Top tips for your new kitchen
By Michaela Mir
So, you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a new kitchen. The problem is, where do you start?
A quick Google search or a flick through all those home channels on TV will have you admiring all the beautiful finishes and accessories, but before you start spending money on fridges and high-tech taps, take a moment to really think about how you’re going to want to use the space - now, and in the future. Otherwise, you risk ending up with a kitchen that’s beautiful to look at, but not at all practical.
First - and this is especially true if you’re planning a complete rip out rather than just an upgrade - think of the space as an empty box. Then, decide what the most important areas you want to have in your kitchen really are.
Is it going to be the heart of the home, and so in need of lots of room for entertaining? Or is it more of a functional space used only for cooking?
Does someone in your home love cooking, for whom the most important thing is space for a fabulous range cooker? Or, would you prefer having somewhere to watch TV while you’re eating dinner?
Historically, kitchen designers used to refer to the ‘kitchen work triangle’, which said that the main tasks in a kitchen are carried out in the space between the cooker, the sink and the refrigerator, and that kitchens should be planned to make it as easy as possible to move between those three areas.
Personally, I don’t think that’s so important. You don’t want to be walking from one side of the kitchen to the other to get the milk when making a cup of tea, but that’s only really a big consideration if you have a very large kitchen.
It’s more important to ask yourself questions about the functionality you need.
Do you want an area in your kitchen where you can sit and have a cup of tea? Or space for the children to do their homework while you’re making dinner?
Do you want an open-plan kitchen that contains a sofa or other living area? And, if you’re planning to watch TV in the kitchen while having dinner, would the noise from the dishwasher or microwave disturb you too much, in which case think about putting those appliances in a utility room instead?
Make sure you take enough time at the planning stage to consider how your needs might change over time, and then plan accordingly.
If you want your kitchen to still be in use in 15 years’ time, then think about how your needs might have changed by then.
If you’ve got toddlers now, or a baby that you feed in a high chair, you’re going to need to use your kitchen differently today than you will in 15 years, when they’re teenagers who need space to do their homework. If you’re single currently, or a couple with no children, will the kitchen you’re designing be adaptable enough if things change in the future? Plan ahead, and you won’t be frustrated as your family grows.