Creating a functional, fine-looking space
Kitchens are the focal point of any home, therefore it's important to design a space that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also serves your family's needs.
Good planning is vital in this room. Once the kitchen cabinets and plumbing have been installed, it is an enormous task to continue with the rest of the design - thorough planning is vital.
Start planning your kitchen by asking yourself some important questions:
- What will you use the kitchen for? Not everyone spends all day in their kitchen preparing five-course meals. Think long and hard about what functions are important to you and what kitchen appliances you plan to install. If all you need is space for a microwave and your stack of take-out menus, then plan accordingly. Likewise if you have a large family and you use your kitchen several times a day, you'll need to create something more elaborate.
- How much space do you have to work with? Many people would love to have a grand kitchen with room to fit in a banquet table, but practicality and space constraints dictate that it is not often the case. Perhaps your space is smaller than you imagined and you will have to come up with ways to work around the limited surface area. This is not necessarily a bad thing - limited space can lead to some very creative designs and unique ideas.
- Will your kitchen double as a workspace or homework room? If so, include it in your floor plan. Design a separate workspace that can be closed off by doors or a room divider in order to conceal this area while dining.
- Do you plan on installing a dishwasher, a deep freezer or a wine chiller? If so you must plan it into the design and factor in the missing kitchen countertop space that will result.
- Will you be installing a kitchen island, a telephone seat or a breakfast nook? These too must be put into the plan and designed accordingly.
- Do you have pets? Will you need a space for them in the kitchen?
- Will you be eating in the kitchen or using a separate dining room? If you plan on using a big table then space must be allotted. Otherwise, a popular trend is to incorporate bar seating around kitchen islands or end cupboards.
- Will your kitchen double as a laundry room? If so a space must be reserved for the washer and dryer.
- Will there be a bathroom off the kitchen? Where will it be located? How will your kitchen be incorporated into your house in relation to the other rooms?Is your house an open air concept or will the kitchen be completely closed off from other rooms? Will there be a patio door that will open off onto a deck? These issues must all be considered in planning.
The way you use your kitchen and the added features you hope to incorporate will dictate how you design the space. Local hardware or bookstores have thousands of books on layout planning that you can consult to get ideas for your room.
Borrowing ideas from home renovation television shows or your friends' homes is another great way to gather ideas for your plan. However, if you find yourself completely lost, consult a professional designer - he or she will be able to bring fresh ideas and new concepts into your kitchen, as well as build on what you already have in mind.