So much more than just a place to cook, the modern-day kitchen is designed for family life and entertaining, but how do you create that dream kitchen?
If you are investing in a new kitchen this year, it is likely that thoughts about the space figure just as prominently as Pinterest boards and moodboards that help define the style. Few kitchens are replaced like for like these days, which is hardly surprising when you think how radically our expectations have changed over the last few decades. What was once a small, utilitarian space is now the main hub of the home – a place where the family come together each day, and where we relax and entertain.
Finding space for a dream kitchen
All this extra activity demands space, and kitchen extensions are among our most popular residential projects. But, where extending isn’t an option, it’s still possible to improve the available space by moving doors, windows and architectural features, or through stealing a sliver of space from an adjoining room – the popularity of the side return extension shows that you don’t have to add much to the footprint to gain a lot more usable space.
Open plan living
And, of course, it’s what you do with that space that counts. An open plan room for cooking, dining and entertaining brings new possibilities from where to position the working part of the kitchen, to how to create a successful flow through the space, as well as a unified look. In projects using large expanses of glass, views of the garden often dictate the best spot for the dining area with a kitchen island acting as a boundary for the work zone, keeping children and guests safely away from hotspots but still allowing conversation to flow.
Hard-working kitchen layouts
In the working part of the kitchen, having a layout that is safe, efficient and easy to use is the number one priority. Even in open-plan spaces, you will still see the classic kitchen formats of galley (one long run of units), double galley (two parallel runs of units) plus L-shaped and U-shaped formats because they work. The open-plan kitchen in our Westover Road project is a great example demonstrating a classic gallery format. Whilst our Castlenau project demonstrates the classic U-shaped kitchen format. Take a look for yourself.
A classic gallery format in our Westover Road project.
Our Castlenau project demonstrating the classic U-shaped kitchen format.
The linear approach
Joining the classics, is a current trend for a long island, similar to the work benches found in the professional kitchen. Often it includes a sink and hob too, with plenty of workspace in between, so the cook can move in one straight line from task to task using a conveyor belt approach. A long run of tall units behind provides plenty of accessible storage and houses built-in appliances. Here our Briarwood Road project demonstrates how the linear approach could look.
Big ideas for small kitchens
Not all homes have room for a big open-plan kitchen but you can still get clever with space to squeeze in maximum storage, hard working prep spaces and even a place to sit.
Consider the following:
• If you’ve got high ceilings, take the design upwards, using tall cupboards and even adding a row of ‘out of reach’ cupboards for the things you use least. Plinth drawers can make use of the space under the cabinets
• Go bespoke. A tailor-made design really will make the most of every inch and can use clever features such as shallower base units to balance the design
• Drawers and internal drawers will pack more into the space than cupboards, and the contents are more accessible
• Built-in appliances have a neat streamlined finish. Look for dual-purpose models such as combi-steam ovens or combi-microwaves, for compact versions of dishwashers and fridge-freezers and invest in a boiling water tap such as Quooker so you can get rid of the kettle and free up valuable work space.
Of course, you can talk to Granit’s architects and interior design team about transforming your kitchen project and create a space that works beautifully for you.