The day pretty much starts and ends in the kitchen, from that early morning coffee to stacking the dishwasher at the end of a great meal. We snack, cook, clean and socialize in the kitchen, so it's important to ensure your new kitchen is not only beautiful but that it is also functional.
Here are 10 important tips you should not overlook.
1. The kitchen triangle.
Your sink, cooktop and fridge are the three most commonly used appliances in your kitchen. Careful thought must be given to provide unobstructed access to these main areas. Although dishwashers have reduced time spent washing up, the sink is still the area that will see most activity. Don't just settle for installing the sink right near existing plumbing when an experienced plumber may be able to relocate pipe work to accommodate a better location. No matter what type of kitchen design you choose or whether it's a small or large kitchen, easy access to these three kitchen appliances must be maintained.
2. Appliance selections.
Buying kitchen appliances can be a minefield. There are literally hundreds of products to choose from but there are only a few brands in the world that are truly manufacturers in their own right. You should always look to select only those brands that are made by the company who’s name appears on the product. This is to ensure that your appliances are supported for many years to come. It might just be a function inquiry to get the most out of your appliance or you might need help one day with a repair. Trying to get technical and parts support for products which are sold under marketing brands can be very frustrating. Nothing worse than having a 5 year old oven that may need something fixed or replaced and finding out that the brand no longer exists or the company cannot access technical support.
Removing cooking odours and grease from your kitchen is critical. Odours can linger and grease will quickly cover your new kitchen surfaces leaving everything sticky and lead to a cleaning nightmare. Cheap rangehoods suck for all the wrong reasons and they're simply a waste of money and fixing this after the event will end up costing your more. Whether you choose to make your rangehood a key visual component of your kitchen or whether you choose to hide them away in the form of a slideout or undermount rangehood this appliance is important. Exhaust, noise, lighting and the size of your kitchen will determine the best rangehood for your new kitchen.
4. Benchtop work space.
How often do you say "I want more bench space"? Small appliances like toasters, kettles, mixers and coffee machines are all things that we use daily and prefer to leave out for ease of use. Then theres your food prep area, sink and cooktop placement to consider. Island benches have helped increase useable floors pace in the kitchen but this is not always possible or desired as part of the design. Other options could also be to look at your choice of kitchen appliances such as built-in coffee machines and built-in microwaves to free up your bench space. Induction cooktops are flat and if protected with a tea towel or chopping board can be used for food preparation.
5. Storage space.
We invariably collect and store heaps of stuff in our kitchens. Food, small appliances, crockery, cookware and of course junk! Making sure you find a place for all of this to live as well as making it easily accessible can be a challenge. Proper planning and thought will help minimize wasted space and ensure that the items most used are within arms reach. Small kitchens can be a challenge so using upper wall space could be an option for storing larger items. The area above the fridge too can often be used for lesser used items. Slide out cupboard drawers means you can stack things like food, storage containers etc but still get easy access to them. Corner cupboards can become clunky and potentially wasted storage. Consider wedge shaped pullout drawers, they're really cool!
The last thing you want is a dark and uninviting kitchen. You want your new kitchen to sparkle but it's really about seeing what your doing. Whilst you may incorporate some general lighting making sure you have well lit work spaces is critical. Consider small lighting under overhead cupboards as well as down lights over areas such as your sink and food prep areas. Your cooktop too needs good lighting so choose a range hood that provides good exhaust as well as even lighting. Many rangehoods now using halogen or LED lights and come in varied stylish designs.
7. Cooking splash back.
None of us like cleaning so think carefully about the areas around your oven and cooktop. Expensive tiles, paint finishes, windows or window dressings are going to be subjected to steam, odour and grease. Splash backs can still be stylish but make cleaning up much easier and they won't deteriorate over time. It's all about keeping your kitchen looking like new years down the track.