Finding the perfect balance of functionality and design.
Whether you are remodelling your own kitchen or designing a kitchen for your customers, the aim is the same. To create a beautiful space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Often referred to as the heart of the home, now more than ever, the kitchen is a space in which many people spend a great deal of their time. This means that the addition of a few personal touches to a kitchen is a great way to make it feel more homely and inviting.
Creating a kitchen that is both functional and stylish requires a keen eye for detail, smart planning, and excellent use of the space available, and at Multiwood we know a thing or two about designing kitchens. That is why we’ve put together our top six tips for kitchen design.
Open Concept Living
If space allows, open concept living is an excellent way to bring functionality to the kitchen space. Typically, open concept kitchens will be a blend of the kitchen, as well as the living and/or dining room. By opening up a home in this way, these spaces will not only appear attractive, brighter and contemporary but allows for even the smallest of spaces to be utilised.
Harmonising living spaces in this way helps to dramatically transform smaller spaces and gives plenty of opportunities to add a little extra comfort and beauty to any home. Yes, open concept kitchens may require a dividing wall or partition or two to be knocked through, but if a kitchen is getting a complete makeover, then we think this is highly beneficial. Suddenly, small, cramped kitchens are transformed into contemporary living spaces, where the whole family can spend time together, apart. From homework to cooking, and watching TV, different family members can share the same space, while doing different activities.
Add a kitchen island in to make full use of all the new space, and try different colours or textures to define the functional zones. This helps to add interest and gives you the opportunity to really get those personal touches in.
A good kitchen design should be highly functional, and when thinking about kitchen designs it is imperative to consider one very important triangle. The work triangle. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the concept of the work triangle, it consists of the 3 main things or areas used most in the kitchen. The hobs, oven and other cooking apparatus, which typically are located together, the primary sink, and the fridge. When cooking, these areas all get a lot of use, so locating them in close proximity is highly recommended. That last thing you want is to be walking constantly between the three, so we would recommend that no leg of the kitchen work triangle should be less than 4 feet or greater than 9 feet.
Another excellent way to maximise space in a kitchen is to take advantage of the kitchen cabinets. Now, whether this is placing the fridge, freezer, dishwasher or even microwave into a cabinet (with a colour scheme matching the rest of the cabinets, obviously), or transforming the eyesore that used to be the bin, into a hidden and integrated unit. Integrating appliances and waste bins in this way will not only help you to maximise space but also add clean-cut lines to the space which would be near enough unattainable otherwise.
A Splash of Colour
Whether the colour scheme is something neutral, or something bright and bold, it is entirely up to the occupant. Colour is possibly the best way to get personality into the kitchen space and ensure that it really reflects the people who use it the most.
You might want to opt for classic white upper cabinets, and then a coloured scheme for the lower cabinets to really differentiate and add layers to your colour scheme. Or opt for a two-tone colour scheme, to highlight certain materials and symmetry. Mix and match colours, why not, it’s your kitchen after all. Do bear in mind that if you have one eye on a move in the future, neutral colour schemes tend to be the most popular with prospective buyers. At Multiwood, we’ve got a wide range of cabinet doors, in an array of stocked colours, but we also have bespoke colours available, and we operate a RAL colour matching service completely free of charge!
But don’t just limit your imagination to paints. Why not add a splash of green? Ever popular, houseplants might just thrive in your kitchen, but if you’ve got any furry friends do make sure to check whether or not the plant in question is toxic to animals. Or, as it is the kitchen, why not have your own indoor herb garden, these are highly functional but also add a splash of vivid green! Basil for your pasta, mint for your mojitos, or any other herbs you might want to use, you’ll be able to taste the difference using freshly picked herbs.
From silverware to spices, pots and pans to plates and potatoes, having enough storage space in your kitchen is critical, and the key? To use every last bit of potential storage space, we call this smart storage.
From pull-outs that are custom made to fit any leftover space in the kitchen, to magic corner units, if there is space, we highly recommend that you find a way to utilise it. All of it! You’ll probably want to opt for these units with soft open and close technology, you know, just because you can.
If the kitchen is blessed with ample space, why not consider building a separate walk-in pantry, to give you more storage space than you’ll know what to do with!
Let there be Light!
There are so many ways that a kitchen space can be brightened or brought to life. But the key to any kitchen is light. Dull, dimly lit spaces are not desirable in any room, so why would the kitchen be any different.
We’ll start with the main light or lights, which should be placed over the areas that will see the most action. If the light comes from behind, during food preparation there might well be shadowy or dark spots. You can also opt for lights underneath the wall cabinets, this is an excellent way to ensure that every area of the kitchen is brightly lit. Layering your lighting is a great way to add more intrigue and really make certain features stand out. Try combining task lighting, with ambient, accent and decorative lighting and see what works in the space.
If the kitchen space is blessed with lots of natural light, a great way to accentuate this is to install high gloss kitchen cabinets. These will reflect the natural light, meaning the whole space will seem brighter, even as the sun fades.
Ah, the battle for adequate work surfaces. The last of our tips for kitchen designs is centred on countertops. We’ve all probably been there at some point and a kitchen that lacks countertops and work surfaces is not only highly frustrating but also far from functional.
Wherever possible we would recommend adding in work surfaces, whether this be through the addition of a kitchen island, or just expanding the countertops to wrap around the whole kitchen. From preparation to plating food, you’ll probably use more space than you’d realise if it’s there, so be sure to add in as much as possible!
You should also consider the countertop corners. Banging yourself on a sharp corner can leave you with one hell of a bruise, and if there are children in the house at some point in the coming years their heads will be perfect countertop height, so avoid nasty bangs and bruises and round off the countertop corners. It won’t stop the bangs from happening, but it will reduce the bruising!
So there you have it, our top six tips for kitchen design. If you factor these design ideas into your next kitchen remodel we’re sure that the end result will be something special.
If you have any questions about our tips for kitchen designs, or to discuss your product needs, please feel free to get in touch with us.