The kitchen is a unique place in every home. We spend a lot of time in it, because it is here where we make nutritious daily meals and specialties, preparation of which often requires time and appropriate involvement. However, we do not only cook here, but we also talk, relax, and just have a good time. The recipes for a well-equipped kitchen are numerous – and the ingredients of each of them are thoughtful decisions.
Before you start designing, answer the following questions:
1. What amount of space in the kitchen do you have?
The size and height of the kitchen space determines the design discipline. The design can be approached in one way when we have to develop 24 m2, and in completely different one when the surface is more modest or almost “microscopic”.
2. How many people will the kitchen accommodate and how many of them will actually use it?
These two similar questions are not identical ones. There are households in which one person prepares meals for several or even a dozen or so people. And there are different ones in which everyone, namely family members and guests, jointly cooperate in preparing dishes, setting up the table and cleaning after eating.
Therefore, when designing an ideal kitchen, we need to anticipate and provide both a comfortable working space for all people who work there at the same time, as well as a place to store food, tableware, cutlery, kitchen textiles, etc.
3. How often do you and your family eat at home – and how often do you eat out?
The less often household members use the kitchen, the less important investing in rich equipment is (basic appliances and kitchen appliances are enough). If the kitchen is the heart of the house, it is worth taking care of it with the utmost attention, planning every square centimetre so that everything is in place, at hand, and in sufficient quantity, and so that after the culinary madness it would be easy to bring order in it.
4. What are the eating habits of all the household members? (and do we really want to influence them?)
How often and what exactly do you eat at home? How much time is spent on the preparation and consumption of meals? Are dishes made with fresh products, or more often you have pizza or ready-made dishes on the table, which are subjected only to thermal processing? Changing your place of residence or interior design of the kitchen can be a good excuse for changing to a healthier lifestyle. A larger workspace also invites you to culinary experiments. If you like to cook and experiment in the kitchen, then arrange a sufficiently large working space (table top), as well as space for kitchen equipment necessary for your work.
5. How often do you shop for food?
The frequency and complexity of food purchases affect the amount of space necessary for storage. Shopping for a four-person or larger family, made once a week, requires a roomy fridge and storage cupboards or a separate pantry. It will be completely different if we do shopping every day, on the way home from work, buying the most needed items for the next day.
6. What is the shape of the kitchen room?
The most common kitchen layouts are: the letter L, the letter U, the kitchen with the island, the double-row kitchen and the single-speed kitchen (very often found in living rooms with kitchenettes). Each of these shapes has its advantages, which should be maximized in any case. An additional question is – is the kitchen a separate room or is it open to the living room?
Regardless of the shape of the kitchen, while designing it you should remember about these zones: wet (sink, dishwasher), hot (stove, oven), cold (fridge plus freezer, if you have one), working space on the countertop, and storage space.
The so-called “kitchen work triangle”, namely the space between the sink, stove, and fridge, where the appliances are spaced 120-210 cm apart – provides indispensable convenience in using the kitchen.
7. Is there a pantry next to the kitchen?
Pantry is a great convenience not only for every lady of the house, but also for all household members. Owing to it, all stocks are stored in the right temperature and optimal quantities, and the place in the kitchen can be used exclusively for what is associated with other needs (appliances, equipment, utensils), not including food.
8. Is the kitchen lit with sunlight?
Natural light from the windows should be used at the sink, worktop and / or kitchen table. All underexposed places should be lightened with artificial sources – LED strips and strips under kitchen cabinets and point lighting or lamps above the worktop and table are a great option.
9. What budget do we have?
The total amount of money which we will allocate to the kitchen arrangement will have an impact on the quality of the furnishings, visual qualities of the interior, and usage durability. Remember, however, that a kitchen is a relatively rarely renovated place, so it is better to allocate an adequate part of the budget for equipment of good quality, which will serve us for several years without any problems.
10. What style is to prevail in the designed kitchen?
The style of the kitchen should correspond with the style of the whole house (unless the kitchen renovation is to be the beginning of a stylistic revolution which will cover the whole living space). It is worth inviting an architect to cooperation who will deeply understand our functional needs and our aesthetics. Undoubtedly, the taste of users and practical considerations play a decisive role (ideally, it would be a good idea to negotiate a joint decision of all household members in this matter). Each decision regarding the style carries utility consequences – for instance, fronts of classic furniture are usually more demanding to clean than simple modern forms.
Below we present you some examples of the most commonly encountered kitchen stylistics nowadays.
A timeless classic
Industrial style of the kitchen
Scandinavian style kitchen
11. What finishing materials meet our requirements?
Kitchen floors and wall surfaces above worktops are places which should not only be easy to keep clean. They should also meet our aesthetic needs and simply “please the eye” for many years. Choosing good quality glazed ceramic tiles guarantees the ease of cleaning and resistance to staining, as well as resistance to household chemicals.
Essential household appliances
The minimum necessary in each kitchen are:
- stove – gas, electric or induction, with the number of burners adapted to the amount of space in the kitchen and the needs of the household
- sink – size must also be adapted to the spatial possibilities and needs of users
- refrigerator (or fridge-freezer)
This is the absolute base which should be found in every, even the smallest kitchen. Of course, it will also be extremely useful to have the following:
- washing machine
- hood above the stove
- microwave oven, optionally.
The size of each device needs to be adjusted to the number of users to whom they will serve and the amount of available space. A huge fridge-freezer will be useful for a large family, while a single can unnecessarily take too much space and inflate the cost of electricity.
Before we purchase specific household appliances, we need to decide whether the fridge, stove, hood, oven, and dishwasher should be freestanding, or we would prefer built-in appliances (those whose fronts will be the same as the fronts of the rest of kitchen cabinets). The latter solution is more expensive, however, it “repays” to investors with visual values for years.
- Kitchen is the heart of every home. The more beautiful and comfortable it is, the more tastily and enjoyably we benefit from it.
- When designing a kitchen area, you need to take into account the amount of space, the number of people to whom the kitchen is to serve, eating habits, the layout of the room, the frequency of grocery shopping, and the budget at our disposal.
- The preferred style of the kitchen design should be consistent with the rest of the home space and it should meet both functional and aesthetic requirements, but above all – it should express our tastes and be consistent with our preferences.
- The variety of styles allows creative arrangement of fashionable, comfortable kitchens.
- The selected equipment elements must be easy to keep clean and their quality should ensure long-term use.