What sort of kitchen do you want? Will it be all about the food, designed for the production of exciting, imaginative cuisine? A relaxed family kitchen where the kids play while their parents chat and read the newspaper? A party kitchen designed to impress guests with your good taste and culinary skills? Here are some ideas to help you create the perfect kitchen for you:
A family kitchen
A family kitchen should be comfortable. It should be a welcoming space where the whole family will want to relax, not just at meal-times but throughout the day.
A family kitchen needs to be functional and well-organised as it will be producing snacks and meals for faddy eaters of all ages. Most family kitchens are part kitchen/part play-area/part office, so storage is important. A butler’s pantry will ensure that every-day ingredients are in one place and easy to find. Shelves, racks and storage jars are essential.
An extra wide island or archipelago is a good idea, as it acts as a strong dividing line, separating the kitchen into a cooking zone and a play/relaxation zone while keeping the children away from the oven. A large country-style kitchen table surrounded by hardwearing comfortable chairs will be the focal point of the room.
A working kitchen
A working kitchen can look functional, so cupboards can be pure white or a simple primary colour. A gloss finish works well, giving a clean look. A quartz worktop looks good and is less porous than natural stones like granite. As a result it’s more durable and easier to keep clean.
Efficiency is important, you will want to be able to reach what you need and move around your kitchen easily. A hanging pan rack is a handy way to avoid clutter while ensuring that pans are easily available. You can then expand the rack philosophy with things such as knives and other implements.
A double oven will increase your efficiency; a warming drawer is a luxury addition that will be useful for the would-be gourmand. It prevents the need to reheat food before serving.
Consider your working areas when planning your lighting scheme. Use under cabinet lighting and spotlights to ensure that areas where food will be prepared are well lit. If you have a friend who is a keen cook it might be an idea to run your ideas by them – they can advise you on whether your ideas will translate into an efficient cooking space.
You should also consider the flooring that you will need. In a busy workng kitchen there will be lots of spillages and lots of footfall. You need to ensure that the flooring can deal with this (while also not being too hard, ensuring that anything that drops will break!) and not warp of become too slippery underfoot.
A party kitchen
You love a good dinner party and you want a kitchen with a wow factor – a space that will entertain in its own right with interesting features and unusual touches.
Use decorative lighting to make plain surfaces more interesting and create interesting shadows. Put some comfy stools at your breakfast bar or island so that your guests can sit, have a drink, and watch as you put on a culinary show. Add a raised countertop and you have a two-level snack serving area and cooking area. Later in the evening when your guests have moved to the dining table the countertop will also hide dirty dishes and utensils.