- Posted on 28th April 2011 by Nicola Holden
DESIGNING KITCHENS TO SAVE YOU TIME
These days everyone wants a kitchen that looks great and is equipped with the latest gadgets. However, the trick is in getting a kitchen that not only looks amazing, but is also functional for the way you use the space. Good kitchen design is not only visually engaging but also exudes practicality.
|Image credits from PoggenPohl.|
A lot of attention is given to the optimisation of office workstations to save time and costs. In the kitchen, over 360 different operations occur each day, and yet these processes are rarely considered as having the potential for optimisation. A well designed kitchen can save an incredible amount of personal time and energy which can then be spent doing other things.
For engineer turned interior designer Nicola Holden, this ‘lightbulb’ moment came when she installed her own kitchen, designing it along the principles of a production line. Nicola now applies her experience gained in the manufacturing industry, combined with her natural creative flair, to the design of living spaces.
For many people, buying a new kitchen is a major investment – one that should provide many years of fun and fulfilment. Here interior designer, Nicola shares some of her tips to ensure that you get just that kitchen.
|1.||First Things First|
|Before embarking on your kitchen design think about how the space will be used. Will it mainly be used for food preparation or will it also be an eating / social area? Is the room a high traffic area connecting different rooms? How many people are there in the household? Who is the main cook in the kitchen, and do they cook from scratch or heat up ready-made meals? Are they left-handed or right-handed? What are their shopping habits?|
|It is important to consider the size of the available kitchen space. Measure the room, including ceiling heights, windows and windowsill heights, doors, radiators, etc. You will also need to think about where the services are located, such as gas, water, electricity, boilers and waste outflows. Some of these can be re-sited if necessary. It is also important to take into consideration Building Regulations and general safety, especially if there are small children in the family.|
|Never under-estimate how much storage space is required. This is dependent on your shopping and cooking habits, the size of the household and your lifestyle. Storage space is needed for crockery and cutlery, work utensils, pots and pans, as well as herbs and spices, consumable foodstuffs and ‘odds and ends’. A lot of kitchen activities involve accessing or replacing stored items, and thought should be given to making finding and accessing them quicker and easier.|
|Two factors apply here. Firstly consideration is given to the ‘work triangle’ – the imaginary lines that connect the three main appliances within the kitchen space – the fridge, cooker / hob, and the sink. The aim here is to allow the kitchen user to take the minimum number of steps between these areas. However, to achieve optimal use of this area, it is important to take this a stage further and think about the different zones within a kitchen. These include:|
• Raw materials – this zone is where most grocery shopping is stored, and includes not only fresh and frozen food, but also food cupboard items.
• Preparation – this is where most of the preparation work takes place, and should be where items such as kitchen utensils, chopping boards, mixing bowls, etc are located.
• Cooking – this zone is where the hob, oven, steamer, microwave, pots, pans, baking trays, cooking utensils, etc should be located.
• Non-consumables – this space is used for dishing up, and is ideal for storing items such as cutlery and crockery, glasses, serving dishes.
• Cleaning – this is where the sink and dishwasher are located, as well as space for waste collection and cleaning items. This zone needs to be accessible to the preparation zone (washing fresh ingredients) and the non-consumables (replacing cutlery and crockery after cleaning).
• Dining – this zone should be positioned away from the washing zone, and can double as a serving area.
|5.||The Fun Bit|
|Now it’s time to think about what you want your kitchen to look like. Start thinking about your kitchen style, worktop, splash-back and flooring materials and finishes, and last but by no means least, lighting. These elements will allow you to apply that final ‘wow’ factor to your kitchen design.|
Working through these tips will help you to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, and create a kitchen that works for you – one that you delight in using every day.