It’s where the whole family comes together for meals, homework, conversation and entertainment. It’s important to make it work for the whole house, from spacious work surfaces, a convenient layout, plenty of storage, to the right kitchen appliances. Ensuring functionality is the goal ensures it’s user-friendly for everyone. Read on, for ideas on how to design an ultra-functional kitchen that combines great taste and practicality.
Take the time to plan
Taking the time to plan every detail of your kitchen remodel will minimize construction time. As a bonus, you’re more likely to stay on budget if you don’t have to create change orders at the last minute. How much time should you devote to planning? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months.
Things to consider when developing your plans:
Study your existing kitchen and create a drawing that includes measurements for doors, walkways, height, countertops, and appliance spaces.
Think about traffic patterns; work aisles should be at least 42 inches wide and at least 48 inches for multiple home cooks.
Choose all the accessories and materials before you start; this allows contractors to bid more accurately and you will have less risk of delays due to backorders.
Plan for contingencies in case something unexpected happens. Building in a little leeway to complete the renovation.
Make the design easily accessible for all members of the household. Put pull-out drawers or shelves in lower cabinets, add counters that can adjust up or down, get a wall oven instead of a range.
Keep the same footprint
If possible, keep appliances, water faucets and walls in one place. Nothing drives up costs faster than relocating electrical outlets and plumbing pipes, or knocking down walls. You will also reduce the amount of dust and debris created by the project.
Keep appliances simple
Appliances are basically tools used to cook and store food. Your kitchen remodel should be about the functionality and design of the entire kitchen, not the tools. It can be easy to get carried away with visions of luxury name-brand refrigerators or six-burner commercial ovens, but they might not fit your lifestyle or cooking needs. Unless you plan to make full use of these items, focus your budget on long-term features that add value, such as flooring and cabinetry.
The power of lighting
The right lighting can make a big difference in a kitchen. It can make the space look bigger and brighter, and it helps you work efficiently and safely. Two types of lighting that should be incorporated into the kitchen are task lighting and ambient lighting. Task lamps are mounted under cabinets to illuminate work areas and eliminate shadows, ambient lighting includes ceiling lights, wall sconces and track lights. Consider including dimmers to control intensity and mood.
Add storage not space
Extra storage is always welcome and you can do so without adding space. Install cabinets that reach the ceiling; you can always use a stepladder. Make use of excess wall space by installing wall shelves and use ceiling mounted brackets to hang pots and pans.
Make quality a priority
Durability and functionality should be top priorities for kitchen remodeling. Resist buying cheap or low-quality items and instead choose low-maintenance products with long warranty periods. Stick with well-known brands that have good online consumer reviews.
Communicate clearly with your renovation team
Build a good relationship with your construction team and communicate clearly. Going through the project during working hours signals your commitment to quality. Hang a bulletin board on site so that you and the project manager can leave relevant information. Give your cell phone number and email address to the team leaders. Establish house rules regarding smoking, loud music, available bathrooms, and parking spaces. Be nice and try to avoid harassing workers with questions and instructions; they will function best when they can concentrate fully.