Kitchens are among the best renovation investment in a home. Achieving the perfect culinary space isn’t impossible, but you need to plan and clearly understand your needs before you start. Since many of us want instant gratification, we often forego the diligence measures.
Take your time to design. Consider the entire room as well as adjacent rooms that might yield extra space. Look at changing traffic patterns throughout a space to accommodate your new layout. Relocating a doorway, for example, could open immense design possibilities.
Before I embark on a design, i take my clients to look at appliances — not to purchase, but to look at styles, sizes and features and determine exactly what they want. This sets the foundation for the design. Never purchase your appliances and then have a design tailored around those purchases. Resist the temptation to succumb to sales pressures — the deals will always be there.
When forming your new design, look beyond the common “working triangle” between your fridge, cook top and sink. These days we demand so much more from our kitchens and I like to consider zones when designing the ideal kitchen. Each family functions differently and when all its requirements are considered, the room starts to form around them — it becomes that family’s ideal kitchen. Your zones would typically include consumables storage, non-consumables storage, food preparation, cooking, cleaning, waste disposal and recycling. It might include specific zones such as television viewing, homework, baking, crafts etc. Think about maximum capacity situations as well as everyday situations in order to create a space that always functions well.
When I design a kitchen, I clarify the style of cabinetry and then I prepare the concept floor plan for my clients and insist they live with the thought for at least a few weeks. They imagine how the changes would affect the use of space. It’s extremely important that the floor plan clearly indicates the locations of cabinet fronts as well as countertop edges, crown moulding and any other projecting details. This is the only way to spot conflicts in finishing details — if the countertop is going to butt into a casing, you need to know now so that it can be adjusted and accounted for.
The next step is the preparation of the elevation drawings. This will provide a visual on how the cabinetry is laid out as you look directly at each wall. This is where you consider your placement of goods in each zone. Based on your placement list, each cabinet can be customized using the appropriate hardware to yield the best performance for its function.
Now you can start looking at finishing. Most cabinetry consists of a box that is embellished with different levels of detail.
While the box construction is important, the hardware inside that box and on the doors is what you interact with. Demand the highest quality and functionality from these elements and pay attention to the needs of each zone.
When outfitting your food preparation, cooking and cleaning zones, consider all the options for sinks and faucets. There are many new products available — a multitude of sinks and faucet styles including wall mount and surface mount pot fillers, water purification and chiller systems, instant hot water and even instant carbonated water systems. Incorporate gadgets such as outlets with built-in USB chargers, night lights, hidden receptacles, central vacuum kick pans, automatic door operators for garbage drawers and the latest in integrated lighting.
Investing your efforts in the design phases of your kitchen will provide you with a plan that is accurately priced for construction, reduce changes and cost overruns and yield a kitchen renovation that will be pleasing.