Things to consider when designing a new kitchen – A detailed look into the first step of designing an amazing kitchen – CASHMERE KITCHEN & LIVING UPDATE.
During my Design Brief session with Debbie, I went through my comprehensive kitchen evaluation checklist so that we could identify the areas that she wanted to change, what wasn’t working and come up with a clear direction for a new kitchen design. Colours and finishes are obviously important as part of the decision-making process, but getting the overall design right FIRST is the difference between loving your new kitchen or wishing you’d thought about everything in more detail! Here are just a few of the things we cover in my Design Brief session with my clients.
My Top 5 Kitchen Renovations Design Considerations:
Layout – What issues can we identify from the existing layout?
The working triangle between the sink, fridge and cooktop are the three main work areas in the kitchen, and the theory is that if they’re positioned in a triangular layout, movement around the kitchen is minimised. This isn’t always strictly the case, but certainly flow and movement in and around the kitchen is a key aspect in considering good, functional kitchen design. Other layout issues can be pain points as well, so it’s important to investigate how we can improve on those.
In Debbie’s case, clearly from the photos, you can tell that the raised servery bench was like a barrier, cutting the kitchen off from the living and dining rooms. Apart from it being too high, it just didn’t allow for a nice, comfortable flow between the different spaces, and, it made the kitchen space feel cramped.
Appliances – How do you use your existing appliances and what will make your experience better in the kitchen?
Consider your cooktop, oven, microwave, rangehood, fridge, dishwasher.
I actually have several specific questions related to your appliance needs, as your appliances become a focal point around the design of your kitchen. So, it’s always a good idea to at least think about this early on in the design process. Debbie had some very definite and some not so definite ideas about her appliances. She wanted to change from gas to induction (important to ensure your power supply to the house will be adequate).
She also considered a larger 900 mm oven, but when we considered her storage needs as well as where the larger oven would be positioned, she decided a 600 mm oven would be enough and I suggested a built-in combi oven/microwave, which gives her the added bonus of an extra oven should she need it when entertaining.
Fixtures & Fittings – How do you currently use your sink and how might you want to use it in the future?
Ok, I know, how imporant can a sink really be?!
I have to admit that Debbie gave me a strange look when I asked her about her sink…but when we got into the nitty-gritty on the sink details, well, let’s just say she never knew a decision about a sink could be so important! So, how did this play out?
Anything would be better than the small, awkward corner sink that she currently had! But…I wanted to know:
And then we can get into understanding what kind installation is going to be best for your sink. Top mount and undermount are the two most popular installation methods, and the decision for which one to choose can also depend on your habits in the kitchen.
After having a detailed conversation about sinks (Phew!), Debbie decided that investing in a water efficient dishwasher (we had a conversation about different types of dishwashers too!) was the way to go for them, as she really wanted to minimise time consuming hand washing in the sink, and that as she did use larger cooking pots often, a single, large undermount sink was her preference.
Small Appliances – What do you currently have? Do you actually use them? Will you use them in your new kitchen renovations? Are there any new ones you’re keen to invest in?
The list of small appliances is almost endless! We all buy them, we all use them once or twice, we all store them away in the back of cupboards…never to be seen or loved again. I’m guilty of this myself, and also had to have the hard conversation with myself AND my husband about what we were hoarding in the dark recesses of our cupboards.
Here’s a list of some of the small appliances that I always ask about during the Design Brief, because if I don’t know you have them, then I can’t design your kitchen with smart storage solutions for them!
Thermomix, mixmaster, food processor, bread maker, juicer, toaster, kettle, coffee machine, sandwich toaster, rice cooker, slow cooker, blender, waffle maker, air fryer, soda stream, electric frying pan, electric tepanyaki grill….have I missed any?!
I’m not going to divulge what Debbie had in her cupboards, but suffice to say her priorities were the Thermomix, Mixmaster, air fryer, sandwich toaster, kettle and normal toaster – all of which needed to be easily accessible for regular use and definitely kept off the kitchen bench at all times when not in use.
Storage Requirements for Everything Else
This is where I get up close and personal with your kitchen. We’re going to become best friends, and I’m going to learn everything there is to know about you…your kitchen that is! Understanding what you have in your cupboards and drawers means that I know what kind of clever storage solutions I need to consider for your design. From using drawers or cupboards, working out depth of drawers to increase storage capacity, incorporating clever corner units to maximise those awkward corner areas. I really consider every nook and cranny of your kitchen, and I also discuss with you if there are more efficient ways for you to be using your kitchen and help you by creating practical storage solutions to gain the most out of your kitchen.
For Debbie, her biggest bugbear was her totally dysfunctional corner pantry where everything just got lost in the back of the shelves, and food often went out of date because she couldn’t see what was in there. Next on her hit list was the need for a bigger bin. And finally, a more logical place for everything else to be stored, so that she didn’t have to waste time moving around the kitchen to grab things. So we focussed on creating a pantry with drawers, a double pull out bin hidden inside the cabinetry out of sight, and I also created zones that made sense so that everything was at her fingertips where it made the most sense.
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If you want to make sure that you make the most out of your new kitchen, these kitchen renovations design tips are a great place to start when thinking about what’s important to you and how you can improve the functionality of your kitchen. I can help you to drill down on all the questions on my full checklist, where we cover design and functionality, as well as look, feel and aesthetic that you want to achieve. And, if you need help with selecting colours, finishes, fittings and appliances, I can help you there too. In fact, I can take care of all the details for you if time or overwhelm has been holding you back from getting started.
I’d love to chat with you about your kitchen renovation needs.
Click on the images below to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.