Kitchen Confidential

A new kitchen is not just about making things look fresher, but is also an investment in your property. So go the extra mile when you improve this important working and socialising area

In the last couple of decades the world of food and cooking has completely transformed our lives. Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal and countless others have converted cooking from a chore into a craft. Suddenly home cooks are hunting down new and exotic ingredients to prepare dishes to dazzle their guests.  This hasn’t just changed our approach to food, but also our attitudes towards the look and functionality of the kitchen. It’s become an area where everyone congregates, and is competing with the living room for the most attention in the house. The kitchen should be a stylish area to socialise, while also being cleverly and conveniently designed.  

Does yours need a makeover? This is what to bear in mind...  

First, work out your kitchen triangle. There are three key areas that influence layout: preparation, cooking and cleaning. All need to be within easy distance of one another but also not too close. You may finally get that beautiful kitchen island, but the last thing you want is to be constantly walking around it to get to the sink. An alternate version of this work triangle substitutes the preparation area with the refrigerator. You decide what is best for you.    

After you have determined your triangle you need to figure out how to make the most of your space:

Prep: It goes without saying that you need enough space for food preparation. Most of the time spent in the kitchen is spent on organising ingredients. Your needs can dictate the space you require, but if your redesign is going to be an investment, discuss it with your architect or designer.  Area: Don’t neglect the area next to your stove. Your design should have sufficient amount of space—at least 30cm on either side of your hob. This way you can keep your ingredients close as well as have leeway for moving around pots and pans.    

Clean: Just like the food preparation zones, your cleaning area should also have sufficient space to work around. Dedicated sinks are always a good idea as they keep your food away from potential health hazards. However, unless you install it in your prep area, it will be inconvenient. This makes sinks a good fit in kitchen islands.  

Entertain: Are you going to be close enough to your guests? The kitchen is now so important to entertaining that a good idea would be to balance your design between cooking and socialising. 

There are many electronics companies that sell built-in appliances, so make sure to shop around before you settle. If you want a clean and unobtrusive look for your kitchen, opt for a design that blends in with the existing feel. Built-appliances are not limited to fridges and stoves, but can include washing machines, fridges, and more.  

No one can ignore the importance of storage. The amount you have is only as good as the convenience of the design. Most kitchen remodelling companies will be able to provide you with numerous clever and helpful options when renovating.    

Start by dividing your kitchen items into Used Daily, Used Regularly and Used Occasionally. Storage should be planned by height so that the things you use least are packed away higher up (provided they are not too big or heavy). Everyday items are best stored at counter height and regular objects should be placed down below.  

Replace cupboards with drawers. They will take up the same amount of space, but it will be much easier to access what you need.  Do you have endless gadgets or appliances in your kitchen? They need to be stored in a way that’s easily accessible. Work out where you are going to want to use and store them. They may need more counter space than you first imagined. A good option is to store them at counter height behind their own cupboards or roll down doors. Part of this also includes planning your power points; you don’t want to spend time dragging appliances around the kitchen.