Designing your kitchen should be one of the most fun parts of designing your home. The kitchen is considered one of the most vital parts of the home, It is the one room almost everyone goes to for comfort! I know at my house, whenever we are lost, tired, hungry, or bored, we end up in the kitchen, I call it the comfort room.
So how do you design your own kitchen? Are there rules? Can we be spontaneous? Well my answer is yes to both. There are rules yet at the same time the kitchen should be designed around your lifestyle. If cooking is an essential part of your life, it is natural to have 4 burners, a nice large oven, space to cut up vegetables, large fridge etc.. If you just order in and go for the basics, you might just need a microwave and a couple of burners. A kitchen for a family of 6 is different than one for a family of 3, and so on.
I will lay out the best points to consider when designing your kitchen:
1- Circulation: This is directly related to your lifestyle. Do you sit in the kitchen? Then you will need bar stools, or a sofa if the space permits. Do you cook? Then you need a nice space for the cooking and prepping area.
There is a rule we learned at University and it mentioned that in an ideal kitchen you will have a working triangle. This means that the fridge, sink, and stove will be in a triangular position. I don’t really believe in that. I prefer to go with intuition and work according to the space we have and how you move around in your kitchen. So if you like to cook, you can’t have the fridge so far away from the preparation area. The vegetables ,for example, should be easy to get from the fridge to the sink for washing, then to the counter for chopping. See? Simple, it’s all common sense.
2- Specify Appliance & Utilities Locations: Once you work on the layout that suits you, you will know the location of each appliance, the stove, the sink, the fridge, microwave, etc… Once you do you will know where to put the electrical plugs for the appliances and water supply for the sink or sinks if you have more than one. If you have the space, you can have a large sink for the tray and dish-washing, and a smaller one close to the preparation area for vegetable washing.
3-Colors and Design: This is the fun part, once you have the location of everything figured out, you will want to decide on the style you want, do you prefer an all white kitchen? or do you prefer wood veneer? do you want cabinets on the top and bottom? or just the bottom part? You can go on pinterest.com and research some nice styles to get inspiration. I always prefer going with a couple of kitchen specialists and working with them on the best suitable options.
4- Select Counter-Top Material: Marble is all the rage now, but it is not recommended for counter-tops because it is an absorbent material. Instead you can go for granite, resin (such as Corian), synthetic stone, Terrazzo (treated), or the ceramic tiles that look like marble. You can also opt for the sticker (shown above) that can be bought on Amazon.
5- Choose Back-Splash: The back-splash is the area above the counter and usually below the upper cabinets. Since it gets dirty really quickly, it is preferable to have it in an easily washable material. I like to use back-painted glass or stainless steel, but you can also use ceramic (you can get nice patterned ones) , granite, or resin.
6- Choose Furniture: Whether a barstool, a sofa, a booth, chair, or table, they have to be chosen in accordance to the kitchen design and your preference. For example, some people prefer the barstools to have a back, others don’t and would rather have a minimal barstool with maybe a sculptural or wild design.
7- Lighting: A kitchen should always be well lit , natural light is preferable if possible. As for professional lighting, working counters should have a high level of lighting on them for safety issues while cleaning vegetables or cutting something up. I also like to add some indirect lighting under the upper cupboards or under the booth/sofa, this is particularly nice for night time kitchen visits 😉 A nice pendant light should look nice above the kitchen table or counter, it adds charm.
8- Add a Personal Touch: This could be cookbooks, decorative vases, or frames, it is always nice to personalize your kitchen.
Designing the kitchen is one of my favorite parts of any residential project, what does the kitchen mean to you?
Is it your happy place, or just another room?
Do you cook? What is the one factor you HAVE to have in your kitchen?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below!