Monday, 18 August 2008

Kitchen Planning – Basic Tips To Improve Your Kitchen Area

The kitchen is often the busiest room in the house and has a variety of functions. While food preparation is its most obvious, the kitchen is often the social hub of the family home, playing host to a number of activities such as homework and dining. Decorating or furnishing any room requires careful planning to achieve the best results and this is especially true of the kitchen. From the outset, it is important to decide what you want from your kitchen area. If you’re going to use it primarily for cooking, then a large amount of work-surface will be needed. Or if meals are to be eaten there, room and space are going to be important considerations.

The removal of laundry appliances is worth considering for those looking to free up space. They could be placed in another room in the house or even put outside; A shed or out-house could be transformed into a utility room to store large laundry appliances such as washing machines or dryers. Other kitchen appliances such as freezers could also be moved, thereby providing extra space for smaller kitchen areas. This could enable you to provide an extra piece of kitchen furniture such as a small table or chair.

The preparation of food is often a time consuming activity. Therefore the kitchen worktop should be tailor-made for its user. The incorrect height can encourage bad posture, which in turn can lead to back-problems. It should be flexible in design, especially if a kitchen is used by more than one person. Features such as roll out worktops can help achieve this requirement. They can also be installed at varying heights to adapt to different users. Adjustable stools might also be worth considering.

Good lighting can help aid in the smooth and efficient running of a kitchen. Like the bathroom, it can have reflective surfaces that cause glare. So a lighting set-up that provides effective illumination for every-day tasks as well as soft background lighting is a practical necessity. Low-voltage bulbs concealed by a partition are good at this, as are cooker hoods. Most hoods come with an integral light that can help provide a useful background glow for cooking and preparation. And, if you plan on using your kitchen for dining, an adjustable rise and fall lamp installed over the table can offer a pleasant, relaxing ambience.

You should also plan where you’ll put your electrical kitchen accessories. The placement of electrical sockets is important in terms of safety and practicality and so a good number should be installed. Trailing electrical flexes are not a good idea and can prove very dangerous. Therefore at least two sockets should be installed for each worktop.

Ventilation is another integral feature. It helps maintain an odour-free environment as well as preventing the build-up of moisture caused by steam. Extractor fans are effective at this and are sometimes included with oven systems. Installing an oven/ cooker next to an exterior wall means that its extractor fan can vent stale air out of the kitchen immediately. Condensation is therefore drastically reduced and good air circulation created. In a room that can emit strong odours, this is an essential factor.

The three most important features of a kitchen are the fridge, sink and cooker. For ease of use and convenience they should be close together. Placing them at the points of an imaginary triangle is a popular practice and can help prevent excessive movement around the kitchen. This can, however be influenced by the shape and size of your kitchen. So in some cases the logical solution is to place them in a line. Square kitchens provide the most scope for layout possibilities. U-shape and L-shape designs are the most popular and can provide extra space for eating or relaxing, whatever suits you home the most.

Storage is another factor in kitchen planning. Adequate space for appliances and other kitchen equipment ensures that a cooking area is free from clutter and can run smoothly. Kitchen units are the most common and space-efficient solutions to space issues. Buying on the cheap should be avoided however. There’s nothing more annoying than drawers that don’t run smoothly, or doors that don’t close properly. Quality kitchen units will last much longer and are much more durable than their less expensive counterparts. Kitchen cupboards and dressers are also an option. They can provide extra space to store and display dishes and other items. Open shelves such as those found on traditional kitchen dressers can lend a kitchen a relaxed lived-in look, even when full and may enhance the overall look and feel of the room.

In conclusion, planning and building a new kitchen is a good investment. It can improve the quality of your life as well as increasing the value of your home. With the application of a few tried and trusted methods, and some considered purchases, you can have an efficient, attractive and practical kitchen area, which should stand the test of time.

Published At:
Permanent Link: