Open kitchen, clear mind: effective and practical design
We regularly invite design and interiors experts to write for our blog. Read the latest guest blog here, from kitchen designer Max De Viet
The kitchen is the heart of the home, this is indisputable. Not only is it the room in which most active, waking hours are spent but it is where the important activities of your day take place. Where you eat and where you socialise, where your wellbeing is maintained and where you are brought together with family and friends.
Having an open kitchen where these activities can be done in a clear and practical manner is thereby essential for your day to day life and your mental disposition.
THE KITCHEN TRIANGLE
The first thing to consider is how to best layout your kitchen. Now, kitchens come in a great variety of shapes and sizes; U-shape, L-shape, G-shape, Galley etc etc. The thing is, the type of layout itself is not necessarily important – so those who spend hours debating which is right for them are wasting time.
Your planning should instead start with the ‘Kitchen Triangle’ concept. This is a kitchen design that situates the important 3 items of the kitchen – sink, refrigerator and stove at equal distances from one another, forming a triangle. With this in mind, your kitchen will always be of maximum efficiency, practicality and comfort.
UTILISING SPACE EFFICIENTLY
Keeping your kitchen open and clean means keeping your cupboards and storage spaces organised.
Is there space above the refrigerator? What about in the cupboards, are they filled effectively? People rarely tamper with kitchen cupboards when arriving at a new home. It is not difficult to assume that the shelves and storage already there have been built to maximum potential, hey, if they were good for the last folk they’re good for us – wrong.
Often it is possible to insert another shelf or take a cupboard size for what it is and just place things within reach. But no, high cupboards are used for undesirable crockery and the backs of cupboards are deemed inaccessible and become the burial ground of old utensils.
Kitchen space is a prevalent problem so effectively utilising the space you have is essential. Remember, your kitchen should be a place where everything is within reach so that you don’t have to go digging around to find the one thing you need whilst keeping tabs on the stove, oven, kettle and whatever other tasks may be piling up.
With a plethora of gadgets and gizmos on the market there are many fantastic ways to make the most of this space. ways to solve this effectively. Compartmented pull-out bins, carousel units, pull-ut storage baskets – these are all wonderful mechanisms that fill every bit of space but make it easy and practical to access things at the same time.
NEUTRAL AND NATURAL COLOUR: SPACIOUS AND PRACTICAL
We humans love to express ourselves. We have different tastes, different styles and demonstrate this is in a great variety of ways. The kitchen, however, is one place where we at Max de Viet think this should be avoided – they are simple, neutral colours for a reason. These colours are easier to clean, they look much more spacious and they don’t date. They also compliment any natural work surfaces and look classy. Blacks, whites, mochas, natural colours are the way to go!
EFFICIENT LIGHTING IS ESSENTIAL
The perfect kitchen isn’t complete without the perfect lighting. Lighting is necessary for both cooking, atmosphere and accentuating the beauty of your kitchen. The route to take here is simple.
A combination of overall ceiling lighting adjusted using a rotary switch and counter lighting will never fail. This way the brightness of the entire kitchen can be altered at will depending on the situation, and counter lighting provides clarity for cooking.
GOOD COUNTERS ARE THE SIGN OF A GOOD KITCHEN
Nobody likes a cluttered kitchen and for that reason it is impossible to have too much counter space. A spacious kitchen really appeals to your mental disposition. They are peaceful yet effective but with a lot of counter space the counters need to be good quality that compliments the kitchen.
A bad worktop can be a nightmare kitchen feature. They are unhygienic, unattractive and difficult to clean. Choosing the wrong kitchen counter material can mean that your kitchen is forever a problem. If there is one area to improve your kitchen’s space and beauty, it is in the counters.
A high-quality counter not only lasts lifetimes but can actually greatly improve your home’s value. Stone, quartz and marble, for example, are easy to clean and durable but they further provide a classy, authentic feel. The quality of a kitchen can really be felt in the quality of the counters and with effective storage combined with beautifully chosen counters your kitchen can become the pride of your home. And the best thing is that high-quality stone counters are durable and never go out of fashion.
BACKSPLASH – THE CHERRY ON THE CAKE
A unsung hero of kitchen design is the backsplash. These are a great way to add that touch of class and you will notice the cleanliness of your kitchen change immediately. With the possibility of matching the backslash with the countertop or choosing a completely different style of tiling, you can adapt the backsplash to your taste. They look good and make cleaning much, much easier.
Author Bio: Max De Viet is a kitchen and bathroom design expert who heads a team of designers and stonemasons at This is Stone in Notting Hill. Boasting over 20 years experience and unparalleled knowledge, Max and his team pride themselves on being effective and efficient, carefully choosing their quarries and providers.