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In your home, the kitchen straddles a line between being a public and private space. Both the busy hub of any party and the comfortable refuge of midnight snacking, it’s little wonder that your kitchen design carries high hopes and expectations. If you’re refurbishing or planning brand new interiors, while your kitchen decoration is important, choosing the right layout is integral to having a finished space that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and practical.
Although your floor plan is definitely going to affect your options, all it needs is a little attention to detail and care, to transform your available space into your dream kitchen.
The Basics of Kitchen Interior Design : Ergonomics
Whether your kitchen is cosy or roomy, the first step to making an efficient modern kitchen is the ergonomics; using physiological and psychological data to design areas for better comfort and safety. Despite sounding difficult, planning out a kitchen that is ergonomically suited to you is actually really simple:
1. Sinks, counters and the stove-top: measure the heights for comfort.
2. Cabinets: ensure all storage is easy to reach.
3. Electric points: check for voltage requirements and placement.
4. Pathways: plan for easy movement between high-traffic areas.
5. Lighting: install ample ambient light and task lighting.
When it comes to kitchen interiors, one of the most popular ways to ensure that the space is well-planned, is to follow the work triangle method. Designed around an easy and unobstructed flow between the food prep (stove), cleaning (sink) and food storage (refrigerator) areas, this may not work for all kitchen layouts but it’s basic principles are adaptable. Regardless of your floor space, keeping them in mind is a necessity for having a functional kitchen.
Once you have the basics, there is a wide range of the latest kitchen designs to pick from to suit your practical needs and home decor. Today, modular kitchens have become a popular solution. With a guarantee of consistent quality, and many options in finish and price-point, they are attractive, ergonomically designed and convenient to install.
When exploring kitchen design ideas it is a good rule of thumb to keep the size, plumbing requirements and natural light of your space at the forefront of your decisions. And because modular kitchens are so adaptable, you can maximise storage, light and space in a way that will suit any floor plan.
If your space is very limited, an easy simple kitchen design to make workflow uncomplicated, is the single wall layout. In this configuration, all your cabinets, work spaces and counters are aligned along a single wall. The storage is vertically oriented and most of the visible areas can be closed away for neatness when not in use.
The work triangle is less important in this layout as everything is within easy reach and along a single plane. To maximise the usability of a single wall kitchen, ensure that all areas of the platform are equally well lit and that every item has a designated
space. The efficiency of this kitchen design can be augmented by using a movable food trolley as a centre island that doubles for serving functionality.
In general this floor plan is better suited to open plan rooms where the small kitchen interior design complements and completes the look of the larger area. Organisation and diligent cleaning of all surfaces is the key to making this layout the headliner in your small apartment.
If your kitchen space is longer than it is wide, an easy simple kitchen design that maximises your usable area is the parallel layout. This is a particularly effective kitchen design solution, as it gives you ample counter space and storage while still leaving room to create separate work zones.
Parallel kitchen counters also mean that you can optimise your storage area vertically and entirely side-step the complication of corner storage solutions. This is one of the best kitchen design plans when you often cook with another person, as the work spaces can be designed for separate purposes, reducing the possibility of accidents and creating a functional shared space.
When discussing a parallel kitchen layout, the most well recognised version of this simple kitchen design is the galley kitchen. This classic layout is an uncomplicated and versatile way to adjust to a smaller or narrow space, as you have all the advantages of an ergonomic workflow combined with maximised storage.
As a modern kitchen design the galley layout works best when you factor in placement of the appliances and the lighting in advance; plan counters so that sinks and cooking areas have sufficient landing space, and ensure electrical outlets are installed
at safe and efficient intervals.
With the limited floor space, galley kitchen ideas tend to focus on good lighting to counteract the upper cabinets and top storage. Keeping that in mind, you might prefer to choose lighter colours and brighter accents to make the space look more cheerful and friendly.
Occasionally referred to as a horse-shoe kitchen, the U-shaped layout works well for kitchens that are separated from living and dining areas. This practical design features functional utilisation of three adjacent sides and is a modular kitchen design that is adaptable for large and small spaces. Optimising both storage and work surface, it provides plenty of space for appliances while removing the need for a separate pantry area. With the proper use of carousel-style cabinets, pull-outs or smart-shelving, you can guarantee easy-access of hard-to-reach areas and that no corner spaces are wasted.
Creating a perfect work triangle is simple in the U-shaped kitchen layout, leading to its popularity in home kitchen design. Added to this, if you have a big family, the U-shaped layout is one of the best kitchen design ideas, as it is usable by multiple people at the same time and still maintains great workflow.
These modern kitchen designs are a popular choice in open plan homes as both Island and Peninsula layouts help create an extra work surface while still maintaining great workflow, and can also double up as a way to divide the kitchen from your living or dining area
Featuring a large counter “island” in the middle of the kitchen, it is most popular when you have a larger area to work with. The kitchen island can be an extra work surface or can incorporate storage, it can also be used as a casual space for family meals. Plus, with the latest kitchen designs it can be utilised for a stove-top, sink, specialised prep area or even a bar space with a wine fridge. Given this adaptability, island kitchens are often preferred by people who frequently entertain at home.
The Peninsula is a kitchen interior design that features an extra counter similar to an “island” but that is actually connected to a kitchen wall or cabinetry. It brings all the functionality, style and convenience of a kitchen island into play, when the floor-space available is too small for an independent island to be installed. Most frequently used as an extra food prep station with additional under counter storage, the peninsula is often used as a breakfast nook or bar space.
Since the peninsula offers a seating area for friends or family while you cook, depending on kitchen furniture design
choices and smart over-counter lighting, they often become the conversational hub of small intimate gatherings, giving you the best of both worlds.
Once you have the structure and practical needs of your home kitchen design sorted, you can begin to fill in the personal and unique touches with kitchen furniture design choices and other accessories that reflect the mood and energy of your space.
Whether this is expressed through your pick of appliances, soft furnishings and colour scheme, or in the small accents and choice of kitchen decoration, making your kitchen look and feel comfortable is an integral step to making it your own.
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