will enjoy an ergonomic kitchen design that will make working in this room more efficient and even safer. This layout will also allow more persons to work in the kitchen at one time.
2. The kitchen as a separate room
In the past, the kitchen was relegated to the back of the house. Sometimes, it was even located outside the house. As such, most of the time, its look was quite different from the overall theme or design of the home.
But because the kitchen is now used as a dining, family and entertaining area, it should also be aligned or compatible with the design or theme of your home. It can even establish the look and feel of your entire living space if you extend the kitchen materials and colors beyond this space.
3. The kitchen as a place for preparing and cooking meals only
Today, the kitchen is not just a place where mom prepares and cooks all meals. It is now a center for family gatherings. It is a place where the whole family can eat, have discussions and spend time together.
It can even be a place for entertaining guests; you don’t have to usher your visitors to the dining or living room for dinner, snack, or for a cup of tea or coffee. You can entertain your guests right in the kitchen itself, comfortably sharing stories while nibbling on some snacks and sipping drinks.
As such, your kitchen design should be functional, good-looking and ideal for accommodating a number of people at once. One key fixture that can help you achieve this is to have a kitchen benchtop. It can serve as a prep area and dining table as well.
4. Single-function fixtures and features
Investing in ready-made or bespoke kitchen fixtures and features that have one use only is not a cost-effective move today. You will get more from your investment if you choose items that can be used for various purposes.
For instance, you can purchase a cabinet with an integrated table which you can use for preparing meals or even as a small dining area. If you have an open space layout, you can have the same cabinetry extend through to the living areas where it can be used as a bookshelf or to house the home entertainment unit.
Aside from being a prep and dining area, the kitchen island can also serve as an additional storage area. Have it outfitted with shelves, cabinets and drawers which you can use to store kitchen utensils, cooking equipment, cutlery and dinnerware. You can even have a functional sink installed on the island to double as a cleaning and washing area.
5. Horizontal-only storage
Lastly, instead of simply going for conventional horizontal cabinet and drawer storage in your kitchen design, consider ways to include vertical wall storage options. Storage walls can be used to store small kitchen appliances and equipment, glassware and baking accessories. When designed properly, they can even work as your pantry or broom closet. If you use your vertical space wisely, you will have a more spacious kitchen.
Your final kitchen design should possess the right blend of functionality and appeal. This combination will give you the perfect modern kitchen – one that can fulfill your whole family’s needs, and one you can proudly show off.
Toby Walker is the Director and Operations Manager of Zesta Kitchens. With over 30 years of industry experience (having previously operated Nobby Kitchens and Bunnings Warehouse Kitchen Centres), Toby’s passion is providing a unique customer kitchen renovation experience, and this filters through the business to ensure a quality product with an on-time kitchen renovation.