Thursday, January 10, 2013
10 Design Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your Kitchen
A lot of life happens in the kitchen. No matter how different our lifestyles may be, a lot of activity revolves around the kitchen: Cooking , preparing a quick snack, eating breakfast or a 3-course dinner with family or friends. Not only do we socialize in the kitchen, getting together with family and friends over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, the kitchen is one place that needs to be both beautiful and functional. This raises a double challenge of do’s and dont’s in kitchen design.
1. Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen triangle.
Us designers refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle which are the area of greatest activity which requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your countertop workstations.
2. Don’t waste storage space.
Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but items often concealed behind built-in kitchen cabinet doors can be oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Think about installing open shelves on an unused wall where you can nicely display your dishes or glasses to free up some concealed cabinet space.
3. Don’t ignore counter-top work space.
One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter-tops. Consider all the kitchen activities that require a counter-top, as well as appliances that are permanently located there, you might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen or open shelving to an used wall. This will allow more space to display your dishes or glassware and leave the concealed storage for your larger, more unsightly items.
4. Poor lighting.
The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also a safety matter when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware. Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting, and accent lighting. For the kitchen you especially should evaluate the work areas and focus on how you can provide each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, use pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants in areas where these can enhance the lighting and beauty of the kitchen.
5. Don’t forgo a back-splash.
While budgeting or designing a new kitchen or kitchen remodel, sometimes the backsplash considerations slip to the end of the list. This is one mistake that saves you money on the short term, but on the long run costs you a lot of time and effort. Imagine the steam, high humidity and grease content in the kitchen and you will understand why installing a backsplash behind the oven and extending it above all the counters throughout the kitchen is a smart idea. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile, metal, or plastic, than wall paint or wallpaper.
6. Don’t forget to ventilate.
Effective ventilation systems help extend the life of your appliances and although they can be an investment, if you have a kitchen that opens to a living area or family room, they will make life easier, cleaner and more pleasant for everyone.
7. Don’t choose a wrong kitchen island.
When it comes to kitchen islands we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space in the kitchen, but the fact of the matter is that kitchen islands can waste a lot space. Choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get over cluttered. At minimum, an island should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep, but it must also have room for people to move and work around it. Specialists recommend that unless the kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and more than 12 feet long, one shouldn’t even consider an island.
8. Don’t ignore your recyclables.
These days, with the advent of recycling, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink. As recycling is here to stay, be prepared to manage your trash efficiently and incorporate trash sorting bins into your kitchen design.
9. Avoid being too trendy.
Although it’s not necessarily a mistake, choosing the latest kitchen designs and high-end equipment may not be the best of choices. The most stylish color of the season and trendy designs have a short half-life, and you may never get your return on large investments in the latest kitchenware.
10. Invest in a professional.
Taking over a kitchen design project on your own to save money is a common mistake which can waste more money, time and energy. There are some jobs where, for safety and quality work, a professional is not a whim. Designers possess the latest resources, trends, ideas, and manufacturer’s details to help you identify your specific needs and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.
Courtesy of Freshome