When it comes to practical spaces that are used every day, the kitchen is a place where function is key.
Whether you’re an aspiring gourmet chef or cooking simple meals for your family, everyone wants a dream kitchen that’s easy to navigate, has enough storage and looks the part, while fitting in with the style of the rest of the house. The main considerations are layout, storage, materials and appliances. In regards to layout, the positioning of the cooktop, fridge and sink is very important. They should be placed relatively close together to form a triangle for maximum efficiency – this can be achieved in any style of kitchen. Then there’s storage, which can make or break a kitchen. Make the most of available room and aim to create as much easily accessible space for pantry items and kitchenware as possible. A combination of cupboards, overhead cabinets and drawers are the most common solutions; pullout and walk-in pantries, as well as specialty corner cupboards, are useful options for easy access and efficient use of awkward areas. Materials are the main thing that will lend your kitchen a particular look or style but, whether you’re choosing flooring or cabinet doors, functionality is also important in terms of cleaning, everyday use and durability. All of these factors should be carefully considered alongside your budget. For example: flooring should ideally be unaffected by moisture, non-slip, easy to clean and hardwearing, as the kitchen is a high-traffic area. More often than not, unless you have an open plan house, your kitchen flooring will be different to that of t he rest of your home – carpeted spaces might be coupled with luxury vinyl or a tiled kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Flooring choices in the bathroom should be considered before deciding on kitchen floors – in smaller homes and apartments, using similar or identical flooring throughout these spaces will create a more cohesive look. Another example is cabinet doors; they can open vertically or horizontally, have interior lighting, be glass-fronted to make the contents visible, have non-protruding inset or flush pulls or large feature handles – all of which will affect their functionality. Pricing greatly depends on the finish and hardware used, even if the finished product looks similar. Finally, there are appliances – dishwashers, cooktops, ovens and fridges – which can form much of the budget of small or inexpensive kitchens. Investing in quality appliances makes sense when thinking about how long you expect your kitchen to last and how often you will be using it. There are many options out there – it’s best to figure out your priorities and needs before doing some research to find out what options will best suit your lifestyle, home and budget.