A new kitchen is a huge but meaningful investment for any home. Looks and functionality wise, it will always add value to your property. However, one thing you don’t want to do is forget the finer details. It’s often the most obvious things that we simply forget when designing a kitchen such as where the bins go or how accessible the fridge is when you’re cooking.
The main function of a kitchen is to cook and prepare food so it has to be highly functional. It’s therefore important to always start the design process by looking at how you use the space when preparing and cooking meals.
But who says it can’t be awesome functional? Thanks to a clever design, our kitchens can become the best-dressed part of the house these days.
We get our own tips, but we’ve also asked the experts to help us. Between us, we’ve created a list of nine things that you can’t do when designing the kitchen of your dreams.
What can’t be done when designing a kitchen
1. Forget counter space
It is a must to plan every inch of working space. A very common flaw in the design of kitchens does not have enough counter space to work with. Remember to have enough space to prepare food, display all your appliances, wash up, and possibly space to eat and socialize if that’s how you ‘re planning to use the kitchen.
2. Underestimate the amount of storage you need
Plan and allocate room for each thing, from spice pots to cutlery-separating drawers. Although the desire to keep adding to the list may be great, a clear initial index will keep you on track. You can stop the temptation to over-crowd your brand new kitchen by sticking to a simple plan.
The secret to achieving the most storage out of your kitchen is to think about smart ways to incorporate storage solutions into existing kitchen essentials. Magnetic boards, for example, help to make use of empty wall space between wall and base cabinets.
Once again thinking outside the box, you should also consider pulling out corner storage for larger and heavier items. Pull out storage is built to fit easily into the cabinets and helps to conveniently store products away and make them easy to access when needed.
Eventually, do not forget to use floor space by finding a trolley that generates extra space when cooking food, or when entertaining, it could also be used as a trolley for drinks. All worthy considerations when it comes to building a kitchen that works at its best to cater for all your needs.
3. Don’t need ventilation
Good ventilation is essential to any kitchen, especially one in cooking up delicious dishes day in day out. Cooking can leave lingering odors, especially on the hob, that really can drift throughout the home if not ventilated. While the scent of home-cooked food is wonderful right now, you don’t want to scent and spoil the mood in the rest of the house.
Invest in a good ventilation system that absorbs impurities effectively, circulates air and, overall, keeps your kitchen clean. Try not to go for cheap goods that simply recirculate the airflow and use tons of energy. There is always a solution that reduces the noise and energy usage to a minimum.
4. Let rubbish stack up
Obviously when it comes to the rubbish, since it’s the least glamorous part, bins are always overlooked. It should be treated as a priority given the fact that waste is completely unavoidable, even though we now require separate recycling, food and disposal.
The simplest option is built-in bins, or at least cupboards to cover freestanding bins. It not only hides the presence of waste but also helps to contain odors. The only feasible alternative is a free-standing bin on view when the designated area is not reserved at the planning stage. Luckily, you can buy trendy solutions now, but if it wasn’t part of the strategy, it won’t please you when you realize waste disposal has been overlooked.
5. Skimp on lighting
Like most rooms, getting the right lighting for the functional use as well as artistic look is important. Preparing food will require clearer, brighter lighting than a dining area in the kitchen. Spotlights hidden under wall cabinets and in the ceiling have always been the most famous, practical choice to be used throughout. They can be categorized according to tasks and using dimmer switches can change the ambiance in an instant.
You might like to consider plinth lighting as well. Strips that run along its base of your cabinet could provide a subtle light which will illuminate your kitchen after hours – handy if you want to sneak in for a sweet treat!
Allow living-room-style lighting for dining area where family and friends come together. Pendants add a more focus point light source and create atmosphere, as do sideboard table lamps.
Overhead spotlights can be turned off or dimmed low when you want the emphasis to be on those statement lights.
6. Avoid the experts
The desire to DIY is always so strong that we neglect the extent of experience involved in any big home project planning. Especially when kitchens feature heavily complicated wires, plumbing and ventilation systems – these should not be messed up when you don’t know what you’re up to.
Going to seek the help of registered traders can also lend a hand to planning and project management. There is no point tilting until electricians are in, for example – you need to know when to complete each stage of the job.
Looking at the larger picture, a smart investment at the start of a project can prove to be more cost-effective compared to an amateur take on such a complex task.
7. Leave out plugs and power
It sounds so simple, but think about how you are going to use your kitchen before you commit yourself to plumbing in all of your appliances. Think of your workflow in the space. Where will be the tea point? Will there be another hand plug, a toaster plug? Is the microwave built in or do you need a space for this voluminous device on the countertop?
8. Go over budget
Do not start renovating your kitchen without a budget and a plan. Even if you have resources to break out, it will help prevent over-expenditures by bearing in mind what you need from your renovation.
A budget analysis is one of the most common mistakes in the construction of many homes. We all saw ample episodes of Grand Design to just know too well that project spending will drastically increase. This can often add to the inflated costs, as above, the forgotten factor. The best way to avoid over spending is to create a stock list which will ensure that the furniture and the contents are taken into account.
Don’t waste money on needless or unreasonable things that will wear off quickly and have to be updated. For example, a laminate wood worktop can be cheaper and more durable to meet your needs compared to a solid woodwork if you do a lot of cooking and have small children who can damage and spoil it.
9. Choose a design that will date
As tempting as it is to look at the latest trends, make your kitchen design a more considerate choice. Avoid selecting a design that is likely to date in just a few years, and be old news. When constructing your dream kitchen bear in mind that kitchens are not cheap to maintain.
You can go out there with a paint, wallpaper and accessories as you can change them easily and economically if you want. Brightly colored gloss cabinet doors seems like a great idea right now but you can’t paint. A few years from now, will you still love them if you go for it? If you’re unsure at all, stick to a timeless and classic choice.
A good kitchen should see you through at least 10 years, so it’s important to get it right. It’s worth thinking too about its re-sale value, if you plan on moving within 10 years. Resale value and that won’t put off potential buyers if you ever plan to sell your home.
Know you’ve got a complete checklist you’re ready to get planning to your heart’s content.