The kitchen is the most important room in a renovation. We go to great lengths to make sure the kitchen reno has broad appeal but also has an appropriate level of WOW. It is equally important to ensure that it creates the perfect work space for the key function it was designed for : cooking.
1. Blend Kitchen and Party
The eat in kitchen went out with insinkerators and mission brown colour schemes.
Thanks to the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of open plan, blending the kitchen and living into one room facilitates a much better hang-out value and it means the cook no longer has to cook alone.
2. Add Generous Horizontal Real Estate
A luxurious island bench is a valuable piece of cooking real estate. Not only does it provide the perfect setting for a pre-dinner drinks with your guests. It separates the cook from the diners but still allows them to the party. It also provides an expansive work space for meal preparation and plating up.
3. Observe the Golden Triangle
This kitchen design principle works on there being a triangular workflow between the sink, stove and refrigerator. Each leg should be between 1 and 3 metres and totalling between 4 and 8 m. By observing the rules of the golden triangle in your kitchen design, you will ensure that the cook does not wear the rubber off his or her shoes walking between the work zones as he/she rotate through preparation, cooking and cleaning up.
4. Remember Landing Areas
When designing the layout remember to allow space to land hot dishes as they are removed from the oven. Generally, you will need between 450mm and 600mm from either side of the stove.
5. Respect Ergonomics
Wall ovens are making a comeback and for good reason. It is much easier on the cook to have the oven at waist height rather than having to bend down to below bench height to check the progress of your dish.
The microwave also deserves to be located at a practical height. Place it too low and it is difficult to access, too high is dangerous.
6. The Butlers Pantry
We love a butlers pantry, and not just because it adds a bit of posh. Creativity can be messy (that’s my excuse). If you have the capacity for a butlers pantry with bench space, sink and refrigerator , a house proud cook can knock over the meal preparation then leave the mess behind closed doors and to take her position as the hostess with the mostess in a pristine kitchen
Resist the temptation to add doors on the cabinets in your butlers pantry. Instead go for open shelves. Not only will this work wonders on your budget but will also make the task of locating cooking ingredients quicker and easier.
7. Include a Wine Fridge
Wine makes everything more fun, even cooking. By installing a wine fridge in your island bench or butlers pantry, a perfectly chilled white wine is easily accessed for the risotto and will keep the cook happy in the process!!
8. Whisper Quiet Range Hood
No one enjoys having their rhythm destroyed with the sound of a jet engine firing up in the kitchen. When selecting a range hood, check the noise level and choose one with less than 50db on high speed.
In dishwashers, look for something around 30db, with the open plan living, a noisy dishwasher will intrude on the after dinner conversation.
9. Correct Task Lighting
This boils down to selecting the right globes.
Lighting temperature refers to the Kelvin value. The higher the Kelvin value the cooler/whiter the light.
Cool or Daylight globes support higher concentration levels required for kitchen tasks such as cutting and chopping, so go for something close to 6000 Kelvin. It will also make the kitchen look cleaner.
When selecting LED lamps for the kitchen also pay attention to the CRI value, the Colour Rendering Index value which specifies how true-to-nature the colours of objects can be identified. To ensure vibrant colours, redder tomatoes and greener spinach go for a value higher than 80.
10. Smart Storage
Storage is a big deal in kitchens as it helps minimise clutter, leaving bench tops free for food prep and cooking. Where possible, install drawers to under bench cabinets as they provide increased capacity and require less bending to access the contents. Where working with existing cabinets you can achieve the same result by installing drawer units to existing under bench cabinets. If the cabinets are standard sizes you can usually source off-the-shelf drawer units. Important to note that to be able to use a drawer in a cabinet with doors, the doors need to open past 90 degrees to allow the draw to pass, this will require changing the hinges over to 135 degree or higher opening.
The creative cook will often access a tablet or phone for online recipes and YouTube videos to experiment with techniques. Nothing more annoying when going for your favourite site to find the the device is flat. Install power point with USB charging facility at your bench top and island bench to ensure your device can be charge while in use.
Important to note, if you are going to install one of these power point, go for one that charges both tablet and phone ports. The tablet port will charge your phone much faster.
I’m hoping that I have been able to demonstrate how important it is to think through the function of every little aspect of the kitchen reno. It can make a massive difference to the user experience, and encourage that delicious art of cooking.