Every home is different because every person is different and we all need different things from it. There is one common truth, however - the perfect design is one that not only suits your style, it’s also highly functional. Perhaps the room that demands the most thought to get that balance right is the kitchen, the heart of the home.
Function over form
The kitchen has many uses but first and foremost it’s for cooking. For that reason, function really should take priority over aesthetics. That’s not to say you can’t have a trendy, stylish kitchen; consider achieving this look by adding accessories that can be changed as styles phase in and out. To avoid it dating quickly keep the fundamentals timeless by designing to suit the home and your lifestyle rather than the trend of the day.
This is the most important factor as it directly impacts your home and lifestyle. For that reason, how you choose to lay out your kitchen will be unique to you, but here are some things to consider that might help you make the best choices:
• The area between your knee and shoulder tends to be the most used space.
• Where do you want clear bench space? Common places people find useful are either side of the sink and cooktop, and near the fridge (ideally on the same side as the door handle).
• Think about storing things near where you need them, eg. oil and seasoning near the cooktop, or chopping boards directly above or below the main food prep area.
• Consider ‘the work triangle’. This involves positioning the main appliances - the fridge, oven and sink/benchtop - in locations that promote free, safe and quick movement from one to the other. Some exceptions include single wall or small kitchens where you can still achieve functionality by having the key points close (but not too close) to each other.
How much should you invest in the kitchen?
It’s your choice, but around 10% of the overall value of the home is fairly reasonably. Keep in mind that a good kitchen could add a lot more value to the property long term. You’re better off investing more in quality construction and cabinetry design than gadgets.
Maximise space and storage
Having room to let your character and style show through in the kitchen means having space for it. So, here are some tips on how to get the most out of every part of your kitchen:
• Get right to the back of corner cupboards with carousel shelving that spins.
• Cupboards can go right to the ceiling if you need…plus you’ll never have to dust the tops of them.
• Roll out shelving utilises small skinny spaces.
• Hang things on the wall and from the ceiling using magnets, hooks, rods and baskets. This comes with the added bonus of making these items handier to use.
• Organise your storage well by storing things in order of most-used priority.
• Consider deep cupboards with bench space, power points and lighting; here you could store appliances, use them in-situ, then just close the door and hide them away.
The right builder
If having a really great kitchen is top of your ‘must-have’ list, seek out a builder with lots of experience. They will have seen hundreds of examples of what works and what does not. Furthermore, they may even have existing relationships with kitchen designers that you could leverage for specialist input. At Orange Homes, we have all that covered. We’ve built thousands of new homes across Canterbury and we have in-house design consultants ready to talk you through your kitchen design options. Whenever you’re ready to chat about your new-home vision, get in touch with us.